World Migratory Bird Day 2020: Birds Connect Our World

World Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated by people across the world on Saturday, 9 May with the theme “Birds Connect Our World”. The UN-led campaign aims to raise awareness of migratory birds and the importance of international cooperation to conserve them. It is organized by a collaborative partnership among two UN treaties, the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Colorado-based non-profit organization, Environment for the Americas (EFTA). Coming at a time when most of the world’s population is under some form of restricted movement due to the coronavirus, this theme carries a particular relevance and poignance. The Wadden Sea World Heritage is one of the major migratory bird sites in the world as significant spot on the East Atlantic Flyway. With the launch of the Wadden Sea Flyway Initiative in 2014 the Wadden Sea countries work together with other countries along the Flyway to monitor and better protect the birds.

“Migratory birds can be found everywhere: in cities and in the countryside, in parks and in our backyards, in forests and in mountains, in deserts and in wetlands, and all along the shores. They connect to all of these habitats, and they connect us and the places where we live to people and places around the globe,” said Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary of CMS. "Yet, migratory birds are under threat, from loss of habitat, climate change, poisoning, power lines, and illegal killing. We need to step up our actions across the world to better protect migratory birds and the habitats they need to survive and thrive.”

“Despite the challenges that humankind must face, it is not a silent spring. Birdsong has overtaken the sound of cars in many of the world’s cities. Many birds are coming back to breed in wetlands, forests and even in our gardens. This shows that the cycles and rhythms of nature, including those of migratory birds are continuing on their normal course,” said Jacques Trouvilliez, Executive Secretary of AEWA. “The only real difference is that more people are now listening. Let us hold on to this new sense of appreciation, enjoy this music, and look for birds around us. Birds carry a message of hope. Let us remember the birds and, nature as a whole, when we go ahead to build a healthier, more environmentally responsible and more liveable world for all of us. Birds connect us.”

EFTA, which is spearheading World Migratory Bird Day activities in the Western Hemisphere – along the Americas Flyway – is launching BirdDayLive a new interactive website functioning as a major hub of activities for the campaign, including virtual events such as live talks by experts, videos, quizzes, book readings and creative activities designed for children.

Launched in Kenya in 2006, the World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated globally on two peak days – the second Saturdays in May and October – to accommodate the cyclical nature of migration and to allow celebrations to take place in countries in every part of the globe.