World Migratory Bird Day!

Today is World Migratory Bird day (WMBD)! 

2018 is an important transition year in the history of World Migratory Bird Day - unifying the planet’s major migratory bird corridors, or flyways: the African-Eurasian flyway, the East Asian-Australasian flyway, and the Americas flyways. Celebrated from now on twice a year, on the Second Saturday in May and in October, WMBD aims to reach out to a broader audience and amplify its message for bird conservation. As a new global platform that unifies efforts worldwide, WMBD will be reinforcing education and awareness-raising about the need to protect migratory birds and their habitats - at all different levels, in all parts of the world.

Rufous Hummingbird / Selasphorus rufus

  • This tiny migratory pollinator breeds in western Canada and the U.S. It spends the non-breeding season primarily in Mexico, but has also have been increasingly documented as wintering in the southeastern U.S.
  • The Rufous Hummingbird is known as one of the “feistiest” hummingbirds in North America, aggressively defending nectar at feeders and flowers.
  • This species breeds farther north than any other hummingbird, all the way to Alaska. Its migratory pattern is unusual, with most following the Pacific Coast north and the Rocky Mountains south, as one of the earliest fall migrants at backyard feeders.
  • Their declining population may be due to changes in the timing of flowering as temperatures warm, pesticide applications, or loss of habitat. To help these brilliantly colored birds, plant native flowers that bloom throughout the season.

Golden-winged Warbler / Vermivora chrysoptera

  • Changing habitats are impacting this striking bird with bright yellow markings.
  • The Golden-winged Warbler prefers nesting sites with sparse shrubs and trees in wetlands or in upland areas. As this habitat matures to forest or is developed, numbers of this species have declined steeply.
  • This species usually nests on the ground.
  • Conservation efforts are focused on implementing management practices to increase breeding habitat in wetlands and shrublands, and on collaborating with partners to protect their wintering grounds in Central and South Am

Red Knot / Calidris canutus

  • Traveling as many as 19,000 miles each year from non-breeding sites in South America to nesting sites in Canada, in as few as six days, it faces challenges throughout its journey.
  • During spring migration this species stops over in Delaware Bay to feed on the eggs of horseshoe crabs. Such sites where they refuel for their long flights are important to protect.
  • One of the biggest contributors to the declines in Red Knot populations is a warming climate, which is reducing the tundra where they nest, intensifying storms during their migration, and warming sea waters which affects the shellfish they need to survive.
  • Helping to protect migratory birds from climate change impacts starts at home. Weatherizing your home, using energy-efficient lights and appliances, and reducing your use of fuel are small steps, but when multiplied across the planet they can have a big impact.