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Ideas for World Migratory Bird Day and Social Distancing

World Migratory Bird Day 2020

At a time when the Covid-19 pandemic is upending each of our best-laid plans one after the other, the question is understandable: Will Bird City communities be penalized for failing to hold a World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) event this year?

The answer is no. Every Bird City should follow local regulations and the guidance of the CDC and other health officials regarding group events, even if doing so means cancelling your spring celebration. Your priority, and ours, must be maintaining the health of your staff, volunteers, and attendees -- but we sure hope you’ll think twice before cancelling your WMBD plans outright, because you may not need to.

Our friends at Environment for the Americas, the home of WMBD, have come up with three creative ways you can practice social distancing while celebrating.

1. Delay your event. It’s true, the traditional date to mark WMBD is the second Saturday in May, but did you know that WMBD is celebrated almost every month of the year? Birds don’t all travel on the same day. Hold your event when they’re present later in the year.

2. Highlight your site for WMBD over a period of time. If you’ve planned various activities to take place on a single day, spread them out over days and weeks instead, and engage individuals or small groups, rather than crowds of people.

3. Host a virtual festival. Environment for the Americas promises to provide a suite of WMBD-related videos, guest speakers, quizzes, and other online activities. Invite your communities to join in, or use the materials to host your own virtual event via the Internet, social media, or webinar. You can find more info on the WMBD website.

Please let us know what you decide, and be sure to share the dates and times of any virtual festivals; we’ll help publicize them!

Read more:

Learn about World Migratory Bird Day.

Download this year's WMBD poster and other resources.

Read about "Safer at Home" (Wisconsin Dept. of Health Services).