Spreading Our Wings for International Migratory Bird Day 2016


I have been observing the birds in our yard today and wondering if they sense the approaching hurricane. The unusually wet weather has brought one charming visitor to our garden though – the Ovenbird, who has been running in erratic bursts along the ground, tipping his tail, turning over leaves to find insects.

An Ovenbird going for a stroll. The wonderful American poet Robert Frost wrote a poem about the Ovenbird, which begins: There is a singer everyone has heard, Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird, Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again. The bird spends its summers in the eastern United States, and winters in the Caribbean and Central America. (Photo: hotspotbirding.com)
An Ovenbird going for a stroll. American poet Robert Frost wrote a poem about the Ovenbird, which begins: “There is a singer everyone has heard,
Loud, a mid-summer and a mid-wood bird,
Who makes the solid tree trunks sound again.” The bird spends its summers in the eastern United States, and winters in the Caribbean and Central America. (Photo: hotspotbirding.com)

Now, the Ovenbird is one of those lovely migratory birds that this article from BirdsCaribbean is referring to. Large and small, these birds somehow, miraculously appear on our shores. I welcome them, and hope they will shelter well from the storm. You can find this article on the BirdsCaribbean website here.

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October 1, 2016

Spreading Our Wings for International Migratory Bird Day 2016

October 1, 2016—There’s a rustling in the hedgerow, and a fluttering in the branches. In the Caribbean islands, we are starting to hear different voices and our gardens and landscapes are filled with bright new colors. Our “winter visitors” are arriving, and we welcome them every year.

Many may be surprised to learn that the Caribbean is a winter home for dozens of different migratory bird species. Now in its 26th year, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) highlights the amazing story of these birds and the importance of protecting them. While IMBD events happen across the Western Hemisphere throughout the year, most Caribbean events happen in the October, a particularly busy month for migratory birds in the West Indies.

Environment for the Americas (EFTA) coordinates IMBD across the Western Hemisphere. BirdsCaribbean is the regional organizer, coordinating all kinds of activities throughout the islands. Refuges, parks, museums, schools, botanical gardens and protected areas host events that reach about 100,000 people each year just in the Caribbean.

The 2016 theme is Spread Your Wings for Bird Conservation, in recognition of the Centennial of the U.S. Migratory Bird Treaty, which makes it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill or sell migratory birds. The treaty does not discriminate between live or dead birds, and also grants full protection to any bird parts including feathers, eggs and nests. Over 800 species are currently on the list of protected birds.

The annual IMBD art is a key component of the program and highlights the annual conservation theme. Each of the 11 bird species featured on the 2016 poster represents the importance of protections for birds. The Carolina Parakeet, now extinct, is a reminder that the unregulated hunting of birds or use of their feathers for ornamentation, for example, can result in the complete loss of a species. The remaining 10 species are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and other international agreements.
The annual IMBD art is a key component of the program and highlights the annual conservation theme. Each of the 11 bird species featured on the 2016 poster represents the importance of protections for birds. The Carolina Parakeet, now extinct, is a reminder that the unregulated hunting of birds or use of their feathers for ornamentation, for example, can result in the complete loss of a species. The remaining 10 species are protected by the Migratory Bird Treaty, the Convention on Biological Diversity, and other international agreements.

This year IMBD partners seek to highlight how laws, treaties and protected areas help conserve our migratory birds, and what the average citizen can do to help. The beautiful 2016 IMBD poster shows eleven migratory bird species in flight, ten of which have benefited from conservation laws. One of these species is the Whimbrel, one of the widest-ranging shorebirds in the world that can fly for 4,000 kilometers non-stop. The poster was designed by Canada-based artist Lionel Worrell, who spent his early years in the Caribbean.

These delightful birds, that travel so far every year, represent a significant part of the biodiversity of the Americas. They are cause for celebration! BirdsCaribbean invites its friends and partners across the region to engage in activities that will not only help these birds continue to spread their wings across the ocean, for example by preserving their habitats. The IMBD events also aim to educate and inform Caribbean residents (young and not so young) on their remarkable lives.

How many migratory birds can you find on your island this winter? Let’s spread our wings and celebrate our remarkable feathered friends!

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For more information, and to arrange an interview, please contact: Ingrid Flores, Regional Coordinator of IMBD Caribbean, BirdsCaribbean  Email: imbdcoordinator.pr@gmail.com

International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is the largest-known bird conservation and education event of its kind in the Western Hemisphere. IMBD was initiated in 1993 by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center. It is currently coordinated by Environment for the Americas, Boulder, Colorado, under the direction of Susan Bonfield, Executive Director. For more details, see: http://www.migratorybirdday.org (it’s a beautiful website).

BirdsCaribbean is a vibrant international network of members and partners committed to conserving Caribbean birds and their habitats. We raise awareness, promote sound science, and empower local partners to build a region where people appreciate, conserve and benefit from thriving bird populations and ecosystems. We are a non-profit (501 (c) 3) membership organization. More than 100,000 people participate in our programs each year, making BirdsCaribbean the most broad-based conservation organization in the region. You can learn more about us, our work, and how to join at: http://www.birdscaribbean.org (also a beautiful website!)

 

 

 

 

 

 


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