World Migratory Bird Day

Quick Facts - CA

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2024 DateMay 11, 2024

World Migratory Bird Day

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World Migratory Bird Day History

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) is dedicated to the conservation and celebration of migratory birds and their incredible journeys across continents. This observance brings people together from around the world to appreciate and learn about these fascinating birds, while raising awareness about the urgent need for their protection. Through various activities, events, and educational initiatives, WMBD aspires to inspire people to take action to conserve migratory birds and their habitats for the benefit of future generations.

Established in 2006, this important observance has grown leaps and bounds, encompassing more than 140 countries each year. The event is organized by the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) – two international wildlife treaties administered by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). Various organizations, including BirdLife International, Wetlands International, and the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation, collaborate to promote and support the event. WMBD highlights the significance of migratory birds as indicators of global environmental health and promotes a better understanding of the ecological importance of conserving their habitats.

In Canada, participants in World Migratory Bird Day can join others in a multitude of events, such as birdwatching excursions, guided nature walks, educational workshops, and art exhibitions.. World Migratory Bird Day is celebrated on the second Saturday of May in North and South America, the Caribbean, and Greenland, and on the second weekend of October in the rest of the world!

World Migratory Bird Day facts

  • World Migratory Bird Day in 2024 will focus on highlighting the importance of insects for migratory birds, and the threats to these vital food sources.
    World Migratory Bird Day in 2023 focused on highlighting the importance of water for migratory birds while identifying key actions for protecting water resources.
  • According to Great Lakes Echo, during the fall migration season, over 4 billion birds in North America migrate towards warmer climates.
  • Canada is home to hundreds of species of migratory birds that travel thousands of kilometers every year. These birds breed in Canada during the warmer months and fly south to the United States, Mexico, Central America, the Caribbean, or even further south in search of food and favorable weather conditions during the winter months. Some common migratory birds in Canada include geese, ducks, swans, sandpipers, terns, warblers, sparrows, and hummingbirds.
  • Migratory birds face various threats during their long journeys, such as habitat loss, climate change, collisions with buildings and structures, hunting, and predation. Canada has implemented various measures to conserve and protect migratory birds, such as the Migratory Birds Convention Act of 1994, which prohibits the hunting and possession of migratory birds without a permit.

Top things to do in Canada for World Migratory Bird Day

  • Discover events near you. The non-profit organization Environment for the Americas (EFTA) hosts events around the world to help raise awareness about birds.
  • Visit the Montreal Bird Sanctuary in Quebec, a 249-hectare nature reserve with more than 200 species of birds.
  • Take a trip to the Fraser River Estuary in British Columbia. The estuary is one of the world's most important resting and feeding areas for migratory birds.

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