World Migratory Bird Day
Representational image for World Migratory Bird Day. Courtesy: Dattatreya Patra for Unsplash

World Migratory Bird Day: History & Significance

May 9, 2020

World Migratory Bird Day is observed every year on May 9 with the aim to increase awareness and build conversations about migratory birds from around the world.

The day also touches upon the wider concern of bird habitat and its conservation.

World Migratory Bird Day was first celebrated in 2006.

The proposal to observe May 9 as World Migratory Bird Day was put forward by the Secretariat of Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and the Secretariat of Agreement on the Conversation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA).

Sharing her views on the occasion of World Migratory Bird Day 2020, Executive Secretary of Convention on Migratory Species Amy Fraenkel said, "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," Fraenkel added.

Adding further she said, "However, migratory birds are still under threat, from loss of habitat, climate change, poisoning, power lines, and illegal killing in recent years."

"We need to step up our actions across the world to better protect migratory birds and the habitats they need to survive and thrive,” she added.

Each year a variety of events are held to raise awareness on the occasion, however, in the wake of coronavirus pandemic, such events have been cancelled this year.

The day is celebrated with a particular theme every year and this year's theme is Birds Connect Our World.

The theme was chosen to highlight the importance of conserving and restoring the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems that are essential for the survival and well-being of migratory birds.

The routes used by the migratory birds to reach from one point to the other connect various habitats and most often these routes cross inhospitable terrains like deserts and open seas.

"Suitable habitats are crucial for the survival of these birds," reports Republic World.

"The ecological connectivity of these sites is important to the survival of migratory birds, but this it is being threatened by habitat loss and degradation," it adds further.

If these stop-over sites of the migratory birds are degraded, then this will have a devastating effect on the birds.

Bird lovers from across the world thus have made an appeal for the preservation and protection of these stop-over sites.

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