World Migratory Bird Day

Observed annually on the second weekend of May, World Migratory Bird Day is a day that highlights the importance of protecting migratory birds and their habitats.

It’s also a day when people can learn about the amazing variety of birds that exist in the world. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to get outside, do a little bird watching, and learn more about how migratory birds are an important part of our world.

The History of World Migratory Bird Day

World Migratory Bird Day was established in 2006 by the United Nations. They created the holiday to occur on the second weekend of May annually. The first event was founded as an effort of the United Nation’s Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds to raise awareness of the connections between migratory birds around the world. Since then, the holiday has been observed by almost 120 member nations. Every year, the United Nations announces a theme around which events are centered for the event.

Amazing Facts About Migratory Birds

Bird migration is something that can be awe-inspiring to anyone observing it. That’s why we decided to do a little more research on the subject and find out everything we could about birds and why they migrate. The result is the following facts that we’ve decided to share with everyone reading about this holiday.

Approximately 40% of the World’s Birds Are Migratory

Although not all of the world’s bird populations migrate from one area to another, a significant number of them are regular migrants. At least 4,000 species of birds migrate, and that’s approximately 40% of the total number of bird species in the world.

Birds Can Achieve Amazing Heights

Some birds can reach incredible heights while migrating. For example, Bar-headed Geese can reach altitudes of up to 5.5 miles above sea level. That makes them high-flyers, but they are not the highest-flying birds of all. The highest-flying bird ever recorded is Rüppell’s Griffon Vulture, which can ascend to a height of 7 miles above sea level.

The Arctic Tern Wins the Long-Distance Award

Of all the migratory birds in the world, the Arctic Tern travels the farthest. The average Arctic Tern can travel a distance of almost 50,000 miles in a single year.

They do this while making a round trip between their Arctic breeding grounds and the Antarctic, where they spend every winter. And since these birds can live for more than 30 years, all of this flying can add up to an amazing equivalent of three trips to the moon and back.

Observing World Migratory Bird Day

On this holiday, people can take the time to go on a nature walk and do a bit of bird watching, get involved with the Audubon Society to support birds worldwide, or they can do something as simple as learning more about birds and their impact on the world. While observing World Migratory Bird Day, don’t forget to set up bird feeders for the birds around your home and use the hashtag #WorldMigratoryBirdDay on your social media accounts.

When is it?
This year (2024)
Next year (2025)
Last year (2023)
Animals, United Nations