Bandelier has chosen a local bird to celebrate each month in 2018, the Year of the Bird, and the bird for January is the raven. Courtesy/NPS
In October 1918, a profoundly important law was passed – the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. It made it unlawful to pursue, hunt, take, capture, kill, or sell birds listed in the Act as migratory birds.
It came into being in a time when the survival of many bird species was threatened by the commercial trade in birds and especially bird feathers.
Since 2018 is the centennial of the Act, people all over the world are celebrating by declaring it the “Year of the Bird” (YOTB). Major sponsors include National Geographic, Audubon, BirdLife International and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology.
Bandelier National Monument has signed up as an official participant in YOTB. For starters, park staff encourage everyone to look up the National Geographic website for Year of the Bird. In it, readers are offered the chance to “Count Me In”, to sign up to receive monthly suggestions for “easy actions that can be taken to make a difference for birds and for the planet.”
Bandelier will be providing monthly activities and special press releases and Facebook posts related to those actions. In addition, park staff have chosen a local bird to focus on each month.
Bandelier Year of the Bird Schedule:
- January: Get out information about YOTB. Bird: Raven;
- February: Great Backyard Bird Count, Feb. 16-19. Bird: Sandhill Crane;
- March: Pollinator gardens. Bird: White-throated Swift;
- April: Your favorite bird-friendly action. Bird: Broad-Tailed Hummingbird;
- May: Global Bird Day and Birdblitz. Bird: Yellow-Rumped Warbler;
- June: Recycling. Bird: Western Tanager;
- July: Getting children out into Nature. Bird: our National Bird, the Bald Eagle;
- August: Activities related to bird research. Bird: Ash-throated Flycatcher;
- September: Look for hazards that affect birds, including windows. Bird: Turkey Vulture;
- October: Global Bird Day and Birdblitz. Bird: Great-Horned Owl;
- November: Social Media photo contest. Bird: Wild Turkey; and
- December: Christmas Bird Count. Bird: White-Breasted Nuthatch.
Those who follow the park Facebook page have already seen three posts on the January bird, the raven, and there will be at least one more. Throughout the year, details on activities and birds-of-the-month will be provided on the park’s Facebook, Twitter, and news media, as well as the park website, www.nps.gov/band
. Bandelier National Monument staff hope that visitors as well as members of the local community will join them in participating in Year of the Bird, help protect our feathered friends, and celebrate the importance and enjoyment of birds in our lives.