World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2023 is a global event celebrated twice a year, each with a unique focus. This year, the fall celebration falls on October 14 and revolves around the theme “Water: Sustaining Bird Life.” It’s a day that highlights the importance of migratory birds and their conservation efforts. Let’s explore this remarkable day and uncover some fascinating facts about these avian travelers. World Migratory Bird Day celebrated two times a year, this year 13 May and 14 October celebrates as World Migratory Bird Day.
World Migratory Bird Day 2023 brings our attention to the remarkable journeys and vital role of water in the lives of migratory birds. These avian travelers captivate us not only with their journeys but also with their astonishing diversity and adaptability. By celebrating this day, we honor their contribution to our ecosystem and reinforce the need for their conservation.
The Origins of World Migratory Bird Day
In 1993, the United States initiated the idea of a day dedicated to migratory birds. It was a joint effort by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. Their aim was to encourage bird festivals and educational programs nationwide. Later, in 2016, the first global World Migratory Bird Day was celebrated, thanks to the African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbird Agreement (AEWA) and the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals (CMS).
Conserving Migratory Birds
Migratory birds are a vital part of our ecosystem. They travel thousands of miles to escape harsh winters and rely on various habitats, especially aquatic ecosystems. WMBD 2023 focuses on the role of water in sustaining these avian wonders during their life cycles.
Interesting Facts about Migratory Birds
- Diversity in Migration: Approximately 4,000 species of birds engage in regular migrations, which accounts for around 40% of the total bird species on our planet.
- Incredible Distances: Some migratory birds cover astonishing distances. In fact, their lifetime journeys can rival the distance from Earth to the Moon.
- Celestial Navigation: Ornithologists have found that migratory birds navigate using the direction of the sun and stars, akin to ancient navigators.
- V-Shaped Formation: Most migratory birds fly in a distinctive V-shaped flock. This formation reduces air resistance, making their journey more energy-efficient.
- Fueling Up: Before embarking on their epic journeys, most migratory birds diligently consume food and gain weight. They rely on this reserved fat during their flight, rarely stopping for sustenance.
- High-Altitude Flyers: Bar-headed geese hold the record for the highest-flying migratory birds, reaching altitudes of up to five and a half miles above sea level.
- Speed Demons: Snipes are known for their exceptional speed, flying up to 4,200 miles at speeds of up to 60 mph. On the other hand, the Bar-tailed Godwit takes the title for the longest recorded non-stop flight, covering nearly 7,000 miles without a break.
- Diverse Travel Modes: While most migratory birds take to the skies, large Australian birds like Emus travel on foot in search of food. Penguins, on the other hand, migrate by swimming, showcasing the incredible diversity in avian travel methods.