National Bird Day - January 5th

Join Us for National Bird Day

Sunday, Jan. 5, 2015

Why National Bird Day?

  • The beauty, songs, and flight of birds have long been sources of human inspiration.
  • Today, nearly 12 percent of the world's 9,800 bird species may face extinction within the next century, including nearly one-third of the world's 330 parrot species.
  • Birds are sentinel species whose plight serves as barometer of ecosystem health and alert system for detecting global environmental ills.
  • Many of the world's parrots and songbirds are threatened with extinction due to pressures from the illegal pet trade, disease, and habitat loss.
  • Public awareness and education about the physical and behavioral needs of birds can go far in improving the welfare of the millions of birds kept in captivity.
  • The survival and well-being of the world's birds depends upon public education and support for conservation.

This is the reason for National Bird Day. Join us!


Enter Our 2015 "Poetry Uncaged" Contest for Children

This year, we kick off our annual National Bird Day activities with a children's poetry contest. Children from ages 5-18 can participate in two separate age groups: 5-12 and 13-18. Children can join us in celebrating birds by writing a poem in any style around the theme "Poetry Uncaged," reflecting the plight of exotic birds in captivity, the pet bird trade, or the dangers to birds in the wild. Any ideas inspired by exotic or wild birds are encouraged. Think outside the box—or outside the cage, as we say in relation to birds!

Official rules and judges »


Our 2014 Posters

National Bird Day Poster National Bird Day Poster

See our posters from previous National Bird Days!


Take Action!

Born Free USA in coordination with the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC) is calling on activists around the U.S. to take action on behalf of captive birds by drawing attention to the exploitation of other countries' native birds by the U.S. pet industry on Jan. 5 — National Bird Day.

"National Bird Day" is not only a good day to take time to appreciate the native wild birds flying free outside our windows, it is also a perfect time to reflect on how we treat the native birds of other countries. While we have enacted laws to protect our native birds — such as blue jays, cardinals, and crows — from commercial exploitation, we fail to recognize the inconsistency in allowing the pet industry to exploit the birds of other countries.

Even when bred in captivity, exotic birds are not considered domesticated animals, and all their inherent behavioral and physical needs remain intact. Sadly, when it comes to birds, deprivation of their natural behaviors (to fly and flock, for example) is an inescapable component of their captivity.

Each year thousands of birds are sold into the pet trade to individuals who are under the mistaken impression that a bird will make a perfect pet. Eventually, whether due to frustration, disinterest, or concern, many people attempt to rid themselves of the responsibility of caring for their birds. Unfortunately, few of these birds will find a loving home, and most will spend their days isolated and confined to their cages. Others will bounce from home to home as their caretakers tire of them, and some may be abandoned at local shelters and birds rescues, set free to fend for themselves or euthanized.


Next:  10 Things You Can Do to Make Your Bird Happy »