Flying Kites for Alaska’s Birds

The Arctic is Alive Rally. Photo by Neil Shader.

Despite a not-so-breezy morning, members of The Alaska Wilderness League coerced dozens of passersby to fly white bird-shaped kites in front of the reflecting pool on Capitol Hill in Washington D.C. last Wednesday. The first of many planned “ The Arctic is Alive” rallies, the display was meant to send a message to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service before a public hearing about the management plan for the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge held later that day.

“Millions of migratory birds from Alaska fly south through D.C. and other states every single year and these kites represent the direct connection Alaskan birds have with us,” said Lauren Hierl, The Alaska Wilderness League’s Arctic Refuge Campaign Director. “It is essential that we protect their breeding grounds in Alaska because their migration affects our ecosystem down here too.”

Each paper kite represented a state and listed the names of residents concerned about protecting the parts of the Arctic Refuge that millions of birds depend on for their nesting habitat every summer. In all, the League collected over 770 names from all 50 states. As seen in these pictures, it seems that one of the Alaskan birds the League is trying to protect made special appearance to take a stab at flying one of the kites.

Click here for information about future rallies and how to build your own kite.

You can also take action here by contacting the Fish and Wildlife Service to tell them to include a Wilderness review in their Refuge management plan.

photo: The Arctic is Alive Rally. Photo by Neil Shader.