Today the UN Celebrates World Migratory Bird Day (WBMD). This observance day was initiated in 2006 to highlight the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats.
Celebrated each year, on the second weekend in May, people around the world take action and organize public events such as bird festivals, education programs, exhibitions and bird-watching excursions to celebrate WMBD.
This year’s WBMD theme is on the illegal killing, taking and trade of migratory birds.
There is a wide range of reasons for the illegal killing, taking and trade of birds – subsistence uses, recreational activities, organized crime, traditional practice and so on. Cooperation and awareness-raising have to be strengthened in order to fight illegal killing.
Some key facts about migratory birds:
- Bar-headed geese are the highest-flying migratory birds, regularly reaching altitudes of up to five and a half miles above sea level while flying over the Himalayas in India;
- At least 4,000 species of bird are regular migrants, which is about 40 percent of the total number of birds in the world;
- Peaking of long distances, the northern wheatear travels up to 9,000 miles each way between the Arctic and Africa, giving it one of the largest ranges of any songbird;
- The award for fastest bird goes to the great snipe: It flies around 4,200 miles at speeds of up to 60mph!
World Migratory Bird Day activities take place in many different countries and places across the globe – united by a common campaign and theme. Take action and celebrate, conserve and raise awareness of migratory birds on WMBD by clicking here.
Spread the word on social media by using the hashtags #WMBD2016 and #WorldMigratoryBirdDay or following on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/worldmigratorybirdday.