Grand Teton ranger leads bird-watching tour on International Migratory Bird Day

Sandhill cranes are among the Grand Teton birds participants may see during an annual event to count migratory birds across North America. (Rob Koelling - click to enlarge)

Sandhill cranes are among the Grand Teton birds participants may see during an annual event to count migratory birds across North America. (Rob Koelling – click to enlarge)

From Staff Reports

A Grand Teton National Park ranger will lead a bird-watching caravan on Saturday, May 11, in observance of International Migratory Bird Day. The public is invited to participate and to assist in conducting part of an annual North American bird count.

Park ranger Andrew Langford will visit areas throughout Grand Teton that provide the best opportunities to locate, identify and record birds, according to a statement released by the Grand Teton public affairs office.

The bird-watching excursion begins at 8 a.m. from the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center in Moose, Wyo. and finishes by 4 p.m. at Christian Pond by Jackson Lake Lodge. The activity is free and reservations are not required.

Throughout the day, participants will take short walks at various locations, so those attending should wear comfortable shoes and bring a lunch, drinking water, warm clothing and rain gear. Bird field guides, binoculars and spotting scopes are also recommended items.

“Life Cycles of Migratory Birds” serves as the theme for the 2013 this year’s International Migratory Bird Day observance. This year’s theme focuses on all aspects of a migratory bird’s life, from migration and nesting to breeding and raising young. It also addresses the need for conservation throughout all phases of avian lives.

As always, the annual conservation theme is relevant to host organizations and participants throughout the world. Participation in Grand Teton’s tour offers a chance to learn about the importance of birds and their unique contribution to the health and beauty of the natural areas around the world.

Observed each year in May to celebrate and support avian conservation, International Migratory Bird Day serves as the hallmark outreach event for Partners in Flight, an international conservation program whose goal is to reverse declining populations of migratory birds by bringing attention to factors that contribute to worldwide declines.

For more information about International Migratory Bird Day and the North American bird migration count, call the Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center at 307-739-3399.

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