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 2019

The theme of WMBD 2019 is “Protect Birds: Be the Solution to Plastic Pollution!” − and will put the spotlight on the negative impact of plastic pollution on migratory birds and their habitats.

With an annual production of more than 300m tons, plastic is one of the most widely used materials in the world. What often escapes one’s attention is that the plastic is used for its main purpose for only a moment compared with its lifecycle of 20 to 500 years. Lightweight and designed to last, the discarded pieces are easily transported into ecosystems through the forces of nature causing serious threats to migratory species around the world.
Sadly, having wings does not help birds escape the threat of plastic. Birds with stomachs full of plastic entangled and smothered by plastic rings and nets are all too real consequences of the toll that plastic takes on wildlife. For more information on WMBD 2019, please visit the WMBD website


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 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.