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This day is for the birds: World Migratory Bird Day! PDF Print E-mail

From the very beginning World Migratory Bird Day has been a tremendous success worldwide. Each year since 2006, the total number of registered WMBD events has steadily increased along with the number of countries in which WMBD celebrations have taken place. In 2008 alone, a total of 136 registered events took place in 59 different countries - every single one is unique in its own way and as diverse and creative as the people and organisations involved.


WMBD activities take place in many different places, both indoors and outdoors. Schools, parks, big town halls, education centres and nature reserves are all places where events have been hosted in the past. These can vary from bird watching tours and educational workshops to dramas, festivals, exhibitions, painting competitions and other awareness raising activities.

Events organised to mark World Migratory Bird Day usually take place on the second weekend of May. United by a common theme and campaign they have literally taken place in all corners of the world and have involved and inspired hundreds, if not thousands of people of all ages.

Get inspired by past WMBD events

To help you get some ideas for your own upcoming WMBD 2009 event, we have picked out a few past events which we would like to share with you. While it is only a small selection from a long list of exciting events which have been registered on the WMBD website over the past three years, we hope that these examples will inspire you to get involved in WMBD this year and help you plan your own unique WMBD event for the weekend of 9-10 May.

To become a part of this year's campaign - please make sure to register your own activity for WMBD 2009 on this website!


KenyaThe central launching event of the very first World Migratory Bird Day in 2006 named ‘WINGS’ took place on the edge of the Great Rift Valley in Kenya. This impressive artistic show reflected the symbolic value of birds and their historic and cultural significance to humans. More than 200 representatives from all over the world as well as artists from Turkey, India, Peru, Italy, Kenya, Germany and the USA joined this magnificent event.


MalaysiaFor WMBD 2008, the Malaysian Nature Society Miri Branch invited the bird photographer and birdwatching specialist Choo Tse Chien to Miri. Over the course of 4 days, the special guest gave presentations on migratory birds with a particular focus on the avian biodiversity of Malaysia. He also revealed some secrets of bird photography and led bird watching trips. The events targeted pupils and the general public. The audience had a chance to see a professional at work and obtain a true birdwatching experience.



CameroonIn 2008, a dedicated group from the Cameroon Biodiversity Conservation Society (CBCS) favoured an educational activity as a means to promote the idea of migratory birds as ambassadors for biodiversity. Over four days, CBCS worked closely with pupils from five secondary schools, local NGOs and local media, presenting the concept of migration, providing information on African flyways and distributing WMBD materials. In addition, birdwatching activities were organized, which helped revise the inventory of bird species for the areas of Yaounde and Bamenda.



IsraelTo commemorate World Migratory Bird Day 2008, the Israeli Nature & Parks Authority organised a fascinating event in the Beit-Govrin National Park. Over 1500 people, mainly families, enjoyed an opportunity to observe the migration of White Storks and listen to presentations on conservation efforts of migratory species and the threats migratory birds are exposed to. In addition, the public was able to watch the release of several rehabilitated migratory birds such as Black Kites, White Storks and Eurasian Bee-eaters.



ArgentinaIn 2008 more than 500 students in Argentina had the chance to attend presentations on the topic ‘Migratory Birds – Ambassadors for Biodiversity’ at the Interpretation Center and Bird’s Observatory "Vuelo Latitud 40" in Argentina in April and May 2008. Each group received a WMBD poster and a selection of the other promotional materials and were encouraged to spread the message of WMBD 2008 to their classmates, families and friends.



IranWorld Migratory Bird Day was celebrated at the Shidvar Island in the Hormozgan Province of Iran for the first time in 2008. Under the patronage of the local Environmental Department, students were involved in drawing competitions combined with presentations on migratory birds and their habitats. A special birdwatching event was organised with local media covering the campaign. Also, a special brochure was designed and published to celebrate WMBD 2008.



GermanyThe International Wadden Sea School provided children with the opportunity to play the "Wader Migration Game", a 2 hour educational activity, designed to inform them about migratory birds and the Wadden Sea ecosystem as a stopping place on the East-Atlantic flyway in the form of a game. In the role of a wader chick, the children experienced the adventure of migration and discovered the importance of undisturbed feeding and resting grounds along the flyway. Birdwatching activities completed the programme. Every participant received a "logbook" of the journey to take home.



BangladeshIn Dhaka, a discussion meeting on "Migratory Birds of Bangladesh in a Changing Climate" was held on 13 May 2007. This meeting was organised to build awareness and to reach students and teachers with the message of the day and to heighten awareness on the issue. Another event in the port city Chittagong included: guided bird watches, bird identifications, and special events for children like face painting.


IndiaDuring WMDB in 2007 several activities were organised especially for schoolchildren in Ladakh, India. On 12 May a drawing and painting competition was organised on the theme “Migratory Birds in Changing Climate”, and on 13 May a symposium on “Climate Change Impact on Migratory Birds” took place. In addition to these activities, a poster produced specifically for the event was released on that weekend.


BeninThe NGO Eco-Ecolo in Contonou conducted several educational activities in the wetlands for pupils from nearby schools. In addition to talks and discussions on the topic “Migratory Birds in a Changing Climate” for children, a symbolic planting of trees took place.

Have these activities fired your imagination? Then help to make WMBD 2009 an extra- special day around the world with lots of fun and celebration! Let the birds inspire your imagination to take flight and help you create your own WMBD 2009 event! Join us and register your activity now!


For more ideas for your own WMBD 2008 activity browse through the other globally registered WMBD events of 2006 , 2007 and 2008 !