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International Migratory Bird Day celebrations in San Diego this Saturday

An American Avocet rests during her migration up the coast of California.
An American Avocet rests during her migration up the coast of California.
Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

One again, it’s that time for the International Migratory Bird Day. The 2014 date is this Saturday, May 10th. It usually takes place the second Saturday of May each year throughout the western hemisphere. The promoters of the day, the Environment for the Americas recognizes that not every place can celebrate on that day and remind everyone that every day is “Bird Day”.

In San Diego, even though many of our migrating birds have departed for the north, there will be IMBD activities at the Tijuana River National Estuarine Research Reserve. Events begin at 8:30 a.m. with a guided bird walk suitable for all members of the family. The featured lecture, given by biologist Kate Goodenough, will be on tracking the gull-billed tern, a special resident of the South Bay. The afternoon concludes with “Why Birds Matter” with crafts and activities oriented for children. For more information, call the TRNERR at 619-575-3613. All events are free.

San Diego has many important resting areas for migratory bird making this area a bird and wildlife watcher’s delight. Hundreds of species pass through the area from September to May each year. Many of these species breed in the high arctic in remote areas. Shorebirds and waterfowl both use the area to rest and feed on their way to and from the arctic. Other birds, such as many species of terns and tanagers, migrate north to breed in the San Diego area during the summer.

The Environment for the Americas has a website with several activities and ideas for you or your organization to have your own celebration for IMBD. There are coloring pages, games, birding tips, and educational materials one can print out for immediate use. Games and activities can be printed in both English and Spanish. Visit www.birdday.org for more ideas and free materials.