World Migratory Bird Day is an annual awareness raising event

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was initiated in 2006 and is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats. On the second weekend each May, people around the world take action and organise public events such as bird festivals, education programmes and birdwatching excursions to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day.

Event organizers are encouraged to register their events at the WMBD website. In this way, individual events can be shared with others around the world and help inspire them to get involved. In 2015, over 350 separate awareness-raising events were held in over 90 countries to mark World Migratory Bird Day.


World Migratory Bird Day 2016

For centuries even millennia, people have hunted wildlife for a variety of reasons – food and sport - and in the past, such activities were conducted at a scale that was sustainable. In many cases, however, this is no longer true, and as a result the protection of migratory birds is being coordinated at the international level.

Nets strung out for miles along the north coast of Africa kill millions of birds every year - and this is just one example amongst many of practices where the methods used and the numbers taken have changed beyond measure.  The survival of the targeted species, many of which were once considered quite common, is in grave doubt as illegal killing, taking and trade add to the many other pressures the birds face, such as loss or deterioration of habitats.

This year’s WMBD campaign with the slogan “… and when the skies fall silent? Stop the illegal killing, taking and trade!” will centre on the theme of stopping the illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds, which reflects the subject of a Resolution adopted at the last Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (Quito, 2014).


History of World Migratory Bird Day

The very first World Migratory Bird Day was launched by AEWA and CMS on the weekend of 8-9 April 2006 with support from world renowned author Ms. Kuki Gallmann. On her famous wildlife reserve ‘Ole Ari Nyiro’ in Laikipia, Kenya, the central launching event called WINGS was held. The event was inspired by the phenomenon of bird migration and the growing need for migratory bird conservation and was attended by a number of international personalities from the worlds of art, business and conservation.

The World Migratory Bird Day campaign is jointly organized by the CMS and AEWA Secretariats. The global campaign is also supported by a growing number of partners and is made possible thanks to the voluntary contribution by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).

To learn more about World Migratory Bird Day and how to participate, please visit us at:



World Migratory Bird Day 2015

09 May 2015 to 10 May 2015

Energy – make it bird-friendly!” was the 2015's theme, which aimed to highlight the importance of deploying energy technologies in a way that prevents, minimizes and mitigates adverse impacts on migratory birds and their habitats around the world. Every year, millions of migratory birds face dangers posed by the massive expansion of various means of generating and distributing energy. Developing new and expanding existing renewable energy technologies are essential when striving towards the common goal of a low carbon future.

World Migratory Bird Day 2014

World Migratory Bird Day Poster 2014

World Migratory Bird Day Poster 2014

10 May 2014

World Migratory Bird Day 2014 celebrated on 10-11 May was the most successful ever with over 400 events celebrated in 90 countries. For 2014’s campaign, World Migratory Bird Day partnered with the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) and others to highlight the mutually beneficial relationship between tourism and conservation.

World Migratory Bird Day 2013

WMBD Poster 2013
11 May 2013 to 12 May 2013

A record 345 events in 86 countries were carried out to mark World Migratory Bird Day 2013. Each and every one of these events represented a unique activity which brought people together around the world to celebrate and help raise awareness about migratory birds on 11-12 May 2013! The survival of migratory birds depends on the availability of well-connected networks of habitats along their migration routes.

World Migratory Bird Day 2012

WMBD Poster 2012
12 May 2012 to 13 May 2012

In 2012 the World Migratory Bird Day theme focused on the cultural relationship between birds and people. Throughout time and across cultures humans have relied on birds, be it to supply food, to deliver messages, or to serve as symbols of power and prestige. Amazingly more than 250 events were registered in 81 countries around the world on May 12th and 13th, showing an increase of 25 % from 2011 and an expansion of three-fold since its inception in 2006!

World Migratory Bird Day 2011

WMBD Poster 2011
14 May 2011 to 15 May 2011

The year 2011 was for World Migratory Bird Day absolute record breaker thanks to an amazing 204 registered events in 64 countries worldwide. It was celebrated on 14th and 15th May 2011 and focused on conversion of natural areas into agricultural land, the construction of buildings, roads and dams, or deforestation, which are just some examples for the human use of land, also known as land use, while migratory bird populations are particularly sensitive to these changes.

World Migratory Bird Day 2010

WMBD Poster 2010
08 May 2010 to 09 May 2010

On 8-9 May 2010 World Migratory Bird Day was celebrated in over 40 countries around the world. Under the theme “Save migratory birds in crisis - every species counts!”, over 90 registered events took place around the world. The 2010 campaign was closely linked to the International Year of Biodiversity and raised awareness on globally threatened migratory birds, with a particular focus on those on the very edge of extinction – the Critically Endangered migratory birds.

World Migratory Bird Day 2009

WMBD Poster 2009
09 May 2009

On 9-10 May 2009 World Migratory Bird Day was celebrated in over 50 countries around the world. Under the theme “Barriers to migration”, 130 registered events took place. These events helped to raise awareness on man-made barriers and demonstrated that obstacles like wind turbines, power lines and tall buildings pose a threat to migratory birds.

World Migratory Bird Day 2008

WMBD Poster 2008
10 May 2008

Under the theme “Migratory Birds – Ambassadors for Biodiversity”, World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was celebrated for the third time on 10-11 May 2008. Over 136 activities took place in 59 countries around the world to mark World Migratory Bird Day in 2008 and the events helped spread the idea of migratory birds as messengers for the conservation of biodiversity worldwide.

World Migratory Bird Day 2007

WMBD Poster 2007
12 May 2007

In 2007, World Migratory Bird Day was celebrated in more than 58 countries and with more than 100 different events all across the planet on 12-13 May. The theme “Migratory birds in a changing climate” helped to focus the world’s attention on the plight migratory birds are facing due to global warming. WMBD activities highlighted the effects that increasing temperatures, altered rainfall and vacillating weather conditions have on migratory birds.

World Migratory Bird Day 2006

WMBD Poster 2006
08 April 2006 to 09 April 2006

The first World Migratory Bird Day took place on 8-9 April, 2006. At the time, migratory birds were receiving very negative media coverage as a result of them being falsely believed to be the main cause for the spread of Avian Influenza (H5N1) around the world. So the idea arose to use the first World Migratory Bird Day to counter some of the negative and often unbalanced publicity migratory birds were receiving at the peak of the Avian Influenza discussion.