2018 Year of the Bird

“If you take care of birds, you take care of most of the environmental problems in the world.” –Thomas Lovejoy

Did you know that 2018 is the Year of the Bird? Although we celebrate birds every year here at Shenandoah National Park, this year is exceptionally special for our feathered friends. 2018 marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act—a U.S. law in convention with Canada, Mexico, Japan, and Russia to protect migratory birds from being harmed, imported, and/or exported. In honor of this milestone, National Geographic, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, the National Audubon Society, the National Park Service and 100 other organizations have taken the pledge to highlight the importance of birds and to commit to protecting birds today, the next hundred years, and another hundred years after that.

In celebration of the Year of the Bird, Shenandoah National Park will feature a resident or visiting bird to the Park every week on Feathered Friends Fridays at the Harry F. Byrd Visitor Center, Dickey Ridge Visitor Center (in-season), here on the official Shenandoah National Park webpage and on our Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram pages!

If you would like to take the pledge to #BirdYourWorld and learn more about how you too can participate, please visit the official Year of the Bird Webpage (www.birdyourworld.org).

White-breasted nuthatch (dark gray head and wing, white breast, long pointed beak) sits on a tree limb in the falling snow
White-breasted nuthatch

NPS/Neal Lewis

Week One: White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinenesis)

To kick off #FeatheredFriendsFridays meet the White-breasted Nuthatch (Sitta carolinenesis). These birds are busy year-round controlling insect populations, and dispersing seeds for the trees and shrubs—hence keeping a balance of the forest ecosystem. Nuthatches cache food, such as nuts, in bark crevices so that they have enough to eat during the winter and will later stuff the nut into the tree bark, whack it with their beak, and hatch out the seed. Get it? “Nut-hatch”!

For more information about Shenandoah's birds, including access to a species list click here!

Last updated: January 12, 2018

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Shenandoah National Park
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Luray, VA 22835


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