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Ways to Enjoy International Migratory Bird Day

Every second Saturday of May, birders across Canada and the United States bring attention to one of the most awesome and important natural events in the Americas: bird migration.

International Migratory Bird Day, which falls on May 10 this year, aims to raise awareness about birds by encouraging events around a theme. This year’s theme is “Why Birds Matter.”

Although the actual day is in May for Canada and the U.S. and in October for Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean, the organization makes a point to emphasize that the day doesn’t work for everyone. Birds may already be gone or haven’t arrived yet in some regions, which is why they want people to celebrate birds everyday.

But if you’re looking to get in on the action this weekend, here are some ways to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD).

Find an IMBD Celebration

The best way to celebrate the day is to find an official celebration. If you do a quick Google News search of the term “International Migratory Bird Day,” you’ll see that cities and groups across Canada and the U.S. are holding events. You can find celebrations on the IMBD site or by contacting your local Audubon Society.

Go on a Bird Walk

If there are no official IMBD celebrations in your area, you can always go on a regular bird walk. In nearly every town, groups hold bird walks every Saturday. This is a fun way to get outside to see some birds and talk with others. Bird Walks are frequently organized by the local Audubon Society.

Make a Bird Feeder

Making a bird feeder, whether out of a pine cone or a milk carton, is a great way to spend the Saturday with your kids or grandkids. You can find 19 homemade bird feeder ideas here and discuss the importance of birds while making the feeder.

Take a Friend Birding

What better way to spread knowledge about birds than grabbing a friend and taking him or her birding? It’s not always easy to get someone to go birding because of people’s preconceived notions (birding is for old people, it’s boring, etc.), but a personal bird walk is a great opportunity to share with someone why birds matter.

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.