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WMBD 2021 Theme : Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!

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World Migratory Bird Day 2021: Join the global celebration of birds and nature on 8 May 2021! 

Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!” is the theme of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, an annual global campaign dedicated to raising awareness of migratory birds and the need for international cooperation to conserve them.
 
This year the campaign will focus on the phenomena of “bird song” and “bird flight” as a way to inspire and connect people of all ages around the world in their shared desire to celebrate migratory birds and to unite in a common, global effort to protect birds and the habitats they need to survive.
 
The 2021 World Migratory Bird Day theme is an invitation to people everywhere to connect and re-connect with nature by actively listening to - and watching birds - wherever they are. At the same time the theme appeals to people around the world to use their own voices and creativity to express their shared appreciation of birds and nature.
 
Birds can be found everywhere: in cities and in the countryside; in parks and backyards, in forests and mountains, and in wetlands and along the shores. They connect all these habitats and they connect us, reminding us of our own connection to the planet, the environment, wildlife and each other. Through their seasonal movements, migratory birds are also regularly reminding us of nature’s cycles.
 
As global ambassadors of nature, migratory birds not only connect different places across the planet, they also re-connect people to nature and to themselves like no other animals on the planet.
  
In fact, billions of migratory birds have continued to sing, fly and soar between their breeding and non-breeding sites. During the pandemic, which slowed down many activities by limiting our movements, people across the world have been listening to and watching birds like never before. For many people around the world, bird song has also been a source of comfort and joy during the pandemic, connecting people to each other and to nature as they remain in place.
 
Scientists around the world have also been studying the impact the pandemic is having on birds and other wildlife, looking at how “the anthropause” – the so-called global shutdown in human activity resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic – has effected birds and other wildlife around the world. At the same time, scientists have also been looking at the positive health benefits of birds and nature on humans.
 
Clearly, the pandemic has been an unprecedented challenge for humankind. At the same time, it has also brought a whole new level of awareness and appreciation of birds and the importance of nature for our own well-being.
 
World Migratory Bird Day 2021 is therefore not only a celebration of birds, it is also an important moment to reflect on our own global relationship with nature and to highlight our collective desire to do more to protect birds and nature in a post-pandemic world.
 
World Migratory Bird Day is organized by a collaborative partnership among two UN treaties -the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) -and the non-profit organization, Environment for the Americas (EFTA). The 2021 campaign is also actively being supported by the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership (EAAFP) Secretariat and a growing number of other dedicated organisations.
 
Celebrated across the world on two peak days each year – on the second Saturday in May and second Saturday in October – World Migratory Bird Day is the only international awareness-raising and education program that celebrates the migration of bird species along all the major flyways of the world.
 
 

 

Key Message in 2021

“Migratory birds connect us with their unique songs and flights, and remind us of the importance of working together, across borders, to protect them.”

Please visit the Resources page for further materials and to learn more about the 2021 Theme: “Sing, Fly, Soar – Like a Bird!”.

Activities around the world

Below are some of the planned World Migratory Bird Day 2021 activities we are already aware of and we will be adding new activities to the website on a continual basis. We would also be delighted to hear about your plans and would like to encourage all event organizers to register their event on the WMBD website so that it appears on the global event map.

Events marking World Migratory Bird Day 2021 will generally be ‘migrating’ online, as many countries are still heavily affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Many virtual talks and a wave of online interactions dedicated to migratory birds are expected to take place in many countries, with educational programmes being offered virtually by many organizations including schools, museums, parks, zoos, libraries, wildlife refuges and wetland centers.

  • Through the online platform BirdDayLive, a full day of activities for schools, youth and families is being planned for 7 May 2021 in the Americas, as well as two book club presentations highlighting the books “Ornitherapy” and “A World on the Wing”.  The website will also be featuring a series of online webinars on topics relating to bird conservation, including a series of mini-workshops to explore how birds sing, fly and soar.
  • For the first time, a World Migratory Bird Day Virtual Choir is being organized by the East Asian-Australasian Flyway Partnership and the Bowerbird Collective, inviting people around the world to record themselves singing “like a bird” along a newly created song (with no lyrics so anyone can get involved).
  • Finally, to mark World Migratory Bird Day 2021, thousands of birdwatchers will be recording their bird sightings along all the major flyways of the world by joining Global Big Day on 8 May. This high-profile global citizen science event, powered by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, brings the world’s birders together to record sightings via the eBird app, and help set a new world record for the greatest number of birds recorded on a single day.  
  • Organize your own event and become part of the global celebration! Do you have something planned for World Migratory Bird Day 2021? Then please make sure to register the activity on the WMBD website. For major “flyway scale events” please send us a short descriptive text (max 400 words) and 1-2 images so we can help promote it via our channels.

How can you get involved?

Year after year, hundreds of events take place to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day in many countries across the world. Every event is unique in its own way, and as diverse and creative as the people and organizations involved. Below are a few things you can do to get involved:  

Help Spread the Word!

  • Help promote the campaign. Please help spread the word about World Migratory Bird Day by announcing it on your own website, newsletters and via your social media channels. Please use the resources on our website and in our social media pack (trello board) for this purpose.  
  • Send in a statement. As every year, we would be delighted to receive statements to mark World Migratory Bird Day 2021. These could either be short (1-2 minute) video messages or written statements (maximum of 800 words) which we will be adding to the World Migratory Bird Day website. Please send your statements to: [email protected]  by 6 May 2021 for us to be able to add them to the website.
  • Tweet, tweet – like a bird! Please help promote World Migratory Bird Day through your own social media accounts and channels. Please use the material you can find in our social media pack to create your own posts in support of WMBD or re-share post you can find on the WMBD Twitter, Instagram and Facebook accounts. Please make sure to use the main hashtags: #WorldMigratoryBirdDay and #WMBD2021 as well as the secondary hashtags for this year: #SingFlySoar #LikeABird and #ForNature

Raise Your Voice for Bird Conservation

The theme this year is unique in that it directly appeals to people of all ages to express themselves, to use their own human voice and creativity to show their appreciation and support for birds and international bird conservation. We encourage all participants to use World Migratory Bird Day as an opportunity to express their support for bird conservation and to highlight what they are doing in support of migrator birds.

Be Creative!

Linking human song with the song of birds opens a huge spectrum of creative possibilities which can be universally applied across borders in many countries around the world. Ideas range from tapping into existing popular songs dedicated to birds from all corners of the world, to activating people in different countries to “speak up” and to actually sing for birds, i.e. to “sing like a bird - for migratory birds” in their own language.

SING and FLY #LikeABird!

In order for this to become a truly global “wave of human creativity and expression” for birds and nature, people should record and share their bird inspired songs (or other forms of creative expression!) on social media using the following hashtags #SingFlySoar #LikeABird.

Another possible activation path for the “#LikeABird campaign”, could be to invite nature photographers and film makers to share their best “birds in flight” videos and photos via social media using the hashtags #SingFlySoar #LikeABird.

Similar to the “act of singing” one could also go a step further and link bird flight with actual human flight, looking at everything from sky diving, hang gliding, paragliding and other activities which are associated with a form of aerial adventure.  Participants are encouraged to share their “in flight” photos and videos via social media using the hashtags #SingFlySoar #LikeABird.

Register an Event

United by a common theme and campaign, WMBD events take place in all corners of the world and involve and inspire thousands of people of all ages and backgrounds. While events are usually organized on one of the two peak days of World Migratory Bird Day (i.e. on the Second Saturday in May and in October) events can actually be linked to World Migratory Bird Day throughout the year.

There are really no limits on creativity! Past activities and awareness-raising events have included bird-watching tours, online educational workshops and exhibitions, webinars, festivals, and painting competitions, which have been organized at schools, parks, town halls, education centres and nature reserves.

Visit this page to be inspired by past events and once you know what you want to do – please make sure to register your activity on the WMBD website.

Visit the Website

Further information on the campaign, the 2021 theme and its history can be found on this website.

In the coming weeks we will continuously be updating the website with new materials and stories which you can share and use to promote your own activities linked to World Migratory Bird Day. Please also write to us if you have some suggestions or ideas for stories or things to add to the website: [email protected] 

SOCIAL MEDIA
Pack: https://bit.ly/3cFWF5H
 
@WMBD
#WorldMigratoryBirdDay   
#WMBD2021           

#SingFlySoar #LikeABird #ForNature
 

About World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated on two peak days each year (the second Saturdays of May and October) to highlight the need for international collaboration to ensure the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats globally. Registered events to mark World Migratory Bird Day 2021 will include bird festivals, education programmes, media events, quizzes, competitions and film screenings.  First held in 2006 to promote the conservation of migratory birds and to counteract the negative publicity they were receiving across the world, due to concerns about their role as potential vectors of the Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) virus subtype H5N1 – now commonly referred to as bird flu.  Since then World Migratory Bird Day has gained in popularity with over 2,000 events organized in over 100 countries since the campaign’s inception.

The Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) — two intergovernmental wildlife treaties of the United Nations — organize the campaign in partnership with the Colorado-based non-profit organization, Environment for the Americas (EFTA).

www.worldmigratorybirdday.org

About the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS)

The Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals aims to conserve terrestrial, aquatic and avian migratory species throughout their range. It is an intergovern-mental treaty concerned with the conservation of wildlife and habitats on a global scale. Since the Convention's entry into force in 1979, its membership has grown steadily to include 132 Parties from Africa, Central and South America, Asia, Europe and Oceania.

www.cms.int @bonnconvention

About the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA)

The Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) is an intergovernmental treaty dedicated to the conservation of migratory waterbirds that migrate along the African-Eurasian Flyway. The Agreement covers 255 species of bird ecologically dependent on wetlands for at least part of their annual cycle. The treaty covers 119 Range States from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and parts of Asia and Canada. 81 countries and the European Union have become a Contracting Party to the agreement.

www.unep-aewa.org  @UNEP_AEWA
 
Environment for the Americas (EFTA)

EFTA is a Colorado-based non-profit organization that provides bilingual educational materials and information about birds and bird conservation to raise awareness of migratory birds and to promote actions that protect migratory birds throughout the Americas.

https://www.environmentamericas.org/

 

For more information please contact:

Florian Keil, Information Officer, Joint Communications Team, Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) Secretariats, Bonn, Germany. Email: [email protected]  | Tel: +49 228 8152451

Susan Bonfield, Executive Director, Environment for the Americas, Boulder, CO, USA. Email: [email protected] | Tel: +001 970-393-1183