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World Migratory Bird Day
May 14, 2022
Light Pollution will be the focus of the World Migratory Bird Day 2022 campaign.
Artificial light is increasing globally by at least 2 per cent per year and it is known to adversely affect many bird species. Light pollution is a significant threat to migratory birds, causing disorientation when they fly at night, leading to collisions with buildings, perturbing their internal clocks, or interfering with their ability to undertake long-distance migrations.
World Migratory Bird Day was initiated in 2006 by the Secretariat of the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
Originally, the idea of designating a day for migratory birds arose in the United States in 1993, when the US Fish and Wildlife Service, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology initiated celebrations of the ‘International Migratory Bird Day’ (IMBD), which encourages bird festivals and education programmes across the Americas. Although this day was and continues to be successfully celebrated in the western hemisphere, something similar was missing for the rest of the world.
On the occasion of its 10th anniversary in 2005, the AEWA Secretariat initiated the Migratory Waterbird Days (MWD) which were held in Africa, Europe and parts of Asia. As this event was well received in the African-Eurasian region, it was decided to broaden the scope into a commemorative day that celebrates all migrating birds on a global scale.
World Migratory Bird Day is an Annual Global Celebration
World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. It has a global outreach and is an effective tool to help raise global awareness of the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.
Every year people around the world take action and organize public events such as bird festivals, education programmes, exhibitions and bird-watching excursions to celebrate WMBD. All these activities can also be undertaken at any time on the year because that countries or regions observing the peak of migrations at different times, but the main days for the international celebrations on the second Saturday in May and in October.