Nature lovers, bird lovers, and bird watchers across the country annually recognize National Bird Day on January 5th. It’s also one of several designated holidays celebrating birds. 

Born Free USA emphasizes the importance of National Bird Day and lists it as a day to shine a spotlight on issues critical to the protection and survival of birds, both captive and wild.

According to Born Free USA, nearly 12 percent of the world’s almost 10,000 bird species are in danger of extinction.

Join over half a million avian admirers celebrate National Bird Day through a bevy of activities.

  • bird-watching
  • studying birds
  • educating others
  • other bird-related activities
  • A particularly important National Bird Day activity is bird adoption.  According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution newspaper article, many bird enthusiasts celebrate by adopting birds on this day and educating future bird owners about the special issues involved with taking care of birds, including the “proper care, cleanup, noise and biting, feeding, diet and their need for daily interaction.”

There are approximately 10,000 species of birds.

HOW TO OBSERVE #NationalBirdDay

There are several ways to celebrate this day.

  • Pick up a bird identification book. It will help you to learn about species in your area and identify those frequenting your bird feeders.
  • Enhance the attraction of your backyard. Add feeders, shelter and more. Learn what birds in your area like to eat and watch them flock to your sanctuary.
  • Donate to a bird sanctuary or aviary dedicated to improving the survival of endangered birds.
  • While you’re learning about all the amazing species, visit an aviary. A botanical garden, zoo, or conservation area may offer close up viewing of some of the more exotic species you’ve never seen before.

Whichever way you choose, be sure to invite someone to join you so you can share the experience. Also, as always, use #NationalBirdDay to post on social media.


In 2002, Born Free USA in coordination with the Avian Welfare Coalition launched the first annual National Bird Day to promote avian awareness. 

Relevant Observances:

Bird Day – May 4

Established in 1894 by Oil City, Pennsylvania school superintendent Charles Babcock.  The first holiday in the United States dedicated to the celebration of birds.  Babcock’s intention in creating this day was to advance bird conservation as a moral value.

International Migratory Bird Day
Second Saturday in May in U.S. and Canada – second Saturday in October in Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Originated by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and coordinated by Environment for the Americas. A conservation initiative bringing awareness on conserving migratory birds and their habitats throughout the Western Hemisphere.  Dedicated to international conservation efforts and environmental education in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central and South America and the Caribbean.

Bird Day in the United Kingdom
Started in 1979

Coordinated by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, up to half a million bird lovers annually spend an hour counting birds on Bird Day. 

World Migratory Bird Day
Second Saturday in May

The United Nations established World Migratory Bird Day in 2006.

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