The importance of water is at the center of this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, an annual celebration of migratory birds and a call to action to protect them. Throughout 2023, organizers are spreading the message that “water sustains bird life” and highlighting ways to conserve and protect aquatic habitats.
This year’s WMBD poster, featuring original artwork by Augusto Silva, highlights 10 species that represent the variety of ways birds need water. Starting from the top, they are: Yellow-billed Cuckoo, Osprey, Northern Shoveler, Rufous Hummingbird, Waterthrush Warbler, American White Pelican, Magellanic Penguin, Wilson’s Phalarope, barn swallow and the Dickcissel.
The Northern Shoveler and American White Pelican remind us that many species need wetlands and open water to migrate, overwinter and reproduce. Some birds require specific types of aquatic habitats, such as salt lakes that Wilson’s Phalaropes use during migration and winter, swampy forests favored by Louisiana Waterthrushes, or shady streams along which the Billed Cuckoo nests. YELLOW. Water is essential for the survival of the insects pursued by the Barn Swallow, for the growth of the nectariferous plants frequented by the Rufous Hummingbird and for the health of the prairies inhabited by the Dickcissel. The Magellanic penguin represents the oceans which account for 97% of all water on earth. And finally, the osprey is a conservation success story, reminding us that declining bird populations can be reversed when we work together to conserve and protect our planet.
World Migratory Bird Day 2023 is officially celebrated on May 13 in the United States and Canada and October 14 in Latin America and the Caribbean. Celebrations take place all over the world, including at local parks, nature centers, museums, libraries, schools, and other locations throughout the year. To find an event near you, to register your own event, or to learn more about this year’s campaign, visit migratorbirdday.org.