With 2018 as Year of the Bird, this year’s World Migratory Bird Day is a special one. Bird migration is a fascinating natural phenomenon that always brings wonder! Just thinking about how a bird of prey, a seabird, or even a bird as small as a swift embark on such long journeys every spring and autumn? Thousands of miles, facing various threats, countless hours on the move and with limited rest. It’s simply amazing!
Bird migration can certainly keep you on your toes. You just never know which species is going to pop up in front of you. Whether it is seeing a Hoopoe up close, with its distinctive crest and fabulous colours, observing it feeding on the ground on beetles or encountering a huge flock of noisy Bee-eaters dancing over a pond while their colorful bodies shimmer off the surface of the water, you can truly appreciate the beauty of nature and its unpredictability!
This epic journey is certainly not an easy one, with many birds often not surviving. Birds face many threats along their migration routes from predator attacks and extreme weather events to man-made obstacles such as wind turbines, illegal killing, pollution of food, habitat destruction, or collision with buildings and cars. That’s why this World Migratory Bird Day, the focus is all one creating a united voice for bird conservation, tackling these issues together to ensure more birds survive against the odds like the lucky few! By raising awareness of the threats and working together to combat them, we can work to ensure that more birds make it to their breeding grounds or wintering grounds to reproduce or spend the winter months building up on energy to migrate again to breed, creating a more sustainable future for different species and our ecosystem.
So why not make the most of the warm spring climate and enjoy the great outdoors to witness the magic of migration right on your doorstep and become part of this unique and unimaginable journey that these birds undertake every year!
By Antaia Christou, Fundraising Officer at BirdLife Malta