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Every year in spring and autumn, we can see and hear them: huge flocks of cranes, geese, storks and other migrating birds. Announced by their calls and the whirring of their wings, they appear in the sky, floating majestically and forming V-shapes. They are on a journey of several thousands of kilometres, facing numerous barriers: the hostile weather, the wideness of the seas, the red-hot desert or huge mountains. During the last decades, human-induced habitat destruction and degradation, artificial barriers such as wind farms and power lines pose further threats that contribute to the decline of many bird species.

To raise awareness, to highlight the need to protect migratory birds and their habitats, and to inspire people to take action, the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (UNEP/AEWA) and the Convention on Migratory Species (UNEP/CMS ) started World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) in 2006.

The first World Migratory Bird Day was launched on the weekend of 8-9 April 2006 with a festive outdoor event called ‘WINGS’, on the edge of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. The artistic show was inspired by the phenomenon of bird migration and was hosted by Ms Kuki Gallmann , a famous writer and conservationist living in Kenya.

At the same time, dedicated individuals, national authorities and NGOs around the world organised public events like bird festivals, bird education programmes and bird watching excursions to help celebrate and support World Migratory Bird Day 2006. A total of 68 activities in over 46 countries were part of the celebration of WMBD 2006, stretching from Norway to Antarctica and India to Peru.

This year (2007), World Migratory Bird Day will try to focus world attention on the impact of climate change on migratory birds. Increasing temperatures, altered rainfall and vacillating weather conditions caused by climate change have various impacts on the nomads of the skies. The ecological character of the habitats of migratory birds is rapidly changing, which may lead to their decline. Moreover, climate change causes a displacement of migration pattern, egg laying and breeding. Some birds even stop migrating altogether.

There will be no central WMBD event this year. Instead we strongly encourage bird enthusiasts all around the world to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day through local bird educational activities. By joining us on 12-13 May 2007 you will help give migratory birds a voice! Show the world that you care about migratory birds in a changing climate! The AEWA and CMS Secretariats – the joint organisers of the global WMBD initiative - are looking forward to a successful WMBD 2007 with you!