In 1993, Environment for the Americas began a widespread initiative to educate and inspire others about the wonders of bird migrations that take place in the spring and winter of every year. Approximately 1,800 of the 10,000 known bird species are considered migrating species, and upwards of 4 billion birds travel throughout North, Central and South America to find suitable habitats for themselves as the weather changes with the seasons. In Michigan, this includes species like the common loon, great blue heron, portions of the American robin population, and many more.
World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated globally in partnership with over 700 institutions and organizations. Despite the name, World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated on different days throughout the year based on each institution’s preference, and serves as a reminder that the mission to help save and protect migrating birds needs to be carried out everyday, not just once or twice a year. Potter Park Zoo is proud to be hosting a World Migratory Bird Day celebration this year on Saturday, June 5 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This initiative began as an effort to teach community members about the plight of migrating birds. In recent decades these remarkable journeys have become more challenging for birds for a multitude of reasons. Research has shown that between 23 to 35 percent of birds who participate in the winter migration do not return. A big part of this is due to challenges caused by humans such as predation by house pets, introduced disease, pollution, habitat loss, and – the biggest culprit – collisions with windows.
This Saturday there will be several stations at the zoo featuring short lessons, games, and take home crafts about birds. Learn about penguins, eagles, bird-friendly coffee, hardships that birds face and how these challenges impact their journey. You’ll also learn what steps you can take, and have the opportunity to make a pledge to help our amazing feathered friends. Take home a craft kit to make paper tube binoculars and get started birding in your own backyard!
Please join us for a day of fun and learning as we celebrate World Migratory Bird Day!