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9,800 Bird Species May Face Extinction

Eagle
Credit: creativecommons.org/Peter Gronemann

Sunday, January 5 is the 12th anniversary of National Bird Day, when Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, in conjunction with Avian Welfare Coalition, shines a spotlight on issues critical to the protection and survival of birds – both captive and wild.

The annual campaign focuses on education and action to stop the international trade in wild birds, raises awareness about standards of care for birds who have been adopted as pets, and pushes for a deeper respect and understanding about the plight of all birds.

According to Adam Roberts, executive vice president of Born Free USA: “Nearly 12 per cent of the world’s 9,800 bird species may face extinction within the next century, including nearly one-third of the world’s 300 parrot species.

“While some may argue that breeding and the pet industry increase the odds of survival, a literal bird in a cage does not make up for one absent from the wild. The message behind National Bird Day is a call to take action on behalf of our feathered friends, learning to care for captive birds and supporting the conservation of their counterparts in the wild.”

This year, Born Free USA is asking the public to watch the PBS Nature program, Parrot Confidential. This documentary explores the difficulties of living with and raising captive parrots, the tireless efforts of rescuers who work to save the lives of unwanted and abandoned captive parrots, and the rehabilitators dedicated to conservation efforts in the wild.

In addition to viewing the 53 minute film, Born Free USA has assembled a full suite of information and activities to celebrate birds at www.nationalbirdday.com.

There are seven ways that you can get involved:

  1. Parrot Confidential. (watch below)
  2. Go to www.nationalbirdday.com starting on January 5, 2014 for special video diaries and interviews from experts at Born Free USA and Avian Welfare Coalition staff, as well as bird watchers, rescuers, researchers and activists.
  3. Follow Born Free USA’s special Bird Blog.
  4. Take Born Free USA’s bird quiz and test your knowledge of bird calls.
  5. Send a National Bird Day E-Card message to friends and family.
  6. For bird owners: Learn tips on what you can do make your bird happy.
  7. For wild bird lovers: Learn tips to reduce bird collisions.

“Birds belong in the wild,” added Roberts. “It is very challenging to meet their needs in a home or any captive environment. They are highly intelligent, very social animals, and should not live life in a cage. We hope that this important annual reminder of National Bird Day helps people recognize their needs and encourage their freedom.”

 

Watch PBS' Parrot Confidential

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