Programs and Resources to Connect People with Birds
Environmentalist Baba Dioum said, "In the end we will conserve only what we love. We will love only what we understand. We will understand only what we are taught."
The Migratory Bird Program mission is conserving bird populations and habitat for the benefit of current and future generations. One of the ways we do this is by helping to educate and engage our nation's youth - our future conservation stewards - in wildlife conservation principles and issues, to instill in them an understanding of and an appreciation for wildlife and nature.
Parents and educators and caregivers play an important role in helping to nurture our children's understanding of and connection with nature. We have education resources such as fact sheets, multimedia products and curricula for anyone who wants to help young people explore and appreciate our natural world and the important roles birds play in our lives and the health of the environment. Whether in the classroom or backyard, or at a park or a national wildlife refuge, opportunities to educate and explore abound.
Our hallmark education initiative is the Junior Duck Stamp Conservation and Design Program. For more than 20 years, the Junior Duck Stamp program has taught wetlands and waterfowl conservation to students in kindergarten through high school. The program incorporates scientific and wildlife management principles into a visual arts curriculum, with participants completing a Junior Duck Stamp design as their visual "term papers." Students compete in annual art competitions at the state and national level, and the winning design is made into the Junior Duck Stamp, which sells for $5 and raises money for environmental education.
Four Junior Duck Stamp Program curriculum guides offer lesson plans focusing on scientific principles, our changing natural world, and fun. Two of the guides are designed specifically for home school and non-formal education settings, and one is for student use. Contact your state Junior Duck Stamp coordinator to learn how to participate.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service annually partners with Environment for the Americas as a sponsor of International Migratory Bird Day, which celebrates and brings attention to one of the most important and spectacular events in the Americas - bird migration. IMBD is celebrated in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean at protected areas, refuges, parks, museums, schools, zoos, and more. More than 600 events and programs hosted annually introduce the public to migratory birds and ways to conserve them.
Another education program, the Shorebird Sister Schools Program, is a science-based environmental education program designed to engage participants in learning about shorebirds and their conservation. Shorebird Sister Schools connects schools along the Pacific Flyway from Alaska to Latin America, where many birds spend the winter.
Because education is a lifelong journey, we also offer many resources for people of all ages who want to learn about conservation and discover the joys of birding. You can find information about bird identification, places to find birds, choosing equipment and much more in our Bird Enthusiasts section.