World Migratory Bird Day

Quick Facts - NZ

HashtagsCompiled on#WorldMigratoryBirdDay, #WMBD2024
Related Hashtags#Migratorybirds, #Birds, #ProtectMigratoryBirds, #MigratoryBirdsUnite, #ProtectBirdsMatter, #Ubuy
2024 Date11 May 2024
2025 Date11 October 2025

World Migratory Bird Day

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World Migratory Bird Day History

World Migratory Bird Day aims to highlight the long and remarkable journeys undertaken by migratory birds between their breeding and wintering grounds. This event raises awareness about these avian travellers’ needs for conservation and the importance of promoting international cooperation to protect them. It is a celebration of the invaluable role these birds play in maintaining the balance of ecosystems, as well as their contribution to human culture and traditions.

The origin of World Migratory Bird Day dates back to 2006 when it was initiated by the United Nations' Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) and the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS). New Zealand, with its unique ecological diversity and home to numerous endemic bird species, is a significant destination and resting stop for migratory birds in the Australasian Flyway. Therefore, the observance is particularly relevant for New Zealanders to learn about the importance of preserving bird habitats within the country and raising awareness for the global efforts in protecting these travelling birds.

In New Zealand, World Migratory Bird Day is typically celebrated through various educational activities and events, such as bird watching outings, presentations by local experts, and specially designed workshops to engage the younger generation in bird conservation efforts. Community groups, schools, environmental organisations, and passionate individuals come together to celebrate and showcase the diverse bird species that visit their shores. World Migratory Bird Day is officially observed on the second Saturday of May each year, some countries or communities may choose to mark the occasion at alternative times to align with the peak of migratory bird activity in their region.

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.
  • The Bar-tailed Godwit (Kuaka) is one of the most popular migratory birds in New Zealand. They undertake the longest non-stop trans-oceanic flight of any bird, traveling up to 11,000 kilometers from Alaska to New Zealand in just eight days.
  • The Royal Albatross/Toroa, one of the world's largest seabirds, breeds in New Zealand. Some individuals may circumnavigate the Southern Ocean three times before returning to their breeding colonies.

Top things to do in NZ 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.
  • Take a trip to Fiordland National Park, located in Southland. Fiordland National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site and is home to many endemic bird species, including the endangered kākāpō.
  • Visit the Miranda Shorebird Centre located in Miranda, a prime location for bird watching during the migration season. Thousands of bar-tailed godwits and other shorebirds stop at the Firth of Thames on their way to their breeding grounds in the Arctic.

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