Saturday, May 11 is Migratory Bird Day. This year’s theme is “Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution”. Visit the World Migratory Bird Day or Migratory Bird Day websites to learn more about this theme and why it’s so important to reduce our the amounts of plastics we use, reuse plastics when possible, and recycle plastics. You can also look at this map to see events happening around the world to celebrate Migratory Birds.
Because the St. Louis area is right in the middle of the Mississippi Flyway, which is the route that over half of all migratory birds follow, there are many places in our region that are great for bird watching. Many parks in the area, such as Forest Park, will be filled with birds during their migratory seasons. Two conservation areas to visit are the Audubon Center at Riverlands in West Alton, MO, and the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in St. Louis, MO. Visitors to the Audubon Center at Riverlands can go on tours, topics for tours may include: migration along the Mississippi, Eagle Viewing, Trumpeter Swan viewing, and more. The Audubon Center also has many ongoing conservation projects, which can be viewed here as well. The Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is a great place to visit to view migratory birds. Although the Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is currently closed due to flooding, they often host events that can help you learn more about migratory birds and other wildlife in the St. Louis region.
Fall and Spring are the best times to keep an eye out for birds along their migratory paths; however, you can still birdwatch year round. Some birds that migrate over the Mississippi Flyway that you might be able to see are the American white pelican, double-crested cormorant, the common moorhen, the spotted sandpiper, and more! There are also various species of geese, ducks, herons, hawks, gulls, and owls that migrate throughout the area. What types of birds do you look for?