2018 Year of the Bird

In recognition of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act centennial, National Geographic, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Birdlife International, and the National Audubon Society have named 2018 the Year of the Bird.

According to National Geographic, “In 2018, we mark the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. In honor of this milestone, nature lovers around the world are joining forces to celebrate the Year of the Bird and commit to protecting birds today and for the next hundred years”. On their website at https://www.nationalgeographic.org/projects/year-of-the-bird/ you can sign up to receive notices on action you can take to help birds.

The Kachemak Bay Birders (KBB), along with many other birding organizations, have also adopted 2018 as the Year of the Bird. A resolution was recently submitted to the Homer City Council requesting the City to designate 2018 as the Year of the Bird in recognition of Homer’s significant importance for birds. A similar resolution will be submitted to the Kenai Peninsula Borough later in the month.

Kachemak Bay Birders will be identifying activities and actions local residents can do to help celebrate and recognize the importance of birds in our community. For more information, check out the Kachemak Bay Birders website at http://kachemakbaybirders.org. If you would like to sign up to be on the KBB email list go to: info@kachemakbaybirders.org.

One activity coming up is the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC), sponsored by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. The GBBC is held every year in mid-February. This year’s dates are Feb. 16-19. During this time period, you simply identify the species observed, how many of each species, and where they were observed. You can watch birds for as little as 15 minutes during this time period or however long you like. You can post your sightings online at: http://gbbc.birdcount.org or through eBird at http://ebird.org. eBird is a citizen science project to list bird sightings worldwide. More than 100 million bird sightings are contributed annually to eBird. Do you want to know if a particular bird has been sighted in Homer and when? then check out eBird. Your observations help scientists track the health and distribution of bird populations throughout the United States during a particular point in time.

Follow the KBB web site for posting of additional activities and actions that will be taking place throughout the year.

Michelle Michaud is a member of the Kachemak Bay Birders.