OAK HAMMOCK MARSH, Manitoba, May 11, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- To celebrate World Migratory Bird Day on Saturday, May 12, Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) highlights the impact everyday actions can have on the lives (and migration) of our waterfowl and other birds.

“Anyone can make a difference,” says David Howerter, director of national conservation operations at DUC. For an example of everyday acts that have led to great conservation, Howerter singles out efforts that have supported wood ducks.

More than 100 years ago, it seemed likely this colourful duck would be extinct by the turn of the 20th century, as a result of overhunting and overharvesting of their preferred nesting habitat—large, knotty trees.

Rather than watch the wood duck disappear, like-minded people banded together to find ways to rebuild their populations. One way was to limit their hunt. Another was to provide them with a place to nest. People began to build and maintain nest boxes. Placed near wetlands, these simple, four-sided structures give wood duck hens (and other cavity nesters), a safe place to lay and incubate their eggs.

Today thousands of nest boxes are maintained by DUC volunteers and Canadians across the country. As for the wood duck? “Their populations are doing well,” says Howerter.

Building and maintaining nest boxes is one way a person can help waterfowl, “but it’s not the only way,” says Howerter.  

Other everyday acts that benefit waterfowl and/or other migratory birds:

  • Participate in a bird survey or bird banding activity. Knowing the location and population dynamics of our feathered friends can help inform conservation efforts. 
  • Place decals on your windows or close the blinds. Birds have trouble seeing the glass. You can help them avoid crashing into it, by making it more visible.  
  • Turn the lights off. Many birds migrate at night, and artificial lights can confuse them.
  • Keep your favourite felines away from our winged friends. Cats continue to be one of the top causes of mortality among birds.   
  • Consider supporting conservation organizations that restore, conserve and safeguard habitat for waterfowl and other migratory birds. Because when birds need to migrate thousands of kilometres, the last thing they should have to worry about is where they’ll land. 

"Most ducks are habitat generalists. This means that if there are habitat and food available—they'll be OK,” says Howerter.

Ducks Unlimited Canada (DUC) is the leader in conserving and restoring wetlands. A registered charity, DUC partners with government, industry, non-profit organizations and landowners to conserve wetlands that are critical to waterfowl, wildlife and the environment.

World Migratory Bird Day calls attention to one of the most spectacular events in the Americas – bird migration.

To learn more about ways individuals can help birds on their migration journey, please reach out to us.

Media Contact:
Julielee Stitt
Communications Specialist, Ducks Unlimited Canada
Office: 204-467-3270 Cell: 613-355-4811 Email: j_stitt@ducks.ca

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at http://resource.globenewswire.com/Resource/Download/d629e1f4-13da-4985-908e-f35d8b2c8d7e