Berlin Proclaims ‘Year Of The Bird’

BERLIN – Town officials proclaimed 2018 the “Year of the Bird” in a ceremony this month.

At the last meeting of the town council, Mayor Gee Williams presented Dave Wilson of Conservation Community Consulting with a proclamation marking 2018 as the Year of the Bird in Berlin.

“The Berlin area is home to one of North America’s largest migrations when we host thousands of songbirds, raptors and waterfowl throughout the region, which is part of the Atlantic flyway,” Williams said. “From Berlin’s town parks to the majestic stands of Bald Cypress to our south and the Atlantic barrier islands on the east and every area in between, Berlin’s rich natural resources support more than 200 bird species.”

The proclamation coincides with the 100th anniversary of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act. In Berlin, osprey, great egrets and wood ducks are often glimpsed nesting or migrating. Green herons are common at Berlin Falls Park during the summer. Ducks, including northern shovelers, hooded mergansers and buffleheads fill the park during the colder months.

The town’s proclamation recognizes the fact that Americans spend $41 billion a year on birding trips and equipment. Locally, birdwatchers participate in an annual Christmas bird count and the MD/DC Breeding Bird Atlas Project.

In addition to Berlin, Talbot County, the Maryland State Senate and Governor Larry Hogan have made efforts to celebrate the centennial of the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.

“The Year of the Bird is an opportunity for Maryland citizens and tourists alike to celebrate the educational and recreational role of birds that live and migrate through our state, as well as a great reminder of the importance of conserving our natural resources,” Hogan said. “I want to thank the National Audubon Society for their efforts to protect birds and their habitats in Maryland and beyond.”

The state is home to 42 “Important Bird Areas,” and more than 400 observed species as well as the Chesapeake Bay watershed, which is a breeding and stopover area for millions of migrating birds each year, according to Audubon.

“Year of the Bird is an easy way people can take small everyday actions to help birds along their journeys,” said David Yarnold, president and CEO for National Audubon Society. “Maryland’s Chesapeake Bay provides wintering grounds for approximately one-third of the Atlantic coast’s migratory population, including iconic waterfowl species like the Tundra Swan, Canada Goose, Northern Pintail and Green-winged Teal.”

About The Author: Charlene Sharpe

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Charlene Sharpe has been with The Dispatch since 2014. A graduate of Stephen Decatur High School and the University of Richmond, she spent seven years with the Delmarva Media Group before joining the team at The Dispatch.