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For Immediate Release: 12/12/13

Born Free USA's 12th Annual National Bird Day- January 5, 2014

An important day to learn more about the plight of all birds, captive and wild

Washington D.C. -- Sunday, January 5 is the 12th anniversary of National Bird Day, when Born Free USA, a leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation, in conjunction with Avian Welfare Coalition, shines a spotlight on issues critical to the protection and survival of birds – captive and wild. The annual campaign focuses on education and action to stop the international trade in wild birds, raises awareness about standards of care for birds who have been adopted as pets, and pushes for a deeper respect and understanding about the plight of all birds.

According to Adam Roberts, Executive Vice President of Born Free USA, “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 300 parrot species. While some may argue that breeding and the pet industry increase the odds of survival, a literal bird in a cage does not make up for one absent from the wild. The message behind National Bird Day is a call to take action on behalf of our feathered friends, learning to care for captive birds and supporting the conservation of their counterparts in the wild.”

This year, Born Free USA is asking the public to watch the PBS Nature program, Parrot Confidential. This documentary explores the difficulties of living with and raising captive parrots, the tireless efforts of rescuers who work to save the lives of unwanted and abandoned captive parrots, and the rehabilitators dedicated to conservation efforts in the wild. http://www.pbs.org/wnet/nature/episodes/parrot-confidential/parrot-confidential/8496/

In addition to viewing the 53 minute film, Born Free USA has assembled a full suite of information and activities to celebrate birds at www.nationalbirdday.com.

Seven ways to get involved:

1. Watch Parrot Confidential.
2. Go to www.nationalbirdday.com starting on January 5, 2014 for special video diaries and interviews from experts at Born Free USA and Avian Welfare Coalition staff, as well as bird watchers, rescuers, researchers, and activists.
3. Follow Born Free USA’s special Bird Blog beginning mid-December.
4. Take Born Free USA’s bird quiz and test your knowledge of bird calls with an interactive challenge.
5. Send a National Bird Day E-Card message to friends and family, and inform your community with Born Free USA’s collectible 2014 poster or with an ad in your local newspaper.
6. For bird owners: Learn tips on what you can do make your bird happy.
7. For wild bird lovers: Learn tips to reduce bird collisions.

Roberts adds, “Birds belong in the wild. It is very challenging to meet their needs in a home or any captive environment. They are highly intelligent, very social, flight-adapted animals, and should not live life in a cage. We hope that this important annual reminder of National Bird Day helps people recognize their needs and encourage their freedom.”

Born Free USA is a nationally recognized leader in animal welfare and wildlife conservation. Through litigation, legislation, and public education, Born Free USA leads vital campaigns against animals in entertainment, exotic “pets,” trapping and fur, and the destructive international wildlife trade. Born Free USA brings to America the message of “compassionate conservation” -- the vision of the U.K.-based Born Free Foundation, established in 1984 by Bill Travers and Virginia McKenna, stars of the iconic film Born Free, along with their son Will Travers, now CEO of both organizations. Born Free’s mission is to end suffering of wild animals in captivity, conserve threatened and endangered species, and encourage compassionate conservation globally. More at www.bornfreeusa.org, on Twitter at http://twitter.com/bornfreeusa, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/BornFreeUSA.

Media contact: Rodi Rosensweig, publicrelations@bornfreeusa.org, (203) 270-8929.

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