Celebrate our fine-feathered friends on Jan. 5

National Bird Day is Sunday

National Bird Day is Sunday, Jan. 5. It’s time to celebrate our fine-feathered friends, some of whom are under assault from loss of habitat, illegal hunting and other threats.

The Avian Welfare Coalition created National Bird Day in 2002 to raise awareness of these important animals.

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 and are symbols of the health and vitality of the environment.

The phrase “canary in the coal mine” was named after birds for a reason — they’re the barometers of our planet’s environmental health. The fact that so many bird species are under threat thanks to the illegal pet trade, disease and habitat loss means it’s more important than ever to raise public awareness of the needs of birds.