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Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day with Virtual Festival

Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day on May 9, 2020

Join the Forest Preserves of Cook County and partners on Saturday, May 9, for a virtual birding festival! “Attendees” will learn about the journeys of migratory birds, how we study them, examine the threats they face along the way, and what we can do in our own communities and at home to protect them.

Below is a schedule of events and list of available programs and activities to celebrate birds any time. Keep an eye on this page as we add new options.


Facebook Live Schedule

  • 8 am: Bird Banding: Join naturalists at Sagawau Environmental Learning Center to witness live research on birds using the scientific technique of banding to track migration. Learn how banding connects our world and how its results inform bird conservation.
  • 9:30 am: Hawk Talk (with a Falcon!): Meet River Trail Nature Center’s American kestrel and learn what makes this migratory raptor so unique.
  • 11 am: All about Ruby-throated Hummingbirds: Join Little Red Schoolhouse Nature Center and learn all about the ruby-throated hummingbird and how to make hummingbird feeders with homemade hummingbird nectar. 
  • 11:30 am: Todo sobre el colibrí garganta de rubí: ¡Celebre el Día Mundial de las Aves Migratorias con nosotros en Face Book Live! Únase a nosotros y aprenda todo sobre el colibrí garganta de rubí y cómo hacer comederos para colibríes con néctar de colibrí casero.
  • 12:30 pm: Bird Banding: Join naturalists at Sagawau Environmental Learning Center to witness live research on birds using the scientific technique of banding to track migration. Learn how banding connects our world and how its results inform bird conservation.
  • 2 pm: Interview with a Vulture: Learn about Crabtree Nature Center’s resident turkey vulture, who is celebrating his 40th birthday this year.

Activities & Videos

  • Backyard Birds: Watch videos on birds you might spot at your backyard birdfeeder or around your neighborhood
  • Dress Like a Bird: Participate in this fun campaign by putting together an outfit inspired by the migratory bird you love most. Take a picture of your feathered fashion and submit it to volunteer.fpd@cookcountyil.gov. Please be sure to include the species of bird that served as your muse. View this gallery for inspiration.

Partner Programs & Activities

  • Audubon Great Lakes: Observación de aves virtual (Virtual Bilingual Bird Sit) – Saturday, May 9, 10-10:30 am. Join Lake County Wild Indigo Coordinator, Refugio Mariscal, as he explores the sounds and observations of the various birds and wildlife of Greenbelt Forest Preserve in North Chicago! | Únete al Coordinador de Wild Indigo de Lake County, Refugio Mariscal, mientras explora los sonidos y observaciones de las aves y la vida silvestre de Greenbelt Forest Preserve en North Chicago!
  • Chicago Audubon Society: Chicago is the wintering grounds or migratory stopover for large numbers of birds that breed in the Boreal Forest, which is known as North America’s “Bird Nursery.” Join Dr. Jeffrey Wells, Vice President of Boreal Conservation for National Audubon and a Fellow of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, in this 45-minute recorded program, as he illustrates the crucial importance of this vast bird nursery.
  • Chicago Bird Collision Monitors: Check out CBCM’s Facebook page for the video “Home Bird-Safe Home” to learn some DIY ways to make your windows safer for birds while you are staying safe at home!
  • Chicago Botanic Garden: Watch the birds in your neighborhood to see what they are doing. Use this scavenger hunt worksheet to keep track of different bird behaviors you see. Make a bird nesting bag to provide birds with interesting materials for their nests. Learn more about the birds that visit the Garden by browsing posts on their birding webpage.
  • Chicago Ornithological Society: Check out the “Plover Watch 2020” video, featuring Sarah Saunders, to learn about efforts to aid the recovery of the population of Great Lakes Piping Plovers. Also featured is a panel of experts who answer questions about what is in store for Monty and Rose as they return to Montrose Beach.
  • Deb’s Big Backyard on Facebook: Join freelance journalist Deb Quantock McCarey and nature videographer/editor Kevin J. McCarey on Facebook to view the “COVID-19 Peace in a Pandemic Urban Birding” video series.
  • Field Museum: Warm up for World Migratory Bird Day by joining Field Museum ecologist Doug Stotz and Monty & Rose filmmaker Bob Dolgan in a round of #FieldBirdBingo on Twitter this Thursday, May 7, 9:30-10:30 am. Get the bird bingo card, then head outside to see how many can you spot—and if you can get “BINGO” before Doug or Bob!
  • Forest Preserve Foundation: Join in a game of bird bingo. During your walks or bike rides, check off any birds you see that are pictured on the game cards. When you fill a row, yell “Bingo!” Then take a photo of your completed card, share it on social media and tag the Forest Preserve Foundation using the hashtag #FPFBingo.
  • Friends of the Forest Preserves: Field Organizers from the Friends of the Forest Preserves will share quick peeks into how volunteers help support visiting populations of migratory birds across prairies, wetlands and woodlands in Cook County. Join them on Facebook and Instagram TV throughout this special day and find out how you can get involved. 
  • The Nature Conservancy: Read about the top 10 birds you’re most likely to see outside your window, and then watch “Beckoning the Birds” to help you turn your yard into a birding oasis!
  • University of Illinois Extension: Check out this program for a thoughtful way to incorporate birds—and all their joy—into your garden. Join Peggy Doty, extension educator, to consider not only the bird’s needs but also the needs of you, your family, pets and of course the current plants in your garden. You can also find handouts, activities and additional resources for Migratory Bird Day on the UIE website.
  • Environment for the Americas/U.S. Forest Service/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service:
    • Friday, May 8/Viernes, 8 de Mayo, 6 pm Las Aves Conectan Nuestro Mundo – Platica con Alberto Lobato de México – Alberto Lobato vive en México y a él le han encantado las aves desde que tenía once años, a partir de entonces las observa ¡y se maravilla de lo increíbles que son! Estudió la carrera de Biología en la Universidad Veracruzana y desde el año 2017 es creador del proyecto Crónicas del Chivizcoyo, Historias de Aves, un canal de YouTube donde a través de historias, divulga el conocimiento sobre las aves, las problemáticas sobre su conservación y la interacciones que ha tenido la humanidad con estos seres emplumados con los que compartimos el mundo. La platica será en español.
    • Saturday, May 9 – Bird Day Live The world’s largest migratory bird festival is going digital! World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is a global event that celebrates the phenomenon of bird migrations and serves as a call to action to protect the birds we share. Environment for the Americas organizes WMBD in the Americas, connecting people to bird conservation from Canada to Argentina and the Caribbean. Also available in Spanish.