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International Migratory Bird Day 2004

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  • Demian Ebert
    FYI- ... For Release: May 7, 2004 Contacts: Nicholas Throckmorton 202/208-5636 Jennifer Wheeler 703/358-2318 COLONIAL WATERBIRDS: INTERNATIONAL
    Message 1 of 1 , May 7, 2004


      For Release: May 7, 2004
      Contacts: Nicholas Throckmorton
      Jennifer Wheeler


      Visitors to refuges like Reelfoot National Wildlife Refuge in northwest
      Tennessee are wowed by the thousands of great blue herons living in
      rookeries in cypress and water tupelo trees. To celebrate spectacles like
      this, this year's theme for International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) is
      "Colonial Waterbirds." IMBD is internationally recognized on May 8, but
      events will happen around the country throughout the year.

      At hundreds of events such as bird walks, open houses, festivals, lectures
      and demonstrations, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is joining with
      partners to recognize the ways birds have stimulated people to become
      involved in conservation and to encourage individuals, corporations, and
      organizations to be a part of continuing efforts to protect birds.

      "Perhaps more than anything, International Migratory Bird Day is a
      reminder that wildlife does not recognize political or geographic
      boundaries," said Service Director Steve Williams. "Migratory birds offer
      a compelling reminder that conservation transcends the borders of human
      society. International Migratory Bird Day is a great way to celebrate the
      birds, and the partnerships forged to conserve them."

      More than 500 IMBD celebrations will take place at National Wildlife
      Refuges, fish hatcheries, field offices and at partnering organizations
      such as parks, zoos, and schools. The Service's IMBD website
      <http://birds.fws.gov/IMBD> contains a listing of these events as well as
      links to additional information on migratory bird conservation, including
      the North American Bird Conservation Initiative. The IMBD 2004 art and
      materials portray ten bird species symbolizing conservation laws, programs,
      and organizations that have benefitted birds, the environment and humans

      Colonial birds nest together. One estimate is that 1 in 8 bird species
      worldwide nest colonially. Colony sites take many forms: mud nests
      plastered on vertical surfaces; burrows riddling a seaside cliff, a stretch
      of depressions in a sandy beach, or bulky stick nests forming a woodland
      rookery. Colonies also vary in size; from a few to sometimes millions of
      birds packed together.

      International Migratory Bird Day was created in 1993 to focus public
      attention on the need to conserve birds and their habitats. This annual
      event celebrates one of the most important and spectacular events in the
      life of a migratory bird: its journey between summer and winter homes.
      Today, International Migratory Bird Day is recognized in Canada, the United
      States, Mexico, the Caribbean Islands, and Central America.

      For more information on IMBD, please see <http://www.birdday.org>.

      The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the principal Federal agency
      responsible for conserving, protecting and enhancing fish, wildlife and
      plants and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American
      people. The Service manages the 94-million-acre National Wildlife Refuge
      System which encompasses more than 530 national wildlife refuges, thousands
      of small wetlands and other special management areas. It also operates 70
      national fish hatcheries, 64 fishery resource offices and 78 ecological
      services field stations. The agency
      enforces Federal wildlife laws, administers the Endangered Species Act,
      manages migratory bird populations, restores nationally significant
      fisheries, conserves and restores wildlife habitat such as wetlands, and
      helps foreign governments with their conservation efforts. It also
      oversees the Federal Aid program that distributes hundreds of millions of
      dollars in excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment to state fish and
      wildlife agencies.

      For more information about the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
      visit our homepage at http://www.fws.gov
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