World Migratory Bird Days
2018 marked the 25th World Migratory Bird Day* (WMBD), the only bilingual educational program that celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species between their nesting habitats in North and South America, including the Caribbean. Each year WMBD explores a different aspect of migratory birds. In 2017, participants at more than 700 locations from Argentina to Canada learned about how protecting and restoring stopover sites can benefit migratory birds!
The first WMBD event held at Moraine Hills State Park was in 2009, and has continued yearly with coordinated efforts of park staff, volunteers, other environmental organizations and businesses.
Participants join in with a myriad of family fun activities including bird themed games such as Jeop-birdy, Fill the Bill, and Bird Bingo. All are given a passport to take to each station to be stamped, earning prizes on the number of stamps received. Experts are on hand to teach people how to properly use binoculars and lead short bird walks. At most events, live birds are on display with their caretakers. Near the end of the event, a drawing for a grand prize, such as a pair of binoculars, goes to a lucky winner!
This fall, World Migratory Bird Days was held September 15th at the McHenry Dam day use area. Did you miss us? Watch this space for next year's date!
*formerly known as International Migratory Bird Day
Photos by Bob Vetter and Paul Howerton