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Celebrate National Bird Day Jan. 5

Even though birds are barometers of the ecosystem and more than 12 percent of all birds may face extinction within the next century, few governments and organizations have taken action to stop the unethical treatment of birds.

So on Jan. 5, Born Free USA in conjunction with the Avian Welfare Coalition are celebrating National Bird Day—a day aimed at raising awareness of the treatment of birds as well as acknowledging the beauty and inspiration they have on us.

Here’s more from the site:

“National Bird Day” is not only a good day to take time to appreciate the native wild birds flying free outside our windows, it is also a perfect time to reflect on how we treat the native birds of other countries. While we have enacted laws to protect our native birds, such as blue jays, cardinals, and crows — from commercial exploitation, we fail to recognize the inconsistency in allowing the pet industry to exploit the birds of other countries.”

Steps have been taken to protect many species of wild birds, but the pet bird industry still has a long way to go. The site has a link to a video that shows some of the difficulties of owning exotic birds.

On Sunday, make sure you stop to take a moment to appreciate the birds all around us and do your part to make sure birds are treated ethically. If you’re interested in helping out, please visit Born Free USA.

Timothy Martinez Jr. is a writer and freelance journalist. His work has been published in The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, Remapping Debate in New York City and other publications. He’s been a bird lover since he was young and currently lives in New Orleans, L.A.