Moab Bird Club to host International Migratory Bird Day celebration May 4
May 02, 2013 | 867 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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A robin roosts on the small branch of a tree. Photos by Nick Eason
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The Moab Bird Club is joining forces with The Nature Conservancy and the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources (UDWR) to revive an annual tradition – celebrating International Migratory Bird Day. The public is invited to participate in the event on Saturday, May 4, which will include a brief presentation and guided bird walks.

UDWR biologist Brent Stettler, along with local birders, will host participants at The Nature Conservancy’s Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve, 934 W. Kane Creek Blvd., from 8 a.m. until noon. Participants are encouraged to bring binoculars and water and wear sturdy shoes, according to a news release about the event.

With its miles of paths that pass through a variety of habitat, the Matheson Preserve serves as a place for migratory birds to feed and rest while birds that settle in the region for summer are still establishing their territories.

Each December, for the last 28 years, Moab birders have braved snow, sleet, and freezing temperatures to participate in the Audubon Christmas Bird Count, which began in 1900 to count and census birds. The Christmas Bird Count is now held in communities across the United States and provides scientists and citizens “with a better understanding of the winter bird populations and changes that might be occurring,” according to the news release.

Warmer temperatures make May a far more hospitable and exciting time than winter to watch birds, event organizers said. A variety of migratory birds are now winging their way north to their summer breeding grounds, tuning up their songs, and flashing colorful breeding plumage.

Created in 1993, the migratory bird event is intended to increase public awareness and involvement in bird conservation, according to the news release. The yearly spring count gives birders and other participants the opportunity to contribute to the nationwide database, which will reveal a picture of the progress of spring migration and provide information about the abundance and distribution of each migrating species.

“Like the Christmas bird count, this one is a crucial tool in bird study as they are critical indicators of the environmental health upon which we all depend as well as being economically important and a priceless part of America’s natural heritage,” organizers said in the news release.

For more information, contact Kay McLean at 435-259-6199.

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