Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

May 22, 2019

Kids Speak Up, Take Action for Black-Crowned Night-Herons in Oakland!

Celebrating victory at city hall: Kids from Park Day School and supporters after the Black-crowned Night-Heron was named the Official Bird of the City of Oakland!

Many of the Black-crowned Night-Herons that are injured or orphaned come in to care at our San Francisco Bay-Delta Wildlife Center from rookeries in Oakland, CA.

One of the best ways to take action to protect birds in crisis is to use your voice! Even the smallest voices can make a big difference, and Bird Rescue was proud to support the efforts of elementary school students from Park Day School earlier this week as they set an example of how to speak up on behalf of birds.

It all began in 2017 when a group of third-graders learned about Black-crowned Night-Herons and the threats they face in their home town of Oakland. The city holds multiple breeding colonies for these birds, and each spring hundreds of them come into care at Bird Rescue and other wildlife rehabilitation centers when baby herons fall from their nests onto hard pavement or into busy areas. Moved by the plight of these unique birds, the students jumped into action and started a campaign to name the Black-crowned Night-Heron the official city bird of Oakland. Over the following months, they spread the word and gathered thousands of signatures.

Two years later, the hard work of these tenacious kids paid off! Bird Rescue Executive Director, JD Bergeron, had the pleasure of attending a city council meeting to support the students as they made their final presentation before city officials. A vote was held, and the motion to give the Black-crowned Night-Herons the official designation passed unanimously!

Each of us can make a difference, just like the Park Day School students. Keep an eye out for the challenges your local birds and wildlife face and raise awareness of them in your community!

“You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.” – Wangari Maathai

Back in 2017, the students jumped into action and started a campaign to name the Black-crowned Night-Heron the official city bird of Oakland.

 

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