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Why You Should Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day on May 9

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The second Saturday of May is nearly upon and that can only mean one thing: International Migratory Bird Day.

Every year the IMBD (no, not that one) aims to celebrate and publicize one of the most amazing occurrences throughout the world: bird migration. Millions of birds make the journey throughout the year, whether it’s a few hundred miles or more than a thousand miles. At the same time, millions of adults and kids watch the colorful birds fly by in wonder.

Bird migration doesn’t take place entirely in one day, which is why the events and celebration of International Migratory Bird Day happens throughout the year. Still, the second Saturday of May for the United States and Canada and the second Saturday in October for Latin America and the Caribbean are the perfect days to put a strong effort toward raising awareness about bird migration.

The theme for this year’s festivities is conservation because the health of our ecosystem is intricately tied to the health of birds.

Here’s more about the theme from the IMBD site:

Loss and degradation of habitat are primary threats to bird populations. The 2015 IMBD theme, Restore Habitat, Restore Birds, considers threats, such as urbanization and climate change, and suggests ways to get involved in habitat restoration projects at home, in communities, and further afield.

Here’s a look at some of the artwork that goes IMBD.

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To find an event near you, check out the Get Involved section of the IMBD site. You can also find some cool resources for kids like coloring books, factsheets, and more.

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.