Press Room

Governor Hickenlooper Declares 2018 the Year of the Bird in Colorado

Proclamation cites Colorado’s many habitats for breeding and migratory birds.

DENVER – Today, Governor John Hickenlooper declared 2018 the Year of the Bird in Colorado. The declaration celebrates native and migratory birds making their way through Colorado and the Centennial State’s remarkable landscapes and water resources that support them.

“Birds are an ever-present reminder that nature is all around us,” said Governor John Hickenlooper. “Every day we work to protect Colorado’s natural environment that supports more than 400 species of birds. The National Audubon Society is a terrific partner in protecting birds and their habitats in Colorado and across the country.”

Each year, more than 70% of the state’s residents participate in outdoor recreation, generating $28 billion in consumer spending, nearly 230,000 jobs, almost $10 billion in wages and salaries, and $2 billion in state and local tax revenue. Where birds thrive, people and the economy prosper.

Colorado is home to more than 400 bird species and 53 Important Bird Areas, including three that are globally recognized. Significant species include: Greater Sage-Grouse, Yellow-breasted Chat, Lark Bunting, Short-eared Owl, and the Southwest Willow Flycatcher.

Year of the Bird highlights that public opinion continues to show that an overwhelming number of Colorado voters support conservation and the protection of natural resources. In a recent poll, 94% of Coloradans surveyed said that the Colorado River is “a national treasure that should be protected.”

“From Bald Eagles to Snowy Egrets to Yellow Warblers, Colorado’s abundant natural resources provide food, shelter, and nesting areas for millions of birds,” said Bob Randall, Department of Natural Resources’ Executive Director. “On behalf of the Department, I want to thank the National Audubon Society for working with us to protect these species so important to our state."

In addition to the proclamation in Colorado, people all over the world are celebrating 2018 as Year of the Bird. This year marks the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), one of the oldest wildlife protection laws in the United States. In honor of this milestone, National Geographic, Audubon, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, BirdLife International, and dozens of other partners around the world joined forces to celebrate 2018 as the Year of the Bird.

“Year of the Bird is an easy way people can take small everyday actions to help birds along their journeys,” said David Yarnold, president and CEO for National Audubon Society. “The rivers, wetlands, and magnificent landscapes of Colorado are critical places for a variety of birds. Thousands of Sandhill Cranes stopover to rest, feed and nest in Monte Vista within the San Luis Valley in Colorado on their journey to Canada. We’d like to thank Governor Hickenlooper for declaring 2018 the Year of the Bird and recognizing the importance of birds and the places we share.”

To learn more about Year of the Bird, visit: https://www.audubon.org/yearofthebird or participate in the Western Rivers Bird Count: https://www.audubon.org/western-rivers-bird-count

About Audubon:

The National Audubon Society protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. Audubon works throughout the Americas using, science, advocacy, education and on-the-ground conservation. State programs, nature centers, chapters, and partners give Audubon an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. A nonprofit conservation organization since 1905, Audubon believes in a world in which people and wildlife thrive. Learn more and how to help at www.audubon.org and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @audubonsociety.

The Western Water Initiative is Audubon's multi-state effort to protect the Colorado River and the West’s network of Saline Lakes. Some 65,000 members strong and growing, the network advocates for science-based, non-partisan water policies and management that benefit rivers and lakes for the birds, wildlife, habitats, cities, and economies they support. To learn more, visit: www.audubon.org/westernwater.

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Contacts:

Joey Kahn, jkahn@audubon.org, (480) 788-2416

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