We are thrilled to announce that the Town of La Plata has been designated the first Bird City Maryland! This program, run by the Maryland Bird Conservation Partnership (MBCP), aims to make communities healthier for people and birds. For the past year Southern Maryland Audubon Society (SMAS) has worked with the Town of La Plata staff to fulfill the program requirements. We also invited additional partners, the Port Tobacco River Conservancy and the Conservancy for Charles County, into the fold. That hard work has paid off! On February 10, 2020, MBCP issued their press release: the Town of La Plata became Maryland’s first official Bird City!
To celebrate, on Monday, February 24, the Town Council held a reception at the Town Hall. Over 50 bird and nature lovers from the community attended. We celebrated with a commemorative cake from Charles Street Bakery and enjoyed beautiful avian-themed artwork from Shop 53 Custom Tattoo and Art Studio.
Following the reception, the Town Council thanked the community partners for their guidance and support during the application process. “We are very excited to have the designation of being Maryland’s very first Bird City! One of the great benefits of being a Bird City is that it brings people together, builds community spirit, and makes our community a nicer place to live. Great things are happening in La Plata!” said Mayor James.
That night, the Council also recognized the Purple Martin as the official town bird! Purple Martins are a bird of the people. Throughout most of their range, martins are dependent on human-created nesting structures. Even outside of nesting season, purple martins commonly establish roost sites around people. La Plata has two Purple Martin house structures in the middle of town.
Bird City Maryland Events
SMAS sponsors or supports many events for Bird City Maryland. Join us April 19, 2020 for a celebration at the La Plata Train Station at 1 p.m.** We will mark the return of our Purple Martins from their southern homes, meet our Purple Martin housekeepers, and recognize Arbor Day. Native plants are an important part of Bird City Maryland. Purple Martins, like 75% of bird species, eat insects; and insects rely on native plants. Come and get a free native shrub sapling!
One requirement for Bird City Maryland is to recognize World Migratory Bird Day. Join SMAS on April 25 at the Celebrate La Plata annual spring festival.** Check out our booth, which will highlight this year’s theme, Birds Connect Our World. (**Both of these events were cancelled due to COVID-19, and we hope to reschedule.)