The National Elk Refuge will be celebrating the Migratory Bird Treaty centennial next month, offering programs to recognize the 100-year mark since the signing of the foundational treaty that launched international conservation efforts for migratory birds. The Convention between the United States and Great Britain (for Canada) for the Protection of Migratory Birds – also called the Migratory Bird Treaty – was signed on August 16, 1916.
Migratory birds are among nature’s most magnificent living resources and play a significant ecological and cultural role in the United States and internationally. They symbolize America’s experience with the natural world and enrich our lives in many ways by contributing environmental benefits like pollination, insect and rodent control, and seed dispersal. Migratory birds are also good indicators of environmental health because they are so visible and are relatively easy to study, giving people a snapshot of what is occurring in the natural world.
The Refuge’s Migratory Bird Treaty Centennial events will be held at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, located at 532 N. Cache Street in Jackson, and are all free of charge. The Visitor Center is open from 8:00 am – 7:00 pm during the summer season.
A temporary exhibit in the Visitor Center’s upstairs theater will give an overview of significant events and successes in bird conservation history. A time line will span the years from when overuse of natural resources was the norm to present-day conservation practices. The exhibit will be on display from Monday, August 1 through Wednesday, August 31.
On both Tuesday, August 9 and August 16, the Teton Raptor Center will again partner with the National Elk Refuge to bring several of their resident birds as part of a presentation by raptor experts. The audience will learn about birds of prey within an arm’s length of live avian ambassadors from the non-profit organization. The live bird presentation is exciting and popular with guests of all ages. Both presentations will be held outdoors on the Visitor Center lawn from 2:00 – 3:00 pm.
On Tuesday, August 16, a number of additional family-friendly activities will take place at the Visitor Center to mark the actual treaty anniversary:
– Craft activities, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: Participants can decorate migratory bird coloring sheets or create their own bird mask. Materials will be provided.
– “On the Wings of Time” quiz, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm: With the help of a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service volunteer, visitors can take a bird quiz to earn bird bracelets, migratory bird bookmarks, bird stickers, coloring books, and other prizes.
– Puddles the Blue Goose photo opportunity, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm: The Blue Goose mascot of the National Wildlife Refuge System will rove throughout the Visitor Center, greeting guests and posing for photos and selfies.
For more information on programs at the Jackson Hole & Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center, please call (307) 739-9322.