A major impetus for the Year of the Bird is that 2018 is the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the most powerful and effective bird-protection law ever passed. It protects the hundreds of species of native birds, even those like cardinals and bluebirds that we don’t normally think of as migratory.
It protects not only the birds but also their nests, eggs and babies. During the past 100 years, the MBTA has saved millions, if not billions, of birds.
Even so, factions in Washington, D.C., are trying to weaken the MBTA and are challenging and stripping away protection for other wildlife.
This weekend, you have a chance to participate in a Year of the Bird event, the Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC). The GBBC began Friday and continues through Monday. Taking part is easy: Spend at least 15 minutes today through Monday counting all the birds you see or hear in your yard, park, neighborhood or wherever. Then, report the results at gbbc.birdcount.org.
IN THE SKY: From David Dundee, Tellus Science Museum astronomer: The moon will be first quarter on Friday. Saturn is low in the east a few hours before sunrise. Jupiter and Mars rise out of the east just after midnight.