World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is a global campaign that emphasises the importance of migratory bird conservation and habitat preservation. We commemorate this day on the second Saturday in May and the second Saturday in October. This year, World Migratory Bird Day is on May 14, with October 8 being the second time. The day raises awareness about the problems that migratory birds face, their ecological value, and the need for worldwide collaboration to protect them.
World Migratory Bird Day: Theme
“Impact of Light Pollution on Migratory Birds” is the theme of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day campaign.
World Migratory Bird Day: History
The day began in 2006 when the United Nations (UN) decided to raise awareness of migratory birds’ connections between regions worldwide. Since then, the event has been held and attended by a total of 118 countries.
The United Nations Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds inspired the creation of World Migratory Bird Day. However, the idea of World Migratory Bird Day was conceived in the United States in 1993 when several agencies and organisations started celebrating the day.
World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of October across Central and South America, Mexico, and the Caribbean. The day is observed on the second Saturday of May in the United States and Canada.
World Migratory Bird Day: Significance
Migratory birds are essential for maintaining ecological balance and biodiversity because they connect nations, people, and ecosystems. The number of migratory birds is declining every day as a result of a variety of problems, including unlawful killing, habitat damage, and chemicals discharged into the ecosystem.
As American naturalist Roger Tory Peterson said, “Birds are indicators of the environment. If they are in trouble, we know we’ll soon be in trouble”. So, the purpose of the day is to safeguard migratory bird breeding, non-breeding, and stopover habitats while preserving a healthy bird population.
As a result, every year, people throughout the world organise public events such as bird festivals, education programmes, and bird-watching events to raise awareness about migratory bird conservation.