Water is fundamental to sustaining life on our planet. Virtually all migratory birds rely on water and its associated habitats at some point during their life cycles. Lakes, rivers, streams, ponds, wetlands, and coastal waters are all vital for feeding, drinking, or nesting, and as places to rest and refuel during long seasonal migrations.
Unfortunately, these aquatic ecosystems are becoming increasingly threatened around the world, and so are the migratory birds that depend on them. The increasing human demand for water, as well as pollution and climate change, is having a direct impact on the quantity and quality of water resources and on the conservation status of many migratory bird species.
In 2023, the importance of water is the focus of World Migratory Bird Day, an annual global campaign that celebrates the migration of birds across countries and continents. Throughout the year, we will spread the message that “water sustains bird life” and provide actions for managing water resources and protecting healthy aquatic ecosystems.
When is WMBD? Bird Day is Everyday! World Migratory Bird Day is not just a day. It’s a year-long celebration! Birds migrate at different times in different regions, and this campaign is designed to reflect that. Although the traditional dates are the second Saturdays of May and October (May 13 and October 14 in 2023).