Hepper is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

National Bird Day 2023: When Is It & How You Can Celebrate

Grant Piper

By Grant Piper

white canary bird perching

National Bird Day is a holiday used to promote the welfare of birds, celebrated annually on January 5th. The name can be confusing. National Bird Day shares a list with a number of other bird-centric holidays, including Bird Day. This brief guide will cover everything you need to know about National Bird Day, including who founded it and how to celebrate it, and will go over the other holidays that share similar names in order to avoid confusion.

bird divider

National Bird Day (United States)

National Bird Day was established in 2002 and is celebrated annually in the United States on January 5th. National Bird Day is put on each year by the Avian Welfare Coalition (AWC). The Avian Welfare Coalition is a group of people who care deeply about the health, welfare, and treatment of birds. The AWC does not believe that exotic birds should be kept as pets. National Bird Day is about celebrating the wild beauty of natural birds and advocating against the sale, breeding, and trading of birds. They also promote educational tools and standards for birds that are under human care. National Bird Day is a day to uphold all of these values and to help promote the goals of the AWC.

National Bird Day should not be confused with other bird days. There is also a Bird Day in the United States and a Bird Day in the United Kingdom that focus more on bird watching and less on avian welfare.

conure bird perched on the finger of its owner
Image Credit: TigerStocks, Shutterstock

How to Celebrate National Bird Day

The Avian Welfare Coalition lists four ways you can help celebrate National Bird Day on January 5th. The AWC wants people to celebrate National Bird Day by:

  • Advocating for birds by contacting the USDA as citizens and voicing your concern. They have a campaign titled No More Delays. Implement care standards for birds which they hope more people will become aware of and join in.
  • Promoting the website and materials of the Avian Welfare Coalition.
  • Learning and distributing AWC educational materials regarding birds and exotic bird ownership.
  • Promoting National Bird Day on social media.

National Bird Day is for people who want to advocate for the welfare of pet birds and to help slow or stop the sale and trade of exotic birds. Anything you can do to help further this goal should be considered on January 5th of each year.

National Bird Day should not be confused with Bird Day, which is a different holiday entirely with different goals and different organizers.

Bird Day (United States)

Regular Bird Day, or just Bird Day, is a different holiday. Bird Day was the original holiday celebrating the conservation of birds. National Bird Day was founded in 2002, but Bird Day was started in 1894 by Charles Almanzo Babcock. Babcock was a school superintendent who believed that bird conservation should be a moral imperative. He focused on birds in the wild and appreciating wild birds. This differs from National Bird Day, which focuses on pet birds. Bird Day is celebrated each year on May 4th. The day became an official holiday in 1910, according to the Library of Congress.

group of little birds perching on tree branch
Image Credit: Nitr, Shutterstock

Bird Day (United Kingdom)

National Bird Day should also not be confused with the Bird Day celebrated in the United Kingdom (UK). Every year since 1979, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has put on a large bird watching celebration in the UK. Hundreds of thousands of people gather to watch, count and catalog birds in a grand celebration. Bird Day is organized annually, and the date varies depending on the year and the season.

bird divider

How to Celebrate Bird Day

Unlike National Bird Day, Bird Day is celebrated by bird watching, appreciating birds in their natural environment, and advocating for the saving and conservation of wild bird habitats. In the United States, Bird Day is often celebrated in conjunction with Arbor Day. National Arbor Day always officially takes place on the last Friday in April, with Bird Day usually following a week later. Bird Day and Arbor Day share similar goals. Both of these nature-focused days focus on conservation training and awareness for birds, trees, and the environment.

woman bird watching through binoculars
Image Credit: leungchopan, Shutterstock

bird divider


National Bird Day is celebrated each year on January 5th. National Bird Day is put on by the Avian Welfare Coalition. National Bird Day focuses on birds under human care. The AWC works to help promote the health of exotic pet birds and to prevent the mass marketing and sale of birds into the pet trade. National Bird Day is not to be confused with Bird Day, which is the oldest avian holiday in the United States and has been celebrated for decades on May 4th. All of these days celebrate birds and are used to promote bird welfare both in the wild and under human care. These are the perfect days for bird lovers to come together and celebrate their love of the avian species together.

You Might Also Be Interested In:

Featured Image Credit: Fernando Zamora Vega, Shutterstock

Related Articles

Further Reading

Vet Articles

Latest Vet Answers

The latest veterinarians' answers to questions from our database