National Bird Day 2023 is Jan. 4. Try this bird-watching app – Deseret News


A raptor flies within the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in Farmington on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Our feathered friends are all around us: backyards, city parks, hanging out in the trees at campgrounds, and especially inhabiting the shores of the Great Salt Lake.
Utah’s saline lake provides a refuge for millions of migratory birds, including more than 300 species, and is a great value for the bird-watching community and an economic driver for the state.
At the same time, more than 12% of the world’s 10,000 species of birds face extinction from a variety of threats that include a changing climate, urban encroachment, invasive species, drought, wildfires and floods.
In honor of National Bird Day, which is Thursday, another tool has recently become available to help both seasoned birders or those just starting out.
The co-founders of Birda — a new bird-watching app and social media platform — argue that wildlife conservation that starts within local communities has a global impact, with this approach essential to helping and protecting some of the planet’s most endangered species. 
Whether users live in the countryside or in the city, Birda allows the app’s users to explore and appreciate the nature that surrounds them through a free, easy-to-use tool for logging the birdlife around them — with the simple step of heading for a walk and looking up.

A bird flies within the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in Farmington on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News
The founders of Birda argue that bird-watching plays an essential route into wildlife conservation as it provides an intimate connection between people and their natural environment. People who share a connection with nature and spend time observing wildlife have a stake in ensuring its preservation.
Local advocates, including The Nature Conservancy and Friends of the Great Salt Lake, couldn’t agree more.
“What I heard somewhere is that birds are the most accessible wildlife for probably most people because there are urban birds, there are rural birds,” said Lynn de Freitas, executive director of Friends of the Great Salt Lake. “And so wherever you are, you have the opportunity to take a moment and take notice.”
She added that the Great Salt Lake is an excellent tutor for people to identify and record migratory trends, and knowing that information is like a telescope highlighting fascinating journeys that seem like an impossible feat.
Birda is available on both iPhone and Android apps, according to a press release.
A bird is pictured at the Farmington Bay Waterfowl Management Area in Farmington on Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2023.
Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

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