Today is International Migratory Bird Day!
This day celebrates the return of migratory bird species from warmer climates for the summer season! Every year, species like the oriole fly to the tropical rain forests of South America for the winter and return back to North America for the warm summer months.
There are around 350 species of birds migratory birds that connect the North American region to the tropics. These birds rely on the availability of habitat and ecological networks along their migration routes. As they travel such long distances, migratory species need safe places to feed, rest and breed. Sadly, deforestation and habitat degradation are limiting the access these animals have to such crucial resources – posing a real threat to the survival of many birds during this demanding trip.
Want to see what kind of impact deforestation has had over time in the Amazon? Check out this interactive timelapse project from Google.
Migratory birds in our area?
The Chesapeake Bay watershed plays an important role in the survival of one migratory bird species in particular, the red knot. Horseshoe crab spawning along the Delaware Bay provides a crucial food source for red knots. As these birds are making the long trip from Chile all the way up to the Artic, they stop in the Delaware Bay to feed on horseshoe crab eggs. This fuel stop is crucial to the success of their continued journey. You can experience this magnificent sight this weekend!
How YOU can celebrate Migratory Bird Day!
- Keep a clean bird seed feeder in your yard. Dirty bird feeders and bird baths can spread disease. Disinfected feeders and baths can make your area a great resting spot for these birds.
- Leave baby birds where you find them and protect any birds from pets! Fledgings may spend several days on the ground after they leave the nest before they are able to fly. Keeping people and pets away is crucial to letting their parents continue to care for them properly.
- Buy bird-friendly products. Help preserve migratory and native bird habitat in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean by purchasing shade-grown coffee and chocolate.
- Plant a native garden! Native plants provide food, nest sites and cover for birds.
Are you enjoying nature this weekend? Share your pictures with us on our Facebook page or using #NAnaturelove.