International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) was created by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center in the early 1990s and is now coordinated by Environment for the Americas, a nonprofit dedicated to bird conservation. This celebration of migratory birds spans from South America to Canada, and enables thousands of people to learn about migrations and why these birds are so special.
“Why do birds matter?” IMBD chose this question as the theme for this year’s event. We will explore the plethora of reasons why birds are important: from the aesthetic value in their songs and colors; to ecosystem services such as seed dispersal, pollination, and insect control; and everything in between! Migratory birds bring benefits to so many different places; over the course of 15 years, a small shorebird like the red knot (Calidris canutus) flies nearly 280,000 miles—or the distance to the moon and partway back!
In the Redwood Creek Watershed, we will be celebrating our own migratory birds with events from Muir Woods to Muir Beach. Join us for our 14th annual celebration from 8 am to 2 pm. There will be lots of fun activities such as bird walks, education exhibits, hands-on activities, and more. With the Muir Beach restoration nearly complete, we are hoping to see more migratory birds. The new floodplain creates habitat for more invertebrates, which could serve as a delicious snack for birds that stop by on their way through!
Engage your kids in learning more about migratory birds! There are several free resources such as activity books, games, and arts and crafts. ¿Hablas español? Aquí tenemos recursos gratis para sus niños.
To learn more about International Migratory Bird Day festivities across the globe and for more information about specific species and activities, check out www.birdday.org.
By Diana Feldmann and Georgia Vasey
Park Stewardship Interns