Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day At Alligator River Refuge
“Helping Birds Along the Way” is the theme for this year’s International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), the only international education program that celebrates the migration of nearly 350 bird species between their nesting habitats in North America and wintering grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.
You are invited to join staff for a tram ride around the refuge on Saturday, May 13, from 9am to noon, as we see how many migratory birds we can find and learn about the importance of the refuge for these birds. To guarantee a seat, you may register ahead of time by calling 252-216-9464. The fee is $10 for anyone 13 years of age and older. Those 12 and under free with one or more paying adults. Tram seating is limited. Dress for the weather! Meet at Creef Cut Trail parking lot (Milltail Road and HWY 64 west of Manns Harbor).
This year IMBD will celebrate the importance of stopover sites, crucial refuges where migratory birds rest and refuel before continuing their remarkable journeys.
According to Refuge Wildlife Biologist Becky Harrison, “The National Wildlife Refuges in northeastern North Carolina provide a wide range of diverse habitats for bird communities including grasslands, maritime shrub, estuarine marsh, barrier dunes, wetlands, mud/salt flats, and open water.
“This area represents the approximate midpoint of the Atlantic Flyway, an important migration route, which provides critical feeding and resting areas for numerous groups of migratory birds including wintering waterfowl, wintering and breeding shorebirds, nesting colonial waterbirds, and neotropical songbirds.
“While the highest diversity of bird species occur during the spring and fall periods, the summer season still brings many birding opportunities as returning migratory neotropical songbirds and shorebirds nest and raise young. Refuge visitors can help protect these birds and habitats by following refuge policies and avoiding disturbance of birds and nesting sites.”
“Through International Migratory Bird Day, we work to engage people of all ages to make their homes and communities safe places for birds,” says Susan Bonfield, Executive Director of Environment for the Americas.
“There are many small actions that people can take to help protect migratory birds.” One way that people can help birds along their way, says Bonfield, is to transform their backyards into safe stopover sites by planting native vegetation, providing fresh water, and keeping cats indoors.”
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