SPANISH LAKE, Mo.-- Everything needs its special day, including migratory birds. May 11 has been officially designated as International Migratory Bird Day. It celebrates bird migration in America, and is also observed in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean.
The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) is getting a week head start on the celebration at its Columbia Bottom Conservation Area in Spanish Lake.
Columbia Bottom will hold a special International Migratory Bird Day event Sunday, May 5, from Noon—4 p.m. The area is an important stopover point for migrating birds of all sorts, so it’s a special place to celebrate these amazing feats of mass movement. Fun and educational activities from multiple partners will help visitors discover why Columbia Bottom is so important for migratory birds, as well as ways they can help, too.
The focus of International Migratory Bird Day this year is a solution to plastic pollution. The St. Louis County Department of Health will help enlighten visitors to proper plastic waste disposal and plastic bag usage with their giant ball of plastic bags.
See a live bird up close courtesy of Treehouse Wildlife Center, and the St. Louis Zoo will have bird experts on hand to answer anything avian. The St. Louis Audubon and Webster Groves Nature Study Societies will bring their expertise to the event as well.
Educational tables will feature interactive stations to help visitors learn about bird songs, nests and eggs and even feeding birds. Binoculars and bird guides will be available to encourage participants to try their hand at birdwatching for themselves. MDC staff will also discuss the science behind how waterfowl hunting regulations are set, and how revenue from hunting licenses helps fund bird conservation efforts. A special kids activity includes simulated mist netting and tagging toy birds and record data, just like adult biologists do.
The special International Migratory Bird Day event at Columbia Bottom is free and open to all ages, with no reservations necessary. MDC invites everyone to marvel for themselves at the wonders of migrating birds.
Columbia Bottom Conservation Area is located at 801 Strodtman Road in north St. Louis County. The area can be reached by taking the Riverview Drive Exit from I-270 and travelling north approximately three miles.