Big Thicket National Preserve invites the public to join us in celebrating birds on May 14, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) 2016. The preserve joins more than 700 other sites throughout North, Central, and South America who are promoting festivals, educational programs, and conservation activities related to birds.

Staff will be offering two guided bird walks in Big Thicket National Preserve on May 14, on the Sundew Trail and the Pitcher Plant Trail. Both walks begin at 8 am. Participants can meet at either trailhead, or meet at the visitor center at 7:30 am and convoy to each trailhead. Everyone is encouraged to bring water, binoculars, and insect repellent.

There will also be birding-themed games and activities for kids at the visitor center, beginning at 10 am. Kids should be prepared for some outdoor activities, including a short bird walk.

For more information on these events, please call the visitor center at 409-951-6700. Staff can also recommend good birdwatching areas nearby for those who wish to go birdwatching on their own. Visit us on Facebook www.facebook.com/BigThicketNPS, Twitter www.twitter.com/BigThicketNPS, and Instagram www.instagram.com/BigThicketNPS.

While in reality every day is bird day, IMBD is traditionally celebrated in the U.S. and Canada on the second Saturday in May. Ultimately, the goals of IMBD are to connect people to nature through birds and to help people understand the importance of conserving birds and bird habitat.

Now in its 26th year, 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. To learn more about migratory bird habitats, download IMBD educational and promotional materials in Spanish and English, and search for activities planned in your area, visit http://www.migratorybirdday.org/.

Through many events held throughout the Americas, IMBD celebrations explore how birds have inspired some of the most significant environmental conservation actions.  For generations, migratory birds have connected communities across continents, providing unique opportunities for international collaboration and inspiring people to improve conditions for birds, all wildlife, and for ourselves.

National and international cooperation is an essential step toward safeguarding the world’s migratory birds, whose long-distance flights often cross political borders, exposing them to widely varying conservation philosophies and laws. “This year’s International Migratory Bird Day is a celebration of the capacity of individuals to compel world leaders to prioritize migratory bird conservation,” says Dr. Susan Bonfield, Executive Director of Environment for the Americas. “Collaboration and a commitment to actions that protect migratory birds along their entire flyways, and throughout their lifecycles, are crucial to safeguarding migratory populations.”

The Migratory Bird Treaty Act, enacted in 1916, has protected nearly all migratory bird species in the U.S. and Canada for the last century. By working together towards this common cause, we hope to initiate another century of bird conservation.

 For more information on The Big Thicket and other National Parks, visit www.nps.gov.

FILLER Big Thicket Birds