National Bird Day is January 5, 2018.
What is National Bird Day?
The day focuses on captive birds, but it’s a good opportunity to talk about wild birds and the challenges they face.
The National Bird Day campaign is organized by The Avian Welfare Coalition and aims to raise awareness about birds taken from the wild and sold into the illegal pet trade. It also focuses on birds already in captivity and how their lives can be improved.
What are the Challenges that Wild Birds Face?
Wild birds face many challenges. Here are some examples.
Illegal Pet Trade
The illegal pet trade involves taking an animal (in this case birds), illegally from their wild habitat. These birds are often smuggled out of their native countries and put up for sale abroad. The illegal pet trade is not regulated. Wild bird populations, especially parrot populations suffer because of this practice.
Global Warming & Habitat Loss
Many wild birds face habitat loss. Habitat loss occurs because of global warming, urban sprawl & land development, and industrial agriculture.
Sea-level rise, a symptom of global warming, has increasingly negative impacts to coastal bird species such as the Saltmarsh Sparrow (Ammodramus caudacutus). Because these birds are ground nesters, and nest in salt marshes, flooding and sea-level rise ruin their chances reproduction. When a ground nest is flooded, eggs and/or nestlings cannot fly away; therefore, entire broods are lost and populations suffer. Saltmarsh Sparrows are listed as Endangered and are on the IUCN Red List.
Incidentally, this particular species also faces challenges due to land development. The filling in of tidal-marshes for farming and land development is still common practice and a major threat to species that rely on tidal-marsh habitats.
Learn more at The Saltmarsh Habitat & Avian Research Program (SHARP).
How You Can Help
Get involved by volunteering for birds, donating to your favorite bird conservation organization, taking a friend birding, and educate others about birds!
Enjoy this video put together in honor of the National Bird Day. Learn more at The Avian Welfare Coalition.
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