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National Bird Day: What is it and how can you celebrate?

Close up of a parrot on National Bird Day
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Ahh, National Bird Day, that magical time of year when those of us who love these beautiful creatures get to celebrate them in all their glory. If you frequently attract birds to your garden, then you know how much joy can come from watching them up close - a feeling the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC) is working hard to protect by ensuring our feathered friends stay wild and free.

Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, 2022 marks two decades of tireless work by the Avian Welfare Coalition to put an end to birds in captivity. The wild bird trade causes many of these creatures to suffer immense physical and mental health issues, but with your help, we can raise public awareness and reduce suffering.

While investing in one of the best bird feeders is a great way to keep your neighborhood feathered friends happy and healthy, if you already have one in your garden, don’t despair as there are plenty of other ways you can do your part for this great cause. 

So, without further ado, here’s everything you need to know about National Bird Day, including a deeper look at what it involves, when it is, and how you can get involved and show these beautiful creatures some love.

What is National Bird Day?

National Bird Day is the brainchild of the Avian Welfare Coalition, a group dedicated to raising awareness of the destructive bird trade, the realities of cruel breeding mills and how we can all work together to improve the welfare of birds already in captivity.

While the organization understands why people choose to keep birds, they believe that captivity robs these creatures of their natural behaviors, such as being able to fly and flock together. 

Over time, confinement in a cage can lead to neurotic behavior, excessive screaming, feather plucking, self-mutilation, and other destructive habits that can cause birds a great deal of physical and mental harm.

The AWC is hoping that over time they can replace the demand for birds as pets and instead encourage the public to help preserve each species in the wild, where they can fly free and be there for future generations to enjoy.

When is National Bird Day?

Today! That’s right, National Bird Day is kicking off right now on Wednesday 5th of January, which means you don’t have to wait a single second to get involved. And how might you do that we hear you ask? Well, as luck would have it, we have a ton of great ideas for you below.

How can you celebrate National Bird Day?

Two parrots sitting on a branch in a forest

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The AWC has a wealth of information on their website on how you can celebrate National Bird Day. Here are just a few of our favorites:

1. Make a squawk on social media

Perhaps the easiest way to get involved is to promote this event across your social media pages. Use #NationalBirdDay, #CancelCages, and #MoreBeautifulWild to help get a conversation started and spread the word.

2. Distribute material from the AWC 

Pop on over to the AWC’s website and you’ll find a stunning selection of full color flyers and factsheets that you can share on social media, distribute around your neighborhood, and share at your local school. 

3. Get your kids involved

Lucky the Lorikeet is a beautiful children’s book that has been produced by the AWC and is based on a true story of a parrot who is captured in the wild and eventually regains his freedom thanks to the help of a young boy. It’s a great way to educate children about the plight of captive birds and the importance of conservation.

4. Support reputable organizations

Show some love to bird rescues and sanctuaries in your area that are doing great work to help nurse our feathered friends back to health so they can be released back into the wild. 

5. Put pressure on the USDA to implement changes

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) has excluded birds from their regulatory guidelines around animals used in research, exhibition and commercial endeavors, meaning that bird breeding and housing is largely unregulated. You can help to change this by signing the AWC’s petition here.

Kathryn Rosenberg

Kathryn is a freelance writer who has spent the past two years dividing her writing time between her two great loves - pets and health and wellness. When she’s not busy crafting the perfect sentence for her features, buying guides and news pieces, she can be found hanging out with one very mischievous Cocker Spaniel, drinking copious amounts of Jasmine tea and attempting to set numerous world records for the longest ever FaceTime calls with her family back home in NZ.