International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), PIF’s keystone education and outreach program, is the only international education program that highlights and celebrates the migration of nearly 350 species of migratory birds between nesting habitats in North America and non-breeding grounds in Latin America, Mexico, and the Caribbean.

Each year IMBD explores a different aspect of migratory birds and their conservation and reaches youth and adults across the Western Hemisphere through festivals, education programs, the media, presentations, and more.

IMBD is coordinated by Environment for the Americas (EFTA), which works to incorporate PIF. For more information, visit our website at and contact EFTA at [email protected]


2017 Theme – “Stopover Sites: Helping Birds Along the Way”

IMBD cover imageIt can be a long journey between non-breeding sites across the Americas and the Caribbean to nesting sites in the United States and Canada. Annually,  a Bobolink can travel as many as 12,500 miles roundtrip (20,000 kilometers) between grasslands and rice fields as far south as Argentina to breeding areas in northern United States and Canada. Along the way, birds may need to rest and refuel, and the health and safety of these sites is critical to the survival of migratory birds. In 2017, International Migratory Bird Day celebrates the importance of these habitats and encourages everyone to get involved in protecting these areas. Your own backyard may serve as a stopover site, especially if it provides the food, water, and shelter birds need, along with a haven that is safe from threats, such as free-roaming cats and pane glass. Join us this year as we Help Birds Along the Way!

How to participate

It’s easy to participate in IMBD as a host site, a volunteer, or a participant. An IMBD event provides the public an opportunity to learn about birds and their conservation.  Organizers may not only share the amazing world of birds with their students, members, and visitors, but also leave them with tangible, practical ways to take part in bird conservation. IMBD events vary from morning bird walks, to classroom programs, public presentations, bird counts, one-day events, and multi-day festivals. To learn more about creating your IMBD program, contact Environment for the Americas at [email protected].

When is IMBD celebrated?

The official date for IMBD in the U.S. and Canada is the second Saturday in May each year. We recognize, however, that this isn’t always the best time for you or the birds. For participants to the south, migratory birds may have already passed through. And to the north, this date may be too early.  We encourage you to host a program, event, or festival when birds are present and when it best suits your schedule. Today, IMBD programs, events, and festivals are held year-round.May is not an ideal time to celebrate migratory birds in countries to the south!  On the birds’ wintering grounds, the official date for IMBD is the second Saturday in October. The date varies throughout the region as well. In Costa Rica, some IMBD events begin as early as February. In Caribbean countries, in October. And festivities in Colombia beginning September.