Posted by: Kath Usitalo | January 5, 2012

Happy Bird Day To You

A seagull atop a wood carving of fur trader Alexander Henry, by Jerry Prior, Mackinaw City

Here’s something worth tweeting about: January 5 is the 10th National Bird Day.

This observation is not to be confused with Bird Day (May 4) which dates to 1894, or International Migratory Bird Day (held in springtime—dates vary depending on the region).

Love this poster by Rafael Lopez for the 20th annual International Migratory Bird Day

National Bird Day, a program of the organization Born Free USA, chirps about fine feathered friends in cages as well as winged wonders in the wild.

Goals include education and efforts designed to discourage the international trade of wild birds and sale of pet birds, improve care for existing pets, and protect wild birds in the U.S.

At the website you’ll find 10 tips for making your pet birds happy, and 10 ways you can put a dent in reducing the number of bird collisions with your windows.

You can also enter the first Free Bird Photo Contest.

By January 31 submit a photo you’ve taken of a bird in the wild and you may win the top prize of a pair of binoculars and a bird feeder.

The top 20 bird shots will get a copy of the comedy “The Big Year” featuring Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson as competitive birders.

Audiences didn’t flock to see it in theaters, but word is it’s a harmless flick, suitable for family viewing in your nest.


On a related note, the Michigan Audubon Society has new digs at the Bengel Wildlife Center in Bath. Check out the organization’s programs and resources, birding events and a map of bird sanctuaries in the state.

Upcoming activities include:
– A guided Nature Hike at Bernard W. Baker Sanctuary at 10 a.m., Saturday, January 7 (near Bellevue)
-Holland Audubon Club Program about Birding in Hungary at 7 p.m., Tuesday, January 10
– A guided Nature Hike at Lake Bluff Bird Sanctuary at 10 a.m., Saturday, January 14 (north of Manistee)
…and much more


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