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Through the Lens

It’s World Migratory Bird Day!

Sat, May 12, 2018

Today marks World Migratory Bird Day.

“It is an amazing thought that a bird outside your window has traveled thousands of miles across oceans and continents to be there. Its appearance could be your welcome first sign of summer, while in six months’ time it could herald winter for a faraway nation. Migratory birds transcend borders to connect all of us in shared wonderment. They inspire nations to collaborate to provide water, food and shelter – to the benefit of ourselves as well as our wildlife. Migratory birds bring people and wildlife around the world together, and that is worth celebrating.” said Martin Spray CBE Chief Executive of the Wildfowl & Wetlands Trust (WWT)

Since 1993, International Migratory Bird Day has been celebrated during the second weekend in May in the Western Hemisphere, coordinated by Environment for the Americas and sponsored by dozens of organizations dedicated to birds and bird conservation.

This year, Environment for the Americas joins the Convention on Migratory Species and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds to create a single, global bird conservation education campaign. World Migratory Bird Day is now celebrated in May and October and brings attention to one of the most important and spectacular events in the Americas – bird migration.

For 2018, World Migratory Bird Day celebrates the year of the bird and the ways we can help protect birds every day through actions, stories and art.

There are several ways to help migratory birds and support conservation. Join a conservation organization. Volunteer for organizations that conserve habitat and help birds. Restore natural habitat in your community and cultivate native plants that provide food, nest sites and cover for birds.

One of the best ways to support migratory birds and wetland conservation in the U.S. is to buy a Migratory Bird Hunting and Conservation Stamp, commonly known as the federal duck stamp.

There are several reasons to buy duck stamps for non hunters and hunters both. . A federal duck stamp is required to legally hunt migratory waterfowl in the United States.  A duck stamp covers the entrance fees and provides important funding for our national wildlife refuges. Because duck stamp funding does so much to support migratory bird conservation, even non hunting bird enthusiasts buy them to directly support this worthy cause. Whether you purchase a duck stamp to use hunting, to use to cover entrance fees to NWR’s , or to help support conservation; Why not buy a couple of them each year to help waterfowl and support our migrating birds, our hunting traditions, and our valuable National Wildlife Refuges, ? I like to give them as gifts - it’s a gift that keeps on giving year round for those who receive them.

So, in the spirit of World Migratory Bird Day, here some images of the migrants that have passed through my neighborhood this spring.

The pair of white faced ibis that hung around the Kaskaskia SFWA for a couple of weeks were quite the entertaining pair to watch, and somewhat unusual to see in southwest Illinois.
Lots of other shore birds and waders seemed to find the refuges at Rend Lake and Kaskaskia SFWA a great place to stop over for a few days.

Grab the binos, go for a walk or boat ride and see how many migrating species you can find this weekend as we all celebrate World Migratory Bird Day !

Visit for more information about World Migratory Bird Day.