Forest Preserves of Cook County and Partners Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day with Virtual Festival

Public can participate in Facebook Live programs and at-home activities

While people are staying at home, birds are still making their migratory flights north. In celebration of World Migratory Bird Day, the Forest Preserves of Cook County and partners are hosting a virtual festival so people can participate in this global event from home.

On Saturday, May 9, festival “attendees” will learn about the journeys of migratory birds, how we study them, examine the threats they face along the way, and what we can do in our own communities and at home to protect them.

This year’s World Migratory Bird Day theme is “Birds Connect Our World.” Highlights of the virtual festival include:

• A Facebook Live bird banding demonstration discussing the routes of migratory birds across the globe and what technology is being used to track these birds.

• Information on the threats that birds face during their migratory flights and what people can do at home to protect them.

• A Global Big Day birding event, where the public is invited to bird their own home or natural area (where social distancing is possible) and record bird sightings on eBird.

• Meeting resident birds of prey from Forest Preserves nature centers.

• Lessons on identifying commonly seen birds and what individuals can do to attract them to backyards and neighborhoods through gardening, bird houses, feeders, and providing nest making materials.

The festival will also include fun and educational activities for people of all ages to celebrate birds including bird bingo, bird-mask making, and a Dress Like a Bird challenge—the public can even have their own migratory bird ‘race’ at home!

For a full schedule of programs and activities, visit

Partners joining the Forest Preserves of Cook County for the virtual World Migratory Bird Day festival include Chicago Audubon Society, Chicago Bird Collision Monitors, Chicago Ornithological Society, Deb’s Big Backyard, Environment for the Americas, Friends of the Forest Preserves, The Field Museum, The Nature Conservancy, University of Illinois Extension, U.S. Forest Service, Chicago Botanic Garden and Brookfield Zoo.

To learn more about the World Migratory Bird Day global festival, visit