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World Migratory Bird Day 2020: Birds reclaim their spaces in India amid coronavirus lockdown

By: LMB Staff

World Migratory Bird Day observed on May 9 every year is celebrated to raise awareness about the conservation and ecological importance of such birds in the global ecosystem.

The theme of World Migratory Bird Day 2020 is “Birds Connect Our World”. This year’s theme was chosen in order to highlight the importance of conservation and restoration of ecological connectivity and the integrity of ecosystems that support the movement of these birds.

Image Source: twitter.com/nirupamakotru
Image Source: twitter.com/WMGVs

The day was first introduced in 2006 after the Secretariat of Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals and the Secretariat of Agreement on the Conversation of African-Eurasian Migratory Waterbirds (AEWA) came up with a proposal.

Lower pollution levels attracted more birds to many cities in India

After the global outbreak of coronavirus, a nationwide COVID-19 lockdown was announced by the government of India. While many people have been talking about how the change has impacted their lives negatively, the COVID-19 lockdown seems to be a boon for nature.

Lower pollution levels attracted more birds to many cities in India, including rare ones.

A number of videos and images of different birds have surfaced on social media in the last months. Several residents are spending their time recording bird songs and posting in like-minded groups, asking others to guess the bird.

Return rate of tagged birds highest in Mumbai: BNHS

More tagged or ringed migratory birds return to roosting and feeding sites in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai than any other region in India.

Bird ringing is done by clipping a bird with a small metal ring to study and understand the routes they use to fly, their migration patterns and resting sites.

Image Source: Hindustan Times

Of 10,803 individuals of migratory shore-birds across 46 species ringed in the Mumbai region between 2014 and 2020 (majorly from 2018 onwards) with a recapture rate – recording a ringed bird from the same spot where it was tagged – of 4.6% (497 birds), according to Maharashtra’s nodal agency for bird ringing studies, the Bombay Natural History Society that released data ahead of the 15th World Migratory Bird Day.

“The recapture rate is significantly higher than otherwise recorded for bird ringing studies in India. The high recapture data is attributed to very high site fidelity for these migratory birds and intensive efforts of bird ringing over a long period,” said Deepak Apte, director, BNHS told media

How it is celebrated

The World Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated with online events and global meetings. Anyone interested in participating in the global campaign can visit the social media handles of World Migratory Bird Day. Information about more such events can also be found on www.worldmigratorybirdday.org.

On the occasion, Amy Fraenkel, Executive Secretary of Convention on Migratory Species in a statement said, “Migratory birds can be found everywhere: in cities and in the countryside, in parks and in our backyards, in forests and in mountains, in deserts and in wetlands, and all along the shores. They connect to all of these habitats, and they connect us and the places where we live to people and places around the globe”.

LMB Staff

LMB Staff

Let Me Breathe (LMB) is a platform that provides space to document and tell stories of living and surviving air pollution, climate change and end of fossil fuels in India – by simply using their 🤳🏾

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