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 Saturday in May and October, 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 people to get involved. Since 2006, more than 2,500 events have been registered in 140 different countries and territories worldwide to mark World Migratory Bird Day.


World Migratory Bird Day 2018

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) in May 2018 marked the first event that unifies two of the world’s largest bird education and awareness-raising campaigns: International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) and WMBD. The combined efforts by Environment for the Americas (EFTA) as well as CMS and by AEWA reached a record high. In May, the Campaign attracted peak attention with more than 600 events registered in 58 countries throughout the world. This year, videos of songs of the wonders of migratory birds triggered an overwhelming number of responses from the younger generation across the globe. Find out more about the fascinating response in the WMBD 2018 Report.


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.

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



World Migratory Bird Day 2017

21 September 2018

With the 2017 theme "Their Future is our Future - A healthy planet for migratory birds and people", World Migratory Bird Day has thrown light on the topic of "Sustainable Development for Wildlife and People". The 2017 theme is linked to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and highlights the interdependence of people and nature, and more specifically people and migratory birds, as they share the same planet and the same limited resources. Human activity can have a negative impact on birds’ migration, while humankind relies on birds in many ways.

World Migratory Bird Day 2016

21 March 2017

With the theme “Stop the illegal killing, taking and trade of Migratory Birds!”, WMBD 2016 highlighted the existensial threat of the illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds and the need for a concerted action between governments, International organizations, NGOs and the civil society in order to end this phenomenon that each year kills millions of birds.

In the eleventh edition of WMBD, 319 events were registered from 85 countries around the world.

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.