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Celebrate International Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, May 14, with Festivals, Bird Walks and Boat Tours


May 10, 2005

Jim Rothschild, 404/679-7291


With the arrival of spring, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several conservation organizations made an historic announcement on April 28. The Ivory-billed woodpecker, a species that has been thought to be extinct for more than 60 years, had been rediscovered in “The Corridor of Hope” in eastern Arkansas near Cache River National Wildlife Refuge. The rediscovery gives Americans a special reason to celebrate International Migratory Bird Day this Saturday, May 14, with festivals, bird walks, and birder’s boat tours throughout the Southeast.

“International Migratory Bird Day is celebrated annually on the second Saturday in May to focus attention on migratory birds, their journey between their winter and summer homes, and the importance of their conservation,” said Sam D. Hamilton, the Service’s Southeast Regional Director. “We encourage people to visit their local national wildlife refuge or natural area to enjoy a bird walk or boat tour and learn more about the migratory birds they see in their area.”

The theme for this year’s International Migratory Bird Day is “Collisions: Clear the Way for Birds.” To explore the human-related obstacles that birds may encounter in flight and the steps people can take to minimize the impact, please visit

Several refuges and communities are offering activities in recognition of International Migratory Bird Day. Here is a sampling of Service activities in the Southeast:

  • Palm Beach County, Florida: Arthur R. Marshall Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge, Audubon Society of the Everglades, and the Palm Beach Zoo at Dreher Park host International Migratory Bird Day at the Zoo. A total of fifteen agencies or nature centers will share their information about migratory birds with zoo visitors. Small children will be banded and as they "fly" through the zoo they will stop at various stations to be weighed, measured, and identified. This event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit

  • Folkston, Georgia: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge – Birder’s boat tour begins at 8 a.m.; beginner’s bird walk begins at 10:30 a.m.; bird activities and crafts begin at 10 a.m.; live bird demonstration begins at 1 p.m.; owl prowl program begins at 6 p.m. For more information, visit

  • Alexandria, Louisiana: Staff from Catahoula National Wildlife Refuge and the Central Louisiana Refuge will be participating in the Cenla Earth Fair at the Alexandria Zoo from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. At least 25 environmental booths with hands-on activities will be available. Special activities are planned for Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. There will be a display of the Junior Duck Stamp Competition winners. For more information, visit

  • Farmerville, Louisiana: Black Bayou Lake National Wildlife Refuge: From 9 a.m. until noon, refuge naturalist Guy Brantley and Northeast Louisiana Bird Club members offer birding activities appropriate for all ages. For more information, visit

  • Outer Banks, North Carolina: From May 12-15, a Spring Wings festival is being held in the Outer Banks. Highlights include an early morning shorebird excursion on May 14, at Oregon Inlet and the Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge; a keynote presentation, the Wonder of Shorebirds, on Friday evening on May 13, at Roanoke Island Festival Park; birding trips to observe offshore species; paddling trips with local guides; and bird walks. For more information, visit or contact the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce at 252-441-8144.

  • Union City, Tennessee: Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge will host an 8 a.m. bird walk on the Grassy Island Unit of the refuge. For more information, please visit

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal federal agency responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. The Service manages the 95-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge System that encompasses 544 national wildlife refuges, thousands of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70 national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices, and 78 ecological services field stations. The agency enforces federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act, manages migratory bird populations, restores national significant fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and wildlife agencies.

For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, visit our home page at or

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Phone: 404/679-7289 Fax: 404/679-7286

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