World Migratory Bird Day - Pointe de Grave

Le Verdon-sur-Mer, 13 May 2012 - The Interim Coordinating Unit of the Raptors MoU and the League for the Protection of Birds (LPO) Aquitaine co-organized a special 'Bird Migration Watch' day at the Pointe de Grave in South West France on World Migratory Bird Day. LPO was also celebrating its100th anniversary! The weather was perfect and almost 50 enthusiasts gathered to witness over ten thousand birds pass over Northwards heading to their breeding areas. This total included almost 200 birds of prey, comprising 7 species such as 80+ European Honey Buzzards (Pernis apivorus), 40+ Black Kites (Milvus migrans), 5 Short-toed Snake-eagles (Circaetus gallicus), 2 Western Marsh Harriers (Circus aeruginosus) and 19 Eurasian Hobbies (Falco subbuteo). Before the end of the day, everyone enjoyed a delightful picnic by the sea comprising fresh local products to celebrate a highly successful day.

Many other events and initiatives were held around the world. For example, Nature Conservation Egypt produced an Arabic song and video to raise awareness of the threats to migratory birds as part of the GEF and UNDP funded Migratory Soaring Birds (MSB) Project, being implemented by BirdLife International within 11 countries along the Rift Valley Flyway in the Middle East and North-East Africa. Most of the species (i.e. 32 out of 37) covered by the MSB Project are migratory raptors.

World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) was initiated in 2006 and is a global awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the protection of migratory birds and their habitats. Every year on the second weekend in May, people around the world take action and organise public events such as bird festivals, education programmes and birdwatching excursions to celebrate World Migratory Bird Day and to help raise awareness around a specific theme.

Avian migration is an absolutely incredible phenomenon. Annually, migratory birds make long, arduous and risky journeys from their breeding grounds to wintering areas and back again. Witnessing birds on migration, sometimes in huge single or multi-species flocks, can be an incredibly exciting, moving and uplifting experience for people, including those with no previous knowledge or interest in birds. Raptors, in particular, offer spectacular viewing opportunities when they collect at 'bottleneck' sites, for example, before embarking on major crossings of seas, mountains, deserts, etc. Migratory birds connect continents, cultures and communities.

Last updated on 31 December 2017

Circaetus gallicus
Circus aeruginosus
Falco subbuteo
Milvus migrans
Pernis apivorus
Species group: