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May 13, 2017 / Leslie

Weekend Birding: International Migratory Bird Day

Celebrate Birds

Today is International Migratory Bird Day, an annual event that highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Environment for the Americas invites us to join their celebration of the importance of stopover sites and their habitats:

Whether you learn about a stopover site near your home, visit one far away, or create a safe place for birds in your backyard, your support can mean a safe journey for a migratory bird. Join the celebration!

Focal Species

This year’s banner features several focal species that could use our help. I have had the pleasure of seeing most of these birds and have featured several of them on Weekend Birding.

One of the most fascinating is the Ruby-throated Hummingbird. Despite their size, they migrate from the Eastern US to Central America, and to get there they must fly across the Gulf of Mexico; an amazing feat for this tiny bird.

Make Your Yard A Stopover Site

Migrating birds need shelter, food, water, and a safe haven. Make your yard a place where they can have these needs met, and you will be richly rewarded with their presence.

  • Plant native vegetation for cover and as a source of insects, seeds and fruits, and provide fresh water. Encourage your neighbors to do the same.
  • If feeders are put out for migrating hummingbirds, make sure the feeders are kept clean and the sugar water is changed regularly. Hummingbirds will continue their migration when they need to, so don’t worry about how long to leave the feeders out.
  • Your yard will become part of a network of sites that help support these amazing migrants as they travel between their breeding and wintering grounds.

If you build it, they will come!

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Leave a Comment
  1. Laurel-Rain Snow / May 13 2017 3:18 pm

    Hummingbirds are gorgeous, and I haven’t seen an actual one for many years…but I do believe I used to see them when I was a kid. Is that possible, since I live in California?

    Beautiful photo.


    • Leslie / May 13 2017 3:53 pm

      Yes, definitely! California is home to many species of hummingbirds. We only see one, the Ruby-throated, here in Illinois.

      That is one of my favorite photos. I took it during migration and was surrounded by hungry hummingbirds feeding in the jewel weed. Usually they fly away when they see people, but these guys (that is a female in the photo) were feasting on the nectar and didn’t even care I was there.


  2. Suko / May 13 2017 4:08 pm

    What a lovely post! I noticed a few hummingbirds here this morning. Have a wonderful weekend, Leslie!


  3. BermudaOnion / May 13 2017 8:40 pm

    What a lovely photo! We love to watch hummingbirds.


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