International Migratory Bird Day 5-11

Saturday, May 11, is International Migratory Bird Day. The title speaks for itself, I think. It’s a celebration of the billions of birds that migrate from the south to the north this time of year, and an educational opportunity to note the hazards of these fraught migrations.

IMBD is traditionally a time for birdathons, which raise money for good causes by getting people to pledge for each species seen by teams, and this year is no exception, although perhaps the causes are exceptional.

The Brooklyn Bird Club is raising money to buy some a mature Pin Oak and, hopefully, several saplings, for the Butterfly Meadow near the top of Lookout Hill in Prospect Park. The meadow was slammed by Sandy, which downed three mature oaks. All were grand old specimens, and notable for the insects they fed, and hence the migratory songbirds that fed on the insects. Check out this link for more information, to sign up and take part on a team, and/or donate.

Also, three great birders have teamed up to honor Starr Saphir, the legendary Central Park birder who passed away this past February. Donna, Lenore, and Sandy are raising funds for the American Bird Conservancy’s Cerulean Warbler Fund, in honor of Starr’s favorite bird. This spectacular cerulean blue animal well illustrates the hazards of these epic migrations; its habitat in Colombia has been reduced by 90% due to human activity, and the Fund is attempting to preserve what’s left. For more information and/or to contribute to team “Friends of Starr Saphir,” email

By coincidence, I am doing one of my Listening Tours on May 11 as part of NYC Wildflower Week. This start at 6am and runs about an hour and half, so you can get plenty of birding in during the rest of the day. Click here for more information and to sign up.

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