Every year nearly 350 species of migratory birds travel between nesting habitats in North America and wintering grounds in South and Central America, Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Southern U.S. To provide an opportunity to celebrate their journeys and support migratory bird conservation, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is held officially on the second Saturday in May, though groups celebrate year-round.
International Migratory Bird Day was created in 1993 by visionaries at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. From 1995 to 2006, the program was under the direction of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Because of its consistent growth, IMBD is now the premier education project of Environment for the Americas. IMBD continues to focus attention on one of the most important and spectacular events in the life of a migratory bird -- its journey between its summer and winter homes.
Each year hundreds of thousands of people gather in town squares, community centers, schools, parks, and wildlife refuges across the Western Hemisphere to learn more about wild birds, take action to conserve them and their habitats, and simply have fun.
And the idea is catching on -- from 2001 to 2003, IMBD participation doubled, with as many as 2,000 groups, bird clubs, parks, refuges, and individuals using IMBD materials.
By connecting to this national movement, with its rich historical legacy in the field of wildlife conservation, Flying WILD helps students, teachers, parents, and communities become part of something big. Celebrating IMBD by hosting a Flying WILD Bird Festival is a great way to learn, share, and take action.
Festival planners can take advantage of IMBD's resources by visiting BirdDay.org. As a Flying WILD festival planner, you can register your birding event with IMBD's national registry--an outstanding way of sharing your festival with others around the world. Registering also extends an invitation, and a healthy challenge, from your school to others to take up the festival banner!