On Saturday, 9 May 2020, people around the world will celebrate World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) – a global campaign dedicated to raising awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.
This year the theme of World Migratory Bird Day is “Birds Connect Our World” and was chosen to highlight the importance of conserving and restoring the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems that support the natural cycles that are essential for the survival and well-being of migratory birds. The theme also underlines the fact that migratory birds are part of our shared natural heritage and they depend on a network of sites along their migration routes for breeding, feeding, resting and overwintering.
“World Migratory Bird Day reminds us that now, more than ever, we need to step up our actions to protect migratory birds and their habitats. Many bird species are in decline around the world, and the continued loss and destruction of nature has also been linked to the kinds of infectious diseases we are now combatting,” said Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary of the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS). “We can use this time to reflect and re-connect with nature and commit to helping migratory birds wherever they are found,” said Fraenkel.
“Nature is carrying on as usual, the cycles and rhythms of nature, including those of migratory birds, continue on their normal course,” said Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA). “Not only are they connecting us to other people, but they are also reminding us that this crisis also provides an opportunity - an opportunity for humankind to revisit our relationship with nature and to rebuild a more environmentally responsible world,” said Trouvilliez.
Last year, over 870 events were registered, including many gatherings of school groups and other public events which took place in city parks, wetlands and other places around the world often frequented by migratory birds. In comparison to past years, the global celebration of our avian friends and their fascinating annual migrations will look very different this year because of the unprecedented global health crisis the world is facing from COVID-19.
There are many ways for people to voice their support for bird conservation, and to celebrate and share their appreciation for migratory birds in countries, cities, towns and villages around the world. While public gatherings (even in small groups) will be impossible in most localities, there are numerous alternatives that people could consider:
Reschedule any planned physical events – remember that WMBD now takes place on two “peak-days” each year and your planned public activities could simply be moved to the second Saturday peak day celebration in October 2020.
Hone your community birdwatching skills from your window, garden, balcony or, if you are able to spend time outside in public parks, the forest nearby or any other open spaces.
Take part in an event online (or even organize one yourself); here are some ideas:
Whatever you plan to do, please remember to register your event or contribution on the WMBD website, where you will also find updates on the 2020 campaign. As this year’s theme highlights, birds still connect the planet and can still bring people together (virtually if not physically)!
Please feel free to contact us with any questions you may have or visit the WMBD website: www.worldmigratorybirdday.org
Please stay safe and enjoy the birds in your vicinity or online!
The WMBD Team