There is so much to celebrate this year! Mark your calendars as a reminder to celebrate everything from fun bird holidays to wild bird conservation events to show some love to the wildlife around you!
January 5 is National Bird Day
Recognized on the last day of the annual Christmas Bird Count, National Bird Day is widely celebrated to raise awareness of the treatment of birds in captivity and promote the conservation of wild birds. Many exotic and wild birds fall victim to bird trading or breeding, where they are deprived of their natural behaviors. To participate in the holiday, many bird lovers engage in birdwatching, declare support for reputable bird rescues and sanctuaries, and teach children about the importance of wild birds in our ecosystem.
February is National Bird Feeding Month
In 1994, Congressman John Porter proclaimed February, one of the most difficult months in the United States for wild birds, as National Bird Feeding Month. Every February, individuals are encouraged to hang a bird feeder to provide food, set up a bird bath for water, and provide natural shelter or birdhouses to help wild birds survive. Additionally, backyard birding is an entertaining, educational, and inexpensive pastime enjoyed by children and adults that can relieve stress and bring you closer to nature!
February 16-19 is the Great Backyard Bird Count
The Great Backyard Bird Count is a free, fun, and easy event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of bird populations. All you need do to participate is watch and count birds for 15 minutes or more, at least once over the four days, February 16-19, 2024, and record your findings online at birdcount.org. These observations help scientists better understand global bird populations before one of their annual migrations.
April 17 is National Bat Appreciation Day
Why do we love bats? Insectivorous bats are capable of eating up to their own body weight in insect pests each night, helping to keep your yard free of a variety of pesky insects including mosquitoes. These same “pest control services” also help keep a multitude of crops healthy by eating the insects that feed on them. Bats reproduce slowly, with females of most species giving birth to just one pup each year. Therefore, population recovery from any serious losses can be painfully slow and it is difficult to identify significant declines in the species until the situation has become dire. On National Bat Day, take some time to learn about what you can do to help increase the bat population and consider installing a bat house as a safe location for shelter and nesting.
May 4 is Bird Day
Bird Day was first established in the schools of Oil City, Pennsylvania by Charles Almanzo Babcock, a late-19th century superintendent. Aiming to teach children about the importance of wild birds, Babcock introduced the holiday in his school system and later wrote a book, Bird Day; How to prepare for it which includes information on several common wild birds. Today, Bird Day is recognized on May 4 to foster interest in birds and to advance bird conservation.
May 11 is World Migratory Bird Day
In 1993, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center created International Migratory Bird Day to raise awareness for the urgent need for migratory bird conservation. Every year, a single conservation theme is celebrated to help highlight one topic that is important to migratory bird conservation. This year’s World Migratory Bird Day theme focuses on the importance of water for migratory birds and identify key actions for protecting water resources and aquatic ecosystems.
May 11 is Global Big Day
Global Big Day is an annual event held in recognition of World Migratory Bird Day. All you need do to participate is watch and count birds for at least 5 minutes and record your findings online at ebird.org. Your observations help scientists and conservationists better understand global bird populations.
June 17-23 is Pollinator Week
Pollinator Week is an annual celebration in support of pollinator health that was initiated and managed by Pollinator Partnership. We love pollinators (like native bees and hummingbirds) because they help sustain a healthy ecosystem and ensure a stable food supply. There are many ways to celebrate Pollinator week, including planting for pollinators, hosting garden tours, participating in online bee and butterfly ID workshops, installing an insect house, and so much more! Find out more about Pollinator Week and how you can help protect pollinators at pollinator.org.
June 20 is National American Eagle Day
The Bald Eagle is the national emblem of the United States of America which symbolizes the strength and freedom of America. After suffering near extinction in the late 20th century, Bald Eagle populations recovered, and on July 12, 1995, the species was removed from the U.S. Federal Government’s List of Endangered Species and transferred to the List of Threatened Species. You can celebrate National American Eagle Day by learning more about the American Eagle, visiting a nature center, or watching a Bald Eagle nest cam!
September 7 is Hummingbird Day
With their iridescent feathers and lyrical flight patterns, it’s no wonder these small but beautiful wild birds have secured their own day of celebration! The hummingbird is celebrated annually on the first Saturday of September. Participating in Hummingbird Day is easy! Put up a hummingbird feeder, share photos, or search online to join in on the hummingbird fun. You can learn more about the most common hummingbird species in our wild bird identification guide or learn how to attract hummingbirds to your yard.
September 24 is Bluebird of Happiness Day
While the exact origin of Bluebird of Happiness Day is unknown, the bluebird has long been recognized as a symbol of joy, hope, good luck, and new beginnings amongst many cultures. Remember to celebrate the small joys of life on this fun bird holiday!
October 12 is October Big Day
Hosted by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, October 12th is a 24-hour opportunity to participate in helpful bird research. All you have to do is watch birds for at least 10 minutes and report what you see online at ebird.org! Your observations will help scientists understand global bird populations.
December 14 – January 5 is the Christmas Bird Count
The Christmas Bird Count was proposed by ornithologist Frank M. Chapman in 1900 as a response to the historic practice known as the Christmas “Side Hunt”. This holiday tradition was partaken by hunters, who would choose sides and compete for the largest amount wild game harvested. Concerned scientists created The Christmas Bird Count to help promote the conservation of wild birds, rather than participate in the decline. Results of the Christmas Bird Count help scientists study the long-term health and status of bird populations across North America. You can participate by going to audubon.org to find a participating location near you.