Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day by Going Birding

World Migratory Bird Day takes place the second Saturday in May. Take a look at special programs happening all over North America.

World Migratory Bird Day, also known as Global Big Day, takes place annually on the second Saturday in May. In 2023, that day falls on May 13. The purpose is to bring attention to migration and introduce the public to conservation.

The theme of this year’s event is a focus on light pollution and the risk it poses to migrating birds. “Water: Sustaining Bird Life” is the official theme for World Migratory Bird Day 2023.

Follow these tips to prevent bird strikes on windows at home.

Look for a #WMBD2023 event near you. There are special programs happening this month all over North America.

If you can’t make it to an event, get outside and go birding anyway! Be sure to check eBird to see what species have been spotted in your area, and be on the lookout for the many spring migrants passing through.

World Migratory Bird Day Events

indigo bunting on spring branchCourtesy Shannon Therrien
The indigo bunting is stunning and a favorite to see each Spring

Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth Spring Bird Fest, May 18-21

Minneapolis, Minnesota

Twin Cities Urban Birding Festival, May 19-21

Toronto, Ontario

Spring Bird Festival, Colonel Samuel Smith Park, May 27

Westerly, Rhode Island

Westerly Land Trust Guided Bird Count, May 13

Find the perfect bird festival for you.

Pick Your Own Big Day

Of course, the height of migration season can vary by weeks, depending on where you live. Southern areas will often celebrate Bird Day much earlier, while northern spots might push it back a bit. If there are birding organizations near you, just ask them if they’re celebrating. If not, encourage them to get involved.

Get more resources, events and learn a whole lot more about Bird Day at worldmigratorybirdday.org.

5 Migratory Bird Families People Love

Baltimore orioleCourtesy Marcia Festa
Baltimore oriole
  1. tanagers
  2. warblers
  3. orioles
  4. hummingbirds
  5. buntings

Next, check out the top 10 Do’s and Don’ts of birding in the field.

Lori Vanover
Lori Vanover is the senior digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor's degree in agricultural and environmental communications from the University of Illinois. Lori is certified as a Wisconsin Extension Master Gardener and is also a member of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology.