I fully intended to get this post out in January…but better late than never!
One hundred years ago, in 1918:
The Carolina parakeet became officially extinct when the last individual died at the Cincinnati Zoo
Congress approved Daylight Savings Time
WWI officially ended and President Woodrow Wilson sailed to Europe (the first president to do so while in office) for the Paris Peace Conference
The Migratory Bird Treaty Act was signed into law
This statute makes it “illegal for anyone to take, possess, import, export, transport, sell, purchase, barter, or offer for sale, purchase, or barter, any migratory bird, or the parts, nests, or eggs of such a bird except under the terms of a valid permit” Over 1000 species are protected under the act, which is an international effort, with Conventions between the US and Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia. Protected birds include North American “residents” (such as chickadees and cardinals) as well as species that actually migrate between two disparate homes; game birds, such as ducks, geese, turkey, etc and non-native species (such as house sparrows and starlings) are not protected under the law.
To commemorate this landmark legislation–dubbed by Audubon as “the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed,” The National Audubon Society, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and National Geographic have partnered to declare 2018 as the Year of the Bird!
Now, in my life, every year is a year of the bird! But it’s exciting to see the widespread attention on our favorite feathered friends!
The goal of this initiative is to celebrate birds and to drum up support–of organizations and individuals–for bird conservation and appreciation. If you sign up here, you can join in the effort and officially indicate that YES! you support bird conservation! By signing up, you’ll receive a monthly newsletter, each of which focus on a different action related to bird conservation that everyone can participate in.
But wait–there’s more!
As for me, every year is a Year of the Bird for the Audubon Society, but they are making 2018 an even bigger bird year than usual, with bird-related stories on their website each month.
Throughout 2018, the National Geographic Society will include a bird-related feature story in each issue of National Geographic Magazine, publish two new bird-themed books (Birds of the Photo Ark and an update Field Guide), two new bird-themed tv specials (Planet of the Birds and Dino Bird), a photography exhibit at the National Geographic Museum in DC–and more.
As for me, I pledge to keep up with this blog of mine! I’ll post highlights from the official Year of the Bird campaign, and I’ll also post monthly stories, each featuring my experience with a different bird species. Of course, I’ll also include a smattering of my usual birdy books, music, crafts, and other bits that catch my interest!