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The National Day for Our Feathered Friends

by Rinku Khumukcham
0 comment 5 minutes read

By : N. Munal Meitei
Do not fold out your cameras only to spy on these feathered friends but please see also, how miserable their lives are…?
With the temperature dipping gradually, more and more of our visiting guests start to land in our state. It’s a pride and pleasure to see these singing friends, chirping amongst themselves unfailingly kind and considerate. 
Birds are a group of warm-blooded vertebrates constituting the class Aves, characterised by feathers, toothless beaked jaws, the laying of hard-shelled eggs, a high metabolic rate, a four-chambered heart, and a strong yet lightweight skeleton.   
Throughout the years, birds take flight from tree to tree and place to place flapping their wings and singing beautiful songs. Wherever we see them, the birds always hold a spot of fascination, love, and adoration in our hearts. Birds are a valuable part of nature’s ecosystem. While birds are amazing, they’re also a massive animal group under particular threat. Birds are sentinel breeds whose plight serves as the barometers of our planet’s ecosystem and alert system for detecting global environmental health. The fact that so many of the bird species are under threat due to climate change, illegal pet trade, habitat loss, and disease, and thus to raise public awareness is the need of the hour. 
The survival of hundreds of these invaluable species depends on us. Birds always hold a special place in our hearts, thus we celebrate National Bird Day on January 5 every year. This day is an opportunity for people everywhere to learn about the birds and the challenges they face. 
National Bird Day celebrations also appreciate the great things that the animals do and to raise awareness for the adversity they face on a daily basis and to raise awareness of the hardships and plights of these important animals and how we can initiate the change needed to create a healthier, more sustainable relationship with them.
This day also reminds us about the destructive tendencies of the bird trade, the cruelty of bird breeding mills, and ideas for helping and improving the lives of birds that are already living in captivity.
The world is filled with a plethora of different species of birds. Different religions and countries have different relationships with the various species of birds. Dove is taken as the symbol of peace after the mighty flood at the time of Noah. Birds are often considered living links to the past, being the closest-related animals to the evolution of dinosaurs. They’re often keystone species in the ecosystems, signifiers of its health and vitality. For example, the holes left behind by woodpeckers are often used as homes for a large variety of other animals. The same is for beavers also!
Birds bear witness to and are impacted by the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution. Making progress on reigning in climate change and ending biodiversity loss is critical to the survival of the birds. Climate change is adding additional pressure on the birds by adversely affecting habitats they need for breeding, resting and refuelling along the way. The changing climate is also impacting the annual cycles of birds, affecting the timing of migration and reproduction and causing mismatches in food availability.
Birds over the world are again threatened with illegal hunting as well as from poisoning, pollution and collision with man-made objects, such as glass-covered buildings and powerlines. The bird knows no political boundaries and therefore, we should not put the birds to our human crisis. 
A great idea for celebrating the day would be learning about all of the wonders of birds, and then helping to educate friends and family members about their plight. Because the survival of the world’s birds hinges on public awareness as well as the support for conservation efforts all over the world.
While National Bird Day may be relatively new, having been founded in 2002, the adversity that birds have had to face is nothing novel to the animal kingdom. Just ask the Dodo, the Labrador Duck, or the Passenger Pigeon, considered sacred by many native tribes and often the subject of many human arts until its demise. 
Forgo the zoo and head on over to places where the birds actually live and thrive in their natural habitats. For some bird lovers, this could simply mean taking a walk to the wetland or forest with some bird watching glasses to spot some unique creatures. For others, this might mean building an entire vacation to an exotic place to see birds in their natural homes. 
The purpose of this day is to bring attention to the plight of our feathered friends and to appreciate the beauty and the diversity of these animals and remember how important birds are to nature.
According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature, out of the 11000 bird species so far identified, almost 900 of them are on the verge of extinction and 4 have been ruled as extinct in the wild. Thus, if we don’t care today, a day may come even in our lifetime that our feathered friends may be wiped out from this beautiful world and our future generation may not be able to see them but just listen to them as a paper history. 
Therefore, with the coming of the National Bird Day 2022, please think that birds can live without us but we can’t live without them, and hence let’s save these loving and the most beautiful and precious gifts of God to us for the sake of mother earth and the future generations.
(The writer is a Environmentalist; [email protected])

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