LINCOLN – Gov. Pete Ricketts signed a proclamation declaring May to be Nebraska Migratory Bird Month, underscoring the importance of birds in Nebraska.
The governor signed the proclamation during a ceremony on Wednesday, May 4, at the Nebraska State Capitol.
“Nebraska is home to four ecosystems – tallgrass prairie, mixedgrass prairie, shortgrass prairie and Sandhills – and birds are an integral part of each one,” said Nebraska Game and Parks Wildlife Education Specialist Lindsay Rogers.
Nebraska Migratory Bird Month was inspired by International Migratory Bird Day, which is observed around the globe annually on the second Saturday of May. This day encourages the public to celebrate and learn about birds.
Nebraska is unique in that it is situated on a major bird migration route, and thousands of species pass through each spring and fall. This makes Nebraska a wonderful place for birdwatching. Throughout May, approximately 50 events will take place across the state in which individuals and families can attend guided bird walks and learn why birds are critical to the ecology of Nebraska and elsewhere.
Birds eat insects, disperse seeds and also serve as prey for many larger species. They also play an important role in contributing to the state’s economic vitality – birdwatching is growing in popularity, and the sandhill cranes’ annual stopover in Nebraska draws tens of thousands of visitors annually from around the world. Wildlife viewing creates nearly 5,000 jobs in the state and has an $722 million annual economic impact.
“The impact that birds have on Nebraska is much greater than most people realize,” Rogers said. “They’re truly remarkable animals.”
To learn more on Nebraska Migratory Bird Month and activities planned statewide, visit NebraskaBirdMonth.org.