News & Features

International Migratory Bird Day

2017 marks the 24th year for International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) coordinated by Environment for the Americas. This is an international celebration highlighting the migration of nearly 350 bird species between their breeding grounds in North America and their wintering grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. This year, the theme is “Helping Birds Along the Way!” When birds migrate between nesting and wintering sites, they don’t just stop anywhere; they rely on a handful of resource-rich and strategically located sites where they may double their body weight as they acquire the energy-rich fat stores needed to fly thousands of kilometers across continents and oceans. These places are known as stopover sites. Learn more here, and document your spring and fall bird observations keenly using eBird and the eBird app. Whether you learn about a stopover site near your home, visit one far away, or create a safe place for birds in your backyard, your support can mean a safe journey for a migratory bird. Each species has its own migration story – learn more about the migration and stopover sites for species you commonly see, such as Tree swallow, Wilson’s warbler, Merlin, or Western sandpiper. This year, IMBD takes place on May 13th for the U.S. and Canada, and October 14th for Mexico, Central/South America, and the Caribbean. Spend the day outside and celebrate migratory birds at an event near you!