The unusually warm weather last November was the perfect time for my parents and I to visit a local family-oriented attraction filled with activities that focus on enjoying nature, as well as educating the public on environmental conservation. The location is Fontenelle Forest, which is a 1,400-acre forest located in Bellevue, Nebraska. While visiting Fontenelle Forest, tourists can enjoy the area’s sights and sounds by visiting the nature center, exploring the hiking trails, and visiting the Fontenelle Forest Raptor Recovery area.
My latest visit to Fontennelle Forest reminded me of the importance of conserving and caring for birds of prey that have been injured and are no longer able to survive in the wild. Some of the birds housed at Fontenelle Forest include eagles, falcons, hawks, owls and vultures which all play a vital role in our ecosystem. There are almost 10,000 different bird species around the world, and 850 of those inhabit the United States. According to Born Free USA, 12% of those 10,000 are in danger of extinction.
The Avian Welfare Coalition, along with an organization named Born Free USA, created National Bird Day in 2002 in an effort to raise awareness about endangered species, especially those that are not native to the country, as well as educate the public in how to protect birds and their habitats, both captive and in the wild.
There are many ways to celebrate National Bird Day whether you are a bird novice or an enthusiast. One great activity would be to try birdwatching. This is a great way to learn about different bird species in your area. Another idea would be to add a bird feeder or shelter in your garden.
More information about birds can be found in the Bellevue University Library. Print resources can be borrowed for three (3) weeks.
NOVA. Bird Brain (Video)
Attenborough’s Birds of Paradise (Video: 52:01)
The avian migrant: The biology of bird migration. By John Rappole
Bird sense: What it’s like to be a bird. By Tim Birkhead
Birds of Australia: A Photographic Guide. By Iain Campbell, Sam Woods, Nick Leseberg, and Geoff Jones.
Source: National Bird Day