Outside Scoop: Bird Day is May 4 | VailDaily.com

Outside Scoop: Bird Day is May 4

Julie Bielenberg
Outside Scoop
Local wildlife photographer Rick Spitzer submitted this photo of a female belted kingfisher looking for her next meal in Wolcott in December. The bird feeds on fish in the open waters of the Eagle River.
Rick Spitzer / Special to the Daily

There are numerous days throughout the year dedicated to feathers that take flight. Official Bird Day is May 4; National Bird Day is celebrated on Jan. 5 each year; and there’s also reason to look to the skies later this month, as the second Saturday each May is International Migratory Bird Day — lots to flock about.

According to the U.S. Library of Congress, Bird Day was first observed on May 4, 1894. The holiday and tribute was started by Charles Almanzo Babcock, the superintendent of schools in Oil City, Pennsylvania. The idea and observance quickly gained popularity and by 1910 it was also celebrated with Arbor Day (the annual day dedicated to trees).

Here in the valley, look to the skies for bird species of all sizes and colors. There are multiple types of jays, eagles, finches, hawks, owls and dozens of other varieties of bird.

On International Migratory Bird Day, we celebrate the birds that come and visit the Vail Valley for summering, breeding and feeding grounds. These birds can travel thousands of miles each year between their winter homes in Central and South America and their summer respite in the valley. Many are very small species, and it’s tremendous to think how much of the earth they fly in one year.

Did you know? Hummingbirds are the smallest migratory birds.

This humming bird was spotted outside a window in January.
Fred Claessens / Special to the Daily

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