National Bird Day
January 5, 2014 in the USA

National Bird Day takes place on January 05, 2014. It is an annual holiday with half a million adherents who celebrate through birdwatching, studying birds, bird drinking games including ‘bird date’ and other bird-related activities. Bird adoption is a particularly important National Bird Day activity. According to the newspaper Atlanta Journal Constitution, many bird enthusiasts celebrate by adopting birds and by educating future bird owners about the special issues involved with taking care of birds, including their “screaming, biting, constant cleanups, the need for daily interaction and a varied diet”.

Birds are feathered, winged, bipedal, endothermic (warm-blooded), egg-laying, vertebrate animals. With around 10,000 living species, they are the most speciose class of tetrapod vertebrates. All living species of birds have wings. Wings are evolved forelimbs, and most bird species can fly. Flightless birds include ratites, penguins, and a number of diverse endemic island species. Some birds, especially corvids and parrots, are among the most intelligent animal species; a number of bird species have been observed manufacturing and using tools, and many social species exhibit cultural transmission of knowledge across generations.

Though human activities have allowed the expansion of a few species, such as the Barn Swallow and European Starling, they have caused population decreases or extinction in many other species. Over a hundred bird species have gone extinct in historical times. The most commonly cited human threat to birds is habitat loss. Other threats include overhunting, accidental mortality due to structural collisions, pollution, competition and predation from nonnative invasive species, and climate change.

Governments and conservation groups work to protect birds, either by passing laws that preserve and restore bird habitat or by establishing captive populations for reintroductions. Such projects have produced some successes; one study estimated that conservation efforts saved 16 species of bird that would otherwise have gone extinct between 1994 and 2004, including the California Condor and Norfolk Parakeet.

National Bird Day Homepage:

Where is National Bird Day?
Nationwide USA

Twelfth Night 2014
January 5, 2014 in the World

Twelfth Night takes place on January 05, 2014. Twelfth Night is a festival in some branches of Christianity marking the coming of the Epiphany and concluding the Twelve Days of Christmas. It is defined by the Shorter Oxford English Dictionary as “the evening of the fifth of January, preceding Twelfth Day, the eve of the Epiphany, formerly the last day of the Christmas festivities and observed as a time of merrymaking”. There is some confusion these days, however, as to which night is Twelfth Night: modern practice is often to regard the night of Epiphany itself (sixth of January) to be Twelfth Night. The older tradition of Twelfth Night being the 5 January stems from the medieval practice of the day beginning at sunset, rather than at midnight as it does now. Thus Twelfth Night falls on 5 January, ahead of Twelfth Day on the 6th. A recent belief in some English-speaking countries holds that it is unlucky to leave Christmas decorations hanging after Twelfth Night, a belief originally attached to the festival of Candlemas which celebrates the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple (2 February).

Where is Twelfth Night?

Historical Events:

1349 – Margaretha of Bavaria names her son Willem V earl of Holland/Zealand

1527 – Felix Manz, a leader of the Anabaptist congregation in Zürich, is executed by drowning. (b. 1498)

1709 – Sudden extreme cold kills 1000s of Europeans

1822 – Central America proclaims annexation to Mexican Empire

1834 – Kiowa Indians record this as the night the stars fell

1840 – Records show 95,820 licensed public houses in England on this date

1892 – 1st successful auroral photograph made

1905 – Charles Perrine announces discovery of Jupiter’s 7th satellite, Elara

1905 – National Association of Audubon Society incorporates

1925 – Nellie Taylor Ross became governor of Wyoming, 1st woman gov in USA

1940 – FM radio is demonstrated to the FCC for the first time.

1944 – The Daily Mail becomes the first transoceanic newspaper.

1959 – “Bozo the Clown” live children’s show premieres on TV

1961 – US breaks diplomatic relations with Cuba

1970 – Soap Opera “All My Children,” premieres on ABC

1972 – NASA announces development of space shuttle

1998 – Ice storm knocks out electricity in Quebec & Ontario

1998 – Vandals decapitate Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid