Spring is coming and so are the birds! The City of Ashland Department of Parks and Recreation with many partners will again host the Rogue Valley Bird Festival Saturday May 14, 2016. The festival is our local celebration of International Migratory Bird Day. The event will feature expert-guided bird walks, thrilling programs featuring birds of prey by Wildlife Images Education Rehabilitation Center, a bird banding demonstration by Klamath Bird Observatory, and the ever very-popular bird calling contest! Details of activities are at the Rogue Valley Bird Festival website.
Now in its 26th year, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) has grown from a one-day event into a framework underpinning hundreds of projects and programs year-round. IMBD is coordinated by Environment for the Americas, which provides bilingual educational materials and information about birds and bird conservation throughout the Americas. Their programs inspire children and adults to get outdoors, learn about birds, and take part in their conservation.
In 2016, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) will focus on how birds have inspired many of the most significant environmental conservation actions in the Americas. This year marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty, a landmark agreement between the United States and Canada to protect our shared migratory birds. In subsequent years, several other nations signed the treaty including Mexico, Japan, and Russia. Participants at more than 700 local celebrations from Argentina to Canada and the Caribbean will learn how laws, regulations, treaties, and other protections benefit migratory birds, the symbolic harbingers of the seasons. This year’s IMBD theme – Spread Your Wings for Bird Conservation – recognizes the capacity of citizens in every country to support programs and laws that protect birds and their habitats – including the landmark Migratory Bird Treaty that for the last century has protected migratory bird species across the borders of the countries they call home.
The 2016 IMBD Spread Your Wings for Bird Conservation poster artwork illustrates 11 bird species which represent the importance of these agreements among governments. Ten of these species benefit from conservation laws that help protect migratory birds. One, the Carolina Parakeet, is extinct because of lack of protection in the early 1900’s. It serves as a reminder for the need to be involved in ensuring the future of migratory birds.