What a happy day! Today is the oldest of the American commemorative days set aside for birds. Today is simply called “Bird Day”. The other two commemorations are: International Migratory Bird Day next Saturday, and National Bird Day on January 5th.
May 4, 1894 was the first Bird Day. It was organized by the appropriately named Oil City, Pennsylvania school superintendent, Charles Babcock. Bird Day finally became established early in the 20th Century. Main events center around awareness and conservation training.
“Birds flock together in hard times. A bird in the bush is worth two in the hand. The American robin is not the same bird as the English. The bluebird and robin may be harbingers of spring, but the swallow is the harbinger of summer. The dandelion tells me to look for the swallow; the dog-toothed violet when to expect the wood thrush. . . . A loon was caught, by a set line for fishing, sixty-five feet below the surface of a lake in New York, having dived to that depth for a fish. The wood pewee, like its relative, the phoebe, feeds largely on the family of flies to which the house fly belongs. . . . Seventy-five per cent of the food of the downy woodpecker is insects. The cow blackbird lays its eggs in other birds’ nests, one in a nest. What happens afterwards?”–Charles Babcock, Bird Day: How To Prepare for It
He noted that the early American conservationists were concerned about birds. He stated that birds require protection as creatures of sentimental, aesthetic, economic, and moral interest to all people.
If you can do so, today is a great day to stop and enjoy the birds around you. Take a camera or binoculars on a walk through your neighborhood park. Better yet, plan a hike on an area nature trail if you have one near you.
The Blue Jay of Happiness sings, “Happy Bird Day To You”.