Grab a pen, pencil, or any medium of art on April 8 and celebrate the love of both drawing and nature with “Draw-A-Bird Day”—a day when people from around the world draw birds and share them on social media.
The day has its humble origins in England and war-stricken Europe. In 1943, a 7-year-old Dorie Cooper had asked her uncle to draw a bird while visiting him in the hospital after having been wounded in the war. Soon after, other injured soldiers would draw birds for Dorie during her subsequent visits.
According to Dabday.com, a site that features bird drawings and tells the story of Dorie, tragedy struck when she was 10 years old after she died in a car accident, just three years after inspiring the soldiers to draw birds.
The soldiers, along with doctors and nurses from her uncle’s hospital, shared their bird images at Dorie’s funeral. The tradition of drawing birds carried on soon thereafter, year after year, on her birthday, April 8.
The Dabday.com website shares images of bird drawings from around the world dating back to 2008. But the Draw-a-Bird Day movement and its associated hashtag #DrawABirdDay, despite its heartfelt beginnings, has yet to gain the sort of traction #AlDub has gained in social media.
For this reason, The Haribon Foundation, the Philippines’ pioneer in nature conservation, wants to call upon everyone to make April 8 a day of celebration to acknowledge and recognize the value of birds — not only for their beauty but also for their various ecological purposes.
Birds are some of nature’s most easy-to-find species, for they can be seen and heard almost everywhere at any time. Artists, young or old, novice or professional, are called to draw birds they see in their neighborhoods. And to help with conservation awareness, artists are invited to draw birds that are not only endemic to the Philippines or only found in the country, but also those that belong to the the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List of Threatened Species like the critically endangered Haring Ibon or the Philippine Eagle.
In time, it is hoped that movements like these will not only draw out more appreciation for our feathered friends, but also bring about more support for environmentally-sound policies and actions that will help conserve birds and its natural habitats.
* * *
Want to learn more about Philippine endemic and endangered birds and their importance? An integral part of Haribon since its formation in 1972, Haribon membership transforms regular citizens into biodiversity champions. They protect, conserve, and save biodiversity while forming lasting friendships with other environmental advocates. Be a Haribon member today. Register at bit.ly/joinHF, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 421-1209.