It’s a big year for birds!

2016 marks the Centennial anniversary of the signing of the Convention for the Protection of Migratory Birds between the United States and Great Britain (on behalf of Canada). Known in the U.S. as the Migratory Bird Treaty, this landmark agreement laid the foundation for a century of cooperative and international bird conservation, and set the stage for the passage of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act in 1918.

Sonoran Joint Venture staff and their partners planted 100 desert willow tress to commemorate 100 years of bird conservation and the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial.

Sonoran Joint Venture staff and their partners planted 100 desert willow tress to commemorate 100 years of bird conservation and the Centennial.

It’s likely that without that first treaty – and the three others that followed, with Mexico, Japan and Russia – the Migratory Bird Joint Ventures may never have come into existence.

Joint Venture Centennial Activities

Joint Ventures have embraced the Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial and are celebrating the occasion in many different ways.

On the Pacific Coast, two young interns traveled from California to Alaska, doing outreach along the way in urban areas. These two “birdtrippers” helped to raise awareness of the Centennial and migratory bird conservation among new and diverse audiences.

In the Sonoran Joint Venture, audiences from Houston to Tucson flocked to screenings of “The Messenger” an important new documentary about the plight of migratory songbirds. At many of these events, moviegoers were also treated to a special coffee created just for the Centennial. Rain Crow Coffee’s Yellow-billed Cuckoo Blend Coffee is marketed with Centennial information, and a portion the sale of each pound of coffee goes to a fund to support habitat conservation in Central America.

Screen Shot 2016-09-12 at 2.10.40 PMWithin the Atlantic Coast JV, high-profile events will occur in New York City, Philadelphia and Baltimore, with partners such as the National Park Service, New York Historical Society and NYC Audubon.

Jane Fitzgerald of the Central Hardwoods JV will highlight the Centennial at the Missouri Prairie Foundation’s annual dinner with an after-dinner talk “Prairies Past, Grasslands Present, and the Birds that Need Them.” She will also author an article in the foundation’s newsletter.

Many other Joint Ventures have been sharing Centennial information on their websites and social media, and using the Centennial hashtag, #birdyear.

Continue the Celebration

There is still plenty of time to celebrate the Centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty. Although the anniversary date itself is August 16, events and activities will be happening through the end of the calendar year.

Want to get involved? Contact your regional FWS Centennial team to find out what’s going on near you. Want branded promotional materials, presentations and talking points, or ideas for events and activities you can plan with your own partners? Check out the Nestbox, our online toolkit for all things Centennial.

Got more questions? Feel free to contact Rachel Fisk Levin, the national Centennial Team Lead, with questions, comments and feedback!