Bird-Friendly Ways to Celebrate the 4th

You’ve probably heard that the 4th of July is a rough day for the critters. We don’t want to ruin all your fun, but we have a few suggestions for making your celebration special while being considerate to the birds who also share our land.

How Does Independence Day Harm Birds?

Fireworks are the main issue for wildlife. They disturb animals by being incredibly loud and bright, potentially causing birds to abandon their nests in search of shelter. Birds flying above water may divert their paths away from the spectacle and waste precious limited energy, potentially leaving them with little energy to return. Debris left behind from fireworks is also often consumed by wildlife, which can cause choking and obstructions. Fireworks also contain metals and contaminants that can pollute our air and water, especially harming birds that feed on fish or live in aquatic habitats. Last but not least, all fireworks can cause fires. There are more human-caused wildfires on July 4th than any other day of the year. This can displace birds and destroy important habitats that are already few and far between.

How to Celebrate with Birds in Mind

Avoid using fireworks for personal use.
If you really want to enjoy fireworks, consider watching your town’s display rather than creating your own at home. Municipal displays are usually held to higher standards that keep the show away from sensitive areas, and contain more impressive displays than you can create at home anyway. Plus, fireworks are expensive! 

Encourage your town to implement drone or laser shows
These are quieter options that also leave less pollution behind. Salt Lake City recently launched an impressive drone display 

Take care to put out your grills and fire pits
The 4th of July is also a common time for grilling and time spent around a fire. If you enjoy these activities, be extra conscious putting out fires by dousing firepits and/or closing lids tight.

Clean up fishing line
Many folks take advantage of the 4th of July to recreate, including fishing. Make sure you take your fishing line with you to prevent birds from tangling in your leftovers. Bonus: avoid using lead-based lures! You can learn more about the risks that lead poses to birds and people in this blog

Clean up after your celebrate
Prioritize picking up any debris left outside from your backyard barbeque or fireworks show.

Spread the word
Let other folks know how their celebration impacts wildlife—knowledge is power!


his blog was written by Sammy Riccio, our Communications Manager. You can learn more about Sammy here.

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