“If you take care of the birds, you take care of most of the big environmental problems in the world.”
—Thomas E. Lovejoy, Tropical Conservation Biologist and National Geographic Fellow
2018 marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and important bird-protection law ever passed. In honor of this milestone, National Geographic, the National Audubon Society, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and BirdLife International will join forces with more than 100 other organizations and millions of people around the world to celebrate 2018 as the “Year of the Bird.”
This effort aims to heighten public awareness of birds because of their wonder and beauty—and because they symbolize nature’s interconnectedness and the importance of caring for our shared planet. To get started, visitors to BirdYourWorld.org will discover simple but meaningful steps that anyone can take to help birds each month and join a pledge to participate. For example in February, participants are invited to join the Great Back Yard Bird Count and report the tally to help scientists track the health of bird populations. In March, participants will be invited to use a zip-code based native plant finder for their yards, gardens or balconies to help attract nesting birds and provide a needed sanctuary for migrating birds.
Through 12 months of storytelling, science research and conservation efforts, Year of the Bird will examine how our changing environment is driving dramatic losses among bird species around the globe and highlight what we can do to help bring birds back.
Participating organizations include nonprofit and conservation groups, state and federal agencies, zoos, nature centers, and ornithological societies that are working together to raise the visibility of birds and inspire action through #BirdYourWorld throughout 2018. The campaign will also utilize National Geographic’s portfolio of media platforms reaching millions of people around the world with engaging bird content that will educate, inspire and raise awareness about the challenges that birds are facing and what people can do to help.
Content and activities will include:
- Magazine Features: Twelve feature stories in National Geographic magazine throughout 2018. National Geographic Traveler magazine will also feature print and digital articles to help savvy travelers discover birds of the world.
- Books: Two new National Geographic books focused on birds: Birds of the Photo Ark, with charismatic bird portraits by Joel Sartore and evocative text by Big Year birder extraordinaire Noah Strycker, publishing March 6, 2018. And The Splendor of Birds: Art and Photography From National Geographic will release Oct. 23, 2018. The National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America published Sept. 2017.
- National Geographic Kids Content: National Geographic Kids Bird Guide of North America, Second Edition, will publish March 13, 2018. And Fly with Me: A Celebration of Birds Through Pictures, Poems, and Stories by Jane Yolen, Heidi E.Y. Stemple, Adam Stemple, and Jason Stemple, publishing Oct. 16, 2018. Visit natgeokids.com/year-of-the-bird/ to find out more.
- Migration Maps: A supplemental migration map in National Geographic magazine, as well as a dynamic digital map of bird migration, powered by data from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, launching in March.
- Digital and Social Media: A robust #BirdYourWorld digital campaign and special Year of the Bird offering of infographics, videos, photo galleries, species profiles, short-form articles, and a social video series that will take viewers birding with filmmaker Bertie Gregory.
- Television: Nat Geo WILD celebrates the Year of the Bird with specials “Planet of the Birds” and “Dino Bird” premiering on Friday, Jan. 19.
- Museum Exhibition: An exhibition at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, D.C., featuring photos from iconic photographer Stephen Wilkes documenting four ancient bird migrations across the globe.
- Thought Leader Event: An event at National Geographic headquarters gathering scientists and conservationists to explore the challenges and solutions for conservation and policy, all through the lens of birds.
- Prints: Additionally, in honor of the Year of the Bird, National Geographic is offering a curated selection of prints for the home or office. Detailed artwork and stunning photography from the National Geographic archives and the National Geographic magazine is available in partnership with Art.com. The collection of framed and unframed prints represents beloved bird species around the world and makes a great gift for any bird enthusiast. Click here to see the bird prints.
- Travel: Three new birding expeditions to Central and South America led by renowned birding experts, bird-focused programming at many members of the National Geographic Unique Lodges of the World collection, and designated Year of the Bird ambassadors on select voyages aboard the National Geographic-Lindblad fleet.
- Educational Resources and Events: A number of resources for educators and family-friendly events.
- Research Grants: National Geographic Society grants building on 130 years of grantmaking history that advance scientific understanding and fill critical knowledge gaps on species, including birds.
- Monthly featured content: Showcasing inspiring work by BirdLife International, Audubon and Cornell Lab of Ornithology
National Geographic Partners LLC
National Geographic Partners LLC (NGP), a joint venture between National Geographic and 21st Century Fox, is committed to bringing the world premium science, adventure and exploration content across an unrivaled portfolio of media assets. NGP combines the global National Geographic television channels (National Geographic Channel, Nat Geo WILD, Nat Geo MUNDO, Nat Geo PEOPLE) with National Geographic’s media and consumer-oriented assets, including National Geographic magazines; National Geographic studios; related digital and social media platforms; books; maps; children’s media; and ancillary activities that include travel, global experiences and events, archival sales, licensing and e-commerce businesses. Furthering knowledge and understanding of our world has been the core purpose of National Geographic for 129 years, and now we are committed to going deeper, pushing boundaries, going further for our consumers … and reaching millions of people around the world in 172 countries and 43 languages every month as we do it. NGP returns 27 percent of our proceeds to the nonprofit National Geographic Society to fund work in the areas of science, exploration, conservation and education. For more information visit natgeotv.com or nationalgeographic.com, or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
National Geographic Society
The National Geographic Society is a leading nonprofit that invests in bold people and transformative ideas in the fields of exploration, scientific research, storytelling and education. Through our grants and programs, we aspire to create a community of change, advancing key insights about our planet and probing some of the most pressing scientific questions of our time while ensuring that the next generation is armed with geographic knowledge and global understanding. Our goal is measurable impact: furthering exploration and educating people around the world to inspire solutions for the greater good. For more information, visit www.nationalgeographic.org.
National Audubon Society
The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow, throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon's state programs, nature centers, chapters and partners have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire and unite diverse communities in conservation action. Since 1905, Audubon's vision has been a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Audubon is a nonprofit conservation organization. Learn more how to help at www.audubon.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology brings together scientists, technology, and bird enthusiasts from around the world to improve the understanding and protection of birds and nature. For the Year of the Bird, the Cornell Lab will release new animated maps of bird migration and invite the public to contribute to the Great Backyard Bird Count and two Global Big Days aimed at finding as many bird species as possible in 24 hours. The Lab also invites people all of all ages to delve into the world of birds with the free Merlin Bird ID app, live Bird Cams, online Bird Academy, BirdSleuth K-12 curriculum, books from the Cornell Lab Publishing Group, and more. Visit AllAbout Birds.org.
BirdLife International is the world’s largest nature conservation Partnership. Together we are 120 BirdLife Partners worldwide – one per country (including Audubon in USA) – and growing, with almost 11 million supporters, 7,000 local conservation groups and 7,400 staff. BirdLife strives to conserve birds, their habitats and global biodiversity, working with people towards sustainability in the use of natural resources. BirdLife is driven by our belief that local people, working for nature in their own places but connected nationally and internationally through our global Partnership, are the key to sustaining all life on this planet. This unique local-to-global approach delivers high impact and long-term conservation for the benefit of nature and people. BirdLife is a nonprofit conservation NGO. Find us at www.birdlife.org on Twitter (@BirdLife_news) and Facebook.
Nicolas Gonzalez, National Audubon Society, email@example.com, (212) 979-3100.
Pat Leonard, Cornell Lab of Ornithology: PEL27@cornell.edu, (607) 254-2137.
Shaun Hurrell, BirdLife International, firstname.lastname@example.org, (+44) 1223 747555.
Ann Day, National Geographic, email@example.com, (202) 912-6712.