I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings…
closing line of “Sympathy” poem by Paul Laurence Dundar
Why National Bird Day?
Celebrated January 5th, National Bird Day was established by bird activists to call attention to the plight of captive birds. The annual event that takes place is organized by Born Free USA in coordination with the Avian Welfare Coalition to take action on behalf of captive birds by drawing attention to the exploitation of other countries’ native birds by the U.S. pet industry.
• The beauty, songs, and flight of birds have long been sources of human inspiration.
• Today, nearly 12 percent of the world’s 9,800 bird species may face extinction within the next century, including nearly one-third of the world’s 330 parrot species.
• Birds are sentinel species whose plight serves as barometer of ecosystem health and alert system for detecting global environmental ills.
• Many of the world’s parrots and songbirds are threatened with extinction due to pressures from the illegal pet trade, disease, and habitat loss.
• Public awareness and education about the physical and behavioral needs of birds can go far in improving the welfare of the millions of birds kept in captivity.
• The survival and well-being of the world’s birds depends upon public education and support for conservation.
Listen to Tom O’Bedlam’s spoken verse recitation of Dunbar’s Sympathy:
The closing line of this poignant work by Dunbar is the title that celebrated teacher, poet, author,
Maya Angelou selects for the first in her series of autobiographies I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings.
Amy Riddle says
This morning when I was pouring my coffee I gazed out the window and there were around 20 birds in the yard. Tons of robins and a female cardinal..now I find out it is Bird Day! I was wondering. I was like, “It’s like Snow White out there!”
Naz Laila says
It is a beautiful illustration Lisa
Liz Powley says
Beautiful piece of work surrounded by a tragic truth. Birds are our unnoticed (in the majority) constant companions. Why on Earth would we want to cage them? And in tiny little cages inside. Even the cute little budgie was born to roam in great flocks across the Australian Outback, yet we confine them to singles or pairs and lock them up so we can look at them at our leisure. There is definitely something wrong with the human point of view. And don’t get me started on bird smugglers…ugh.
Thank you for posting this to be noticed. Awareness counts.
(in Australia, surrounded by lorikeets, rosellas, Murray magpies, magpie larks, noisy miners…and a lot of noise :D)
awe what a sad reality. i have had a similar day thinking about the plight of pet store puppies. this was triggered after seeing over twenty puppies, most likely puppy mill puppies, all in cages…… really hits hard to the soul….good news is that there is an active organization where i live that is pressuring the legislature to ban all sales of dogs and cats in pet stores….. I also live close to the worlds largest bird sanctuary… i havent been but i am told this place takes in all abandoned birds…. your bird is beautiful and i can see the love in your art 🙂