Brookfield Zoo Celebrates World Migratory Bird Day


All of us here at Brookfield Zoo would like you to join us in celebrating World Migratory Bird Day on Saturday May 9, 2020.

Held annually on the second Saturday each May, WMBD is celebrated throughout many countries throughout North and South America. Each year, there are almost 700 events dedicated to bringing awareness to the education, conservation, and importance of the many amazing migratory bird species that travel throughout these areas. In the United States alone, we have over 350 migrant species of birds that visit throughout the year. This year, the theme of World Migratory Bird Day is "Birds Connect our World".

Migratory bird species connect our world in a variety of ways. These species move through so many different cities, states, and even countries through multiple different habitats and environments to get to their final destinations. Birds provide educational, outdoor activities for people, such as going bird watching and enjoying bird feeders, and cultural significance through stories and traditions. They are pollinators that disperse different types of seeds, fruits, and flowers. They aid in pest and disease control by eating millions of insects and hundreds of pounds of carrion. Because they can be sensitive to small changes, birds are also indicators of healthy ecosystems. It is important to have clean stopover sites and habitats along these incredibly long journeys, so they can complete their flights from wintering to breeding grounds, as well as their voyages back.

This year, scientists throughout these countries are coming together to celebrate how birds migrate and the technologies we have to track their routes. Through the use of tracking devices, scientists are able to closely monitor these majestic animals. Learning where these birds go and how long they rest, can help scientists learn more about their biology, natural history and figure out which local habitats are needed to be protected or restored to help them complete their routes.

While the zoo traditionally hosts an event at the zoo, this year we are celebrating a little differently. We invite you to celebrate WMBD this upcoming Saturday through the Forest Preserves of Cook County’s annual World Migratory Bird Day Festival. We also encourage you to take some time outside to enjoy birds from your own backyards and neighborhoods. By adopting some of these seven simple challenges in the graphic below, you can take action to learn about and help many of the migratory bird species that travel all over, connecting our world.


Written by Maureen Ardaiolo, Lead Animal Keeper, Birds, at Brookfield Zoo


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Posted: 5/6/2020 5:06:35 PM by Sean Keeley

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