World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) 2018
Year of the Bird
Events from the Americas Flyway
EVENT IMAGE GALLERY
ABOUT WORLD MIGRATORY BIRD DAY
What is it?
In 1993, the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center created International Migratory Bird Day. This educational campaign focused on the Western Hemisphere and celebrates its 25th year in 2018. Since 2007, IMBD has been coordinated by Environment for the Americas (EFTA), a non-profit organization that strives to connect people to bird conservation.
In 2018, EFTA joins the Convention on Migratory Species (CMS) and the Agreement on the Conservation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) to create a single, global bird conservation education campaign, World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD). Continuing our tradition with IMBD, WMBC celebrates and brings attention to one of the most important and spectacular events in the Americas – bird migration.
EFTA will continue to coordinate events, programs, and activities in Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean at protected areas, refuges, parks, museums, schools, zoos, and more. As many as 700 events and programs are hosted annually to introduce the public to migratory birds and ways to conserve them.
When is it?
WMBD officially takes place the second Saturday in May for the U.S. and Canada, and in October for Mexico, Central/South America, and the Caribbean. But we recognize this date doesn’t work well for all bird events, bird festival organizers, or for migratory birds themselves. Birds don’t migrate on the same day. We remedied this problem by removing the month and day from our bird education and festival materials, leaving only the year.
Now, every day is Bird Day and WMBD is celebrated year-round!
International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) was created in 1993 by visionaries at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. From 1995 to 2006, the program was under the direction of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Because of its consistent growth, these organizations sought a new home for the program. In 2007, IMBD found its “forever home” at Environment for the Americas (EFTA), a non-profit organization that connects people to bird conservation through education and research.
Over the years, EFTA has made changes and improvements to International Migratory Bird Day. We developed the concept of a single conservation theme to help highlight one topic that is important to migratory bird conservation. Over the years, these educational campaigns have been integrated into numerous programs and events, focusing on topics including the habitats birds need to survive, birds and the ecosystem services they provide, the impacts of climate change on birds, and the laws, acts, and conventions that protect birds, such as the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Convention on Biodiversity.
We also removed a specific date from the event. Once celebrated only on the second Saturday in May, we recognize that migratory birds leave and arrive at breeding and non-breeding states at different times, depending on many factors. They also stop at different sites across the Western Hemisphere to rest and refuel, providing opportunities to engage the public in learning about birds and their conservation. Today, we maintain traditional event dates on the second Saturday in May and the second Saturday in October, while encouraging organizations and groups to host their activities when migratory birds are present.
World Migratory Bird Day is made possible by its sponsors. Their contributions enable the development and distribution of education materials, regular outreach to host organizations, and collaboration with new partners. Their support has resulted in year-round programming, ensuring that Every Day is Bird Day!
Many thanks to the following sponsors.
Angela is originally from Colombia and has a background in landscape architecture and design, which has fostered a passion for design and community. Because of her interest in communities and their connections to the environment, she recognizes the importance of conservation. Angela likes working with people and uses her community engagement skills to connect diverse communities with Environment for the Americas!
Alejandro graduated from the National University of Colombia in Bogotá, where he led many environmental education activities and was a member of the University’s ornithology group. Since joining EFTA, he has successfully motivated over 10 new IMBD events in the country, reaching hundreds of youth and adults
Sheylda has worked with International Migratory Bird Day and will now serve as the Caribbean Coordinator of World Migratory Bird Day. She isn’t new to coordination and was the Caribbean Coordinator in 2014. She also coordinated the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival for BirdsCaribbean.