Migratory Bird Day Celebrated in the Western Hemisphere! Print

On the weekend of 13/14 May 2006, hundreds of people across the Western Hemisphere are observing International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) by

focusing their attention and activities on the IMBD theme of "Boreal Forest: Bird Nursery of the North". The IMBD, similar to the recently initiated World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD), is an annual event created to specifically highlight the migration of close to 350 migratory bird species between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in South and Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. The International Migratory Bird Day was created in 1993 by visionaries at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology and is now being supported by the U.S. National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.


Although IMBD is not a global initiative, it is probably the most successful and long-standing international day of recognition focused on migratory birds. Every second weekend in May, IMBD raises awareness on the phenomenon of bird migration and the need to conserve and protect migratory birds and their habitats across the Western Hemisphere. It is a major outreach event celebrated by people of all ages, in schools, community centers, parks and refuges with public events and educational activities dedicated to a specific ecological theme chosen by the organizers each year.

The theme for IMBD 2006 "The Boreal Forest: Bird Nursery of the North", highlights the North American Boreal Forest which is part of the largest remaining unspoiled forest left on the planet. The immense Boreal Forest spans across the northern regions of Russia, Scandinavia, Canada and Alaska. Circling the globe like a giant crown just below the Arctic circle, the Boreal is a mosaic of interconnected habitats that includes forests, lakes, rivers, grasslands, and tundra and is home to a variety of wildlife, including billions of birds.

The organizers of World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) would like to take this opportunity to highlight and help spread the news about IMBD and to encourage participation in the IMBD celebrations throughout the Western Hemisphere. It is hoped that in coming years these two initiatives will work closely together to consolidate efforts to raise awareness about the need to conserve migratory birds and their habitats across their entire migratory ranges and throughout the world.

For more information on IMBD please visit: www.birdday.org