Wednesday, May 6, 2015

International Migratory Bird Day: “Restore Habitat, Restore Birds”

For over two decades, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) has been recognized around the world by biologists, conservationists and birdwatchers to bring awareness of issues disrupting bird migration. Since 1993, the celebration has expanded to over 700 worldwide events with educational programs and materials available year-round to help inform the public about the need to conserve bird habitats and the ability of the birds to migrate.

While the officially celebrated IMBD date in the US and Canada is the second Saturday in May and the second Saturday in October in Latin America and the Caribbean, migratory bird conservation is a 365-day-a-year job. As birds do not migrate on a single day, Pet Health Market wants to provide our blog readers with some conservation tips and solutions to help the birds on their instinctual journeys.

Leash your pets: Migrating birds can be frightened, chased and killed by dogs and cats not on a leash.

Do not handle young chicks: Young birds leaving their mother’s nest for the first time may spend a few days on the ground before they can fly. This is normal, so keep yourself and pets at a distance. The mother bird may still be caring for any chicks on the ground, but contact a wildlife rehabilitation expert if you feel this bird has been orphaned.

Clean bird feeders: Dirty feeders can be a breeding ground for disease, so disinfect them. Replace old bird seed and replenish bird bath water to avoid transmitting disease.

Recycle and use cloth shopping bags: Birds will often mistake plastic trash with food, so be sure to bring your own reusable shopping bags to the grocery store and recycle.

Avoid harmful chemicals: Some pesticides and herbicides can have a toxic effect on birds and their chicks. Be sure to check the labels on all chemicals you use outdoors.

Plant native plants: Plant and care for native vegetation that will provide food, shelter and a nesting area for a migrating bird.