US Fish & Wildlife Service



Date of this Version



U.S. Fish and Wildlife, January 2002.


The Importance of Public Education

Public awareness and concern are crucial components of migratory bird conservation. Citizens enthusiastic about birds, informed about their threats, and empowered to become involved in addressing those threats can make a tremendous contribution to maintaining health bird populations. One of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s primary vehicles for public education is International Migratory Day (IMBD).

Cause for Celebration

IMBD, held annually on the second Saturday in May, is an invitation to celebrate and support migratory bird conservation.

This year, hundreds of thousands of people will observe IMBD. They will gather in town squares, community centers, schools, parks, and refuges across the Western Hemisphere to learn more about wild birds, take action to conserve birds and their habitats, and simply have fun.

Like any day of recognition, IMBD exists to focus attention on a valuable resource- the nearly 350 species of migratory birds that travel between nesting habitats in North America and wintering grounds in South and Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean, and the southern U.S.

Migratory birds are some of the most beautiful, observable, and remarkable wildlife that share our world. Many know migratory birds as symbolic harbingers of spring and melodious songsters of the woods. Migratory birds are also an important economic resource, controlling insect pests and generating billions in recreational dollars.

Unfortunately, research has shown that many migratory bird species are in decline, facing a growing number of threats on their migration routes and in both their summer and winter habitats. Thus, IMBD, in addition to being a day to foster appreciation, is a call to action.

A Partnership for Birds

IMBD is the hallmark outreach event for Partners in Flight (PIF), a unique, diverse consortium of individuals and groups who share a vision of health bird populations. Partners in this consortium include government agencies, conservation organizations, private businesses, academic institutions, chambers of commerce, and individual citizens.