Sing, fly, soar – like a bird during World Migratory Bird Day 2021 on Saturday, May 8, 2021!
Spring migration is in full swing on Galveston Island, and beautiful birds have been passing through our area in record numbers. The Island is an important stopover location for birds migrating both across and around the Gulf of Mexico due to its diversity of coastal habitat types. Factor in species that come for breeding season and amazing year-round resident birds, and there is always something to see!
pictured: Birds at sunset.
One of Galveston’s hidden gems, the East End Lagoon Nature Park and Preserve offers visitors an opportunity to see migrants in a quiet setting.
Spanning almost 700 acres, the preserve is one of the largest undeveloped spaces on the Island. Its unique ecology includes coastal prairie, tidal and non-tidal wetlands, a freshwater pond, beach dunes, and marine coastline.
This treasure trove of natural resources provides migrating birds with the critical food and cover that they need to survive before continuing northward.
It’s not an easy journey for our feathered friends, though – there are many dangers for them along the way. World Migratory Bird Day was established to educate the public about the hazards of migration and encourage international cooperation in conservation efforts.
This year, World Migratory Bird Day falls on Saturday, May 8, and the theme is “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!”. Many events and celebrations are planned in the days surrounding it, including BirdDayLive on May 7, a full day of activities for schools, youth, and families.
Bird Day Live
Photo credit: Kathy Carlson
Birders are encouraged to join in eBird’s Global Big Day on Saturday, May 8. This important citizen-science effort provides valuable data about the status of bird populations to ornithologists worldwide. To participate, simply observe birds wherever you are for at least 10 minutes, and then enter your sightings via the app or online. Last year, more than 50,000 people from 175 countries participated, entering more than 120,000 records in a single day! You can even watch the results roll-in real-time.
Photo credit: Kristine Rivers
Migration lasts longer than a single day, however. You can help protect migrating birds throughout this critical time by doing the following:
We hope you enjoy celebrating World Migratory Bird Day 2021 on Galveston Island! Here are some hashtags to join the conversation on social:
#WorldMigratoryBirdDay #WMBD2021 #SingFlySoar #LikeABird #ForNature #BirdGalveston
In the Birds video, Matt Abernathy takes you down the trail to introduce native birds often spotted at the East End Lagoon and other island locations as well as migratory birds that visit the area in spring and fall. Three activity pages provide fun things that you can do at home or when you visit the trail.
Learn about the Plants and Pollinators of the EEL while taking a virtual walk with Matt as he introduces a sampling of the flowering plants and busy pollinators on the preserve trail. Three suggestions for related activities will add to your knowledge of local wildflowers and the industrious little creatures that pollinate them.
Where the Texas Coast begins.
by Mary Beth Bassett
by Visit Galveston
by Kristine Rivers
by Clayton Kolavo
by Karla Klay
by Visit Galveston
Kristine Rivers Galveston Island Nature Tourism Council
Kristine Rivers has been an avid birder since childhood. As an adult, she loves sharing her passion for nature with people of all ages, encouraging them to slow down and have fun as they observe the world around them. She founded Birding for Fun in 2015, providing guided tours and workshops that embrace her philosophy that birding should be accessible to everyone.