Nebraska International Migratory Bird Month
Started in 1993, International Migratory Bird Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday of May. It is a chance for conservationists, natural resource agencies, families and individuals to celebrate birds and bird migration.
Realizing that birds are critical to Nebraska’s ecosystems and economy, the Nebraska organizers decided to create a month-long celebration of birds, bird watching and bird migration. Agencies and organizations across the state have planned events throughout the month of May.
Public awareness and action are crucial components of migratory bird conservation. Citizens who are enthusiastic about birds, informed about threats, and empowered to become involved in addressing those threats, can make a tremendous contribution to maintaining healthy bird populations. Through Nebraska International Migratory Bird Month events, Nebraskans will be educated, inspired and empowered to conserve and protect our bird populations.
More than a Celebration of BirdsBut, International Migratory Bird Day is more than just a celebration of birds. It is a chance for our state to recognize the importance of outdoor recreation and tourism – the third largest industry in Nebraska. Outdoor recreation – including bird watching – provides Nebraska’s economy with a huge boost. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Division of Economics, nearly $722 million is spent annually on wildlife watching travel & equipment in Nebraska. Additionally, outdoor recreation provides 74,000 direct jobs across the state.
Additionally, birds are a vital part of every ecosystem. Birds play a role in seed dispersal, pollination, and insect control. Furthermore, birds are an integral part of every food web as both predators and prey. Without birds, many ecosystem functions would fail.
The Central FlywayNebraska plays a critical role on an International scale for migratory birds that have no boundaries or borders. Nebraska is the site of a significant migratory pathway – the Central Flyway. This flyway is critical for hundreds of thousands of birds including Sandhill Cranes, Canada and Snow Geese, Sandpipers, and numerous other species of waterfowl. It is our responsibility, as a part of the global community, to make certain these birds have the habitats they require.
To learn more about and find a list of events across the state, visit the Nebraska International Migratory Bird Month website – www.nebraskabirdmonth.org. There you will find a complete list of events searchable by date or location. Join us for a casual bird walk, class on how to landscape for birds or a family festival with activities for all ages. Find these – and many more – events on the website.
There has never been a better time to celebrate and learn about birds…. It is sure to be Time Well Spent!
– By Lindsay Rogers
Nebraska Game & Parks Commission