SALT LAKE CITY – Governor Gary R. Herbert has declared May 2018 as the Month of the Bird in Utah. The declaration celebrates native and migratory birds making their way through Utah this time of year and the Beehive State’s remarkable landscapes and water resources that support them.
“May is a great month for residents and visitors to celebrate the important and inspirational role of birds that live in and migrate through our state. I want to thank National Audubon Society for their efforts in protecting birds and the places they need in Utah and beyond,” said Governor Gary R. Herbert.
A number of longstanding events providing educational and recreational birding opportunities occur in Utah every May, such as the Great Salt Lake Bird Festival, now in its 20th year.
Home to 22 Important Bird Areas and more than 400 observed species, the Governor’s declaration recognizes that Utah’s natural resources provide important habitat for birds. Great Salt Lake and its wetlands, for instance, serve as an important breeding and stopover area for millions of migratory birds each year.
“The wonders of Great Salt Lake hold something for everyone. Seeing Killdeer around the shores of the lake takes me back to my childhood growing up on a farm in Delta - it was always my favorite bird,” said Michael Styler, executive director for Utah’s Department of Natural Resources. “The Department of Natural Resources, along with other local, state, and federal partners, conservation organizations, academia, and businesses, play important and shared roles in protecting Great Salt Lake for migratory birds.”
In addition to May as Month of the Bird in Utah, people around the world are celebrating 2018 as Year of the Bird. This year marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, one of the oldest wildlife protection laws in the United States. In honor of this milestone, National Geographic, Audubon, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and dozens of other partners around the world joined forces to celebrate 2018 as the Year of the Bird.
“Year of the Bird is an easy way people can take small everyday actions to help birds along their journeys,” said David Yarnold, president and CEO for National Audubon Society. “Utah is a critical stopover for birds like the Western Sandpiper that refuel at Great Salt Lake on their way to nest and raise their young in Alaska. We’d like to thank Governor Herbert for declaring May as Month of the Bird and recognizing the importance of birds and the places we share.”
Many conservation organizations, businesses and academics have been instrumental in protecting birds and the places they need in Utah. In celebrating May as the Month of the Bird and 2018 Year of the Bird, there is great appreciation for the efforts of many organizations, including local Audubon chapters, The Nature Conservancy in Utah, FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake, Great Salt Lake Institute (Westminster College), waterfowl associations and duck clubs, and many others.
Upcoming events include:
- May 5 is the 4th annual Global Big Day, the largest single-day birding event in the world.
- May 9-11 is the 12th Biennial Great Salt Lake Issues Forum – FRIENDS of Great Salt Lake
- May 11-12 is the first International Bird Day Tour in Western Box Elder County
- May 12 is World Migratory Bird Day at Scott M. Matheson Wetlands Preserve in Moab - Utah Division of Wildlife Resources and The Nature Conservancy in Utah
- May 12-13 is the 13th annual Urban Bird Festival at Tracy Aviary
- May 12 is the 25th International Migratory Bird Day in North America
- May 17-21 is the 20th Annual Great Salt Lake Bird Festival – Davis County
- Throughout May and June, residents and visitors around the West are encouraged help document bird observations for the first ever National Audubon Society Western Rivers Bird Count
- Join the world in celebrating 2018 Year of the Bird at www.birdyourworld.org