Gone to the Birds

A hawk soars in the sky. A robin sings in a tree. What do you know about the birds around you? The public learned a lot more about birds starting on May 4, 1894, the first observed Bird Day. The superintendent of schools in Oil City, Pennsylvania, Charles A. Babcock, suggested the holiday. Often combined with Arbor Day (which celebrates trees), Bird Day was widely celebrated, encouraging conservation training and awareness of birds for all.

To help make bird education fun, ornithologists (bird scientists) Mabel Osgood Wright and Elliot Coues worked with artist Louis Agassiz Fuertes in 1897 to create the book Citizen Bird. They dedicated their colorful book to “All Boys and Girls Who Love Birds and Wish to Protect Them.”

“Bluebirds have a call-note and a sweet warbling song,” said the ornithologists. “Bluebirds are true blue, which is as rare a color among birds as it is among flowers.” Conservation efforts continue today as songbirds in America, like the bluebird, become more rare. Can you imagine a world without birds? Keep your eyes and ears open and notice the variety of birds where you live.