Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Get Acquainted with Avian Companions in Grand Tetons

Observance of the 2014 International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) gets underway at Grand Teton National Park and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway with a bird-watching caravan Saturday, May 10. To celebrate IMBD and also conduct the annual North American bird count, Park Ranger Andrew Langford will visit several areas throughout the park that provide the best opportunities to locate, identify and record birds.

Anyone interested in birds is welcome to participate. The bird-watching excursion begins at 8 a.m. from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose and finishes by 4 p.m. at Christian Pond by Jackson Lake Lodge. This public activity is free and reservations are not required.

Throughout the day, participants will take short walks at various locations, so those attending should wear comfortable shoes and bring a lunch, drinking water, warm clothing and rain gear. Bird field guides, binoculars and spotting scopes are also recommended items.

"Why Birds Matter: the Benefits of Birds to Humans and Nature" serves as the 2014 theme. This topic focuses expressly on the diversity of birds around the world, the incredible migrations they make each year and/or seasonally, and the fascinating range of behaviors, songs, and plumages that birds exhibit. Many bird species naturally provide insect and rodent control. Others disperse seeds and effectively revegetate disturbed areas. Still others assist in the pollination of flowering plants, trees, and shrubs which provide both food and beauty for humans. Beyond the utilitarian, birds often inspire artistic expression through paintings, photography, poetry, music and dance.

As always, the annual conservation theme is relevant to host organizations and participants throughout the world. Participation in Grand Teton's IMBD tour offers a chance to learn about the many benefits of birds and their unique contribution to the health and beauty of the natural areas in both northwestern Wyoming and around the world.

Observed each year in May to celebrate and support avian conservation, IMBD serves as the hallmark outreach event for Partners in Flight—an international conservation program with a goal to reverse dwindling populations of migratory birds by bringing attention to factors that contribute to worldwide declines.

For more information about International Migratory Bird Day and the North American Migration Count, please call the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307.739.3399. To learn more about the International Migratory go to http://www.birdday.org/birdday.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

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