For those who love quirky holidays and quaint community celebrations, January is ripe with promise. So far, those who weren't celebrating "Oh My God, I Can't Believe I Drank That Many (Insert Alcoholic Beverage Name Here)" Day on January 2nd, celebrated Run It up the Flagpole and See if It Salutes Day instead.
Everyone who was too busy celebrating Festival of Sleep Day on January 3rd missed Fruitcake Toss Day and Humiliation Day. On January 4th, the US Census Bureau estimated that 7,004,110,246 people may have celebrated Trivia Day worldwide.
If you keep or sell caged birds, today's celebration is aimed directly at you. Bird activists created National Bird Day to draw attention to the plight of all birds in captivity. While they have not yet succeeded in convincing Congress to declare the holiday, which is a requirement for genuine "National" status, National Bird Day has a great plenty of credibility in the birding world. Of the world's 9,800 bird species, 1,176 face extinction in this century, including 110 species of parrot, according to Born Free USA. While suburban creep destroyed habitat and toxic spills created untold damage to delicate coastal ecosystems, the caged bird market devastated breeding populations of popular birds, such as the green avadavat, or Amandava formosa, a finch native to India. Amandava formosa's habitat lies in southern Rajasthan to central Uttar Pradesh, southern Bihar and West Bengal (historically), south to southern Maharashtra and northern Andhra Pradesh, according to BirdLife International.
Instead of keeping caged birds, set up an observation station in a picture window or outside a patio door. Plant native shrubs, grasses and trees to create a natural blind, then sit back and enjoy the show your feathered friends provide. In my next post, for Ultimate Blog Challenge Day 5, I'll post video footage of my station, hidden by a screen of mesquite shrubs and facing a 16-foot tall, nearly 20-foot wide Cereus peruvianus, also known as the Peruvian apple cactus.
|Cereus pervianus in bloom, September 29, 2011 by Jack V. Sage|