First Bird Day

On May 4, 1894, Bird Day was first observed at the initiative of Charles Almanzo Babcock, superintendent of schools in Oil City, Pennsylvania.

By 1910, Bird Day was widely celebrated, often in conjunction with Arbor Day. Statewide observances of the two holidays inculcated conservation training and awareness in a broad spectrum of the public, especially school children.

In 1901, Babcock published Bird Day: How To Prepare for It. The book included a history of Bird Day, suggestions for its observance based on contemporary school practices, and informative material stressing the importance of bird protection. It also offered guidance on how to integrate bird conservation education into the school curriculum.

Bird Day is the name of several holidays intended to celebrate birds. The first such holiday was established by Charles Babcock in 1894. He was the Oil City superintendent of schools.

Bird Day is a holiday established by Oil City, Pennsylvania school superintendent Charles Babcock in 1894. The first holiday in the United States dedicated to the celebration of birds, Babcock intended it to advance bird conservation as a moral value. It is celebrated on May 4 of every year.

Birds flock together in hard times.
A bird in the bush is worth two in the hand.
The American robin is not the same bird as the English.
The bluebird and robin may be harbingers of spring, but the swallow is the harbinger of summer.
The dandelion tells me to look for the swallow; the dog-toothed violet when to expect the wood thrush. . . .
A loon was caught, by a set line for fishing, sixty-five feet below the surface of a lake in New York, having dived to that depth for a fish.
The wood pewee, like its relative, the phoebe, feeds largely on the family of flies to which the house fly belongs. . . .
Seventy-five per cent of the food of the downy woodpecker is insects.
The cow blackbird lays its eggs in other birds' nests, one in a nest. What happens afterwards? ”

— Charles Almanzo Babcock, Bird Day: How To Prepare for It, pages 50-51.