This Saturday, people around the globe will be listening with a sharp ear, scanning the landscape and entering their bird sightings within the Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology’s EBird database. Global Big Days are a 24-hour celebration of birds, which support science by counting the number of birds and species seen across the world in a single day.
In addition to being a Global Big Day, Saturday is World Migratory Bird Day.
Interested parties can participate in the citizen science event for 15 minutes in one location or all day and night in various locations. The information gathered helps scientists to understand bird populations and related issues. The event encourages people — regardless of their level of experience — to get out and admire the spectacle of migration. These biannual GBD celebrations occur in May and October, in accordance with bird migration.
Birds migrate mostly at night to locate their summer and winter homes. They do so to avoid predators and take advantage of calmer weather. The impact of light pollution from homes, businesses, and infrastructure can confuse, disorientate and slow down the migratory process. Birds strike structures and as many as an estimated one billion across the U.S. die annually from these direct collisions.
This year’s World Migratory Bird Day 2022 campaign encourages people to “dim the lights for birds at night.” This a worldwide, year-long effort involving hundreds of organizations, such as the local Juneau Audubon Society, encourages everyone to reduce the impact of light pollution on birds. Some simple remedies are reducing the amount of light outside your home or place of business, directing all lighting down, and using red, orange or yellow lighting (rather than green and blue), if lighting is required.
To understand more about birds and migration, the Juneau Audubon Society is inviting the public to celebrate and learn by stopping by the Community Garden between 7-10 a.m. to witness a bird banding demonstration, if weather permits. This is a free event open to the public. JAS also encourages people to participate in this spring’s GBD.
• Contact the Juneau Empire newsroom at (907)308-4895.