Strathcona County is working to proclaim May 14 as World Migratory Bird Day.

The annual campaign seeks to increase awareness of the threats to wild bird populations and how the public can help to mitigate those threats.

According to the county, North American bird populations have decreased by 25 per cent in the last 50 years. 

One of the ways the county is working to raise awareness this year is through their theme, “Dim the Lights for Birds at Night,” calling attention to the impact of light pollution on migratory birds. 

As a light efficient community, one of Strathcona County’s policies is to reduce light pollution and increase access to dark night-time skies. In addition, part of the Beaver Hills Dark Sky Preserve resides in the county and is home to over 200 bird species, some of which migrate nocturnally.

Other initiatives in the works include work to become a certified Bird Friendly City through Nature Canada, one of the oldest nature conservation charities in the country.

A “Bird Friendly Team” has been created and oversees several initiatives to ensure that Strathcona County is a bird-friendly community.

Some initiatives currently in progress include committing $100,000 toward a cat shelter pilot program and a campaign to encourage residents to join the Beaver Hills Biosphere group on iNaturalist, which shares photos of things you find in your backyard with scientists who track the area’s flora and fauna.

The Bird Friendly Team is also conducting a survey to collect data on buildings in your area and learn how they can become more bird-friendly. The survey can be found here.