Education, Feature

Homewood celebrates World Migratory Bird Day 2024

On May 11, Homewood celebrated its second annual Migratory Bird Day at the Izaak Walton Preserve.

Volunteers Jaciel Austin and Ruby Zeman designed and created activities for kids
at the bird day event. (Chris Weber/H-F Chronicle)

Community members began the day with a bird-spotting tour of the preserve. Of the 24 species of birds spotted, there were the usual suspects, like robins and sparrows, but the birders also saw a few lesser-known specimens. Caspian tern, red-shouldered hawk, and turkey vulture were all on the list kept by Thorn Creek Audobon member Linda Hickey.

“We didn’t see it, but we heard a Northern Parula,” bird watcher Kate Caldwell said. “You can’t mistake that trill.”

World Migratory Bird Day 2024 is themed “Protect Insects, Protect Birds.” This year’s events focus on the relationship between bugs and birds and how they are connected within ecosystems.

After the tour, community members enjoyed a talk about “Damsels and Dragonflies” from Cook County Forest Preserve educator Jim Phillips. While waiting for the next presentation, participants were given instructions and hardware for building native bee houses and encouraged to take binoculars around the site to look for birds.

Joan Lyznicki paints a rock to look like a bird egg while Jordan Lyznicki watches. (Chris Weber/H-F Chronicle)

Jaciel Austin and Ruby Zeman, students from the art department at H-F High School, created and organized a list of activities for children at the event, including egg painting and a baby bird identification game. 

“They came up with them all on their own,” said event organizer Carolyn Bury. “Their ideas were really fun and educational.”

The Annual Migratory Bird Day is part of Homewood’s bid to become a Bird City. Bury is confident that Homewood will be selected as one of the next cities to receive the designation. 

“We haven’t been officially accepted yet,” she said. “But our application was robust.”

Homewood residents are not alone in their love for flying fauna. Communities around the world celebrate bird days twice a year. The World Migratory Bird Day website lists Oct. 11 as the second official bird day of 2024.

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