The theme of World Migratory Birds Day 2021 is intended to remind people of the need to reconnect with nature, listen to the beautiful singing of birds and watch them.
Birds can be seen everywhere: in cities and villages; in parks and courtyards, in forests and mountains, in wetlands, and along the coast. “They connect all these habitats, unite us, reminding us of our own connection with the planet, the environment, wildlife and each other,” notes UNEP.
World Day of Migratory Birds is celebrated twice a year - in October and May, in the months during which seasonal birds migrate. Billions of birds go on long journeys every year. Most of them migrate from northern nesting areas to wintering sites in southern latitudes.
Other birds nest in the lowlands during the winter months, and fly to areas at high altitudes in the summer. Many of them travel huge distances every year, for example, flying 11,680 km between Alaska and New Zealand.
Many dangers lie in wait for them all the way. Many birds die during such travels, and often such a fate is associated with the loss of habitat, as well as poaching.
According to UNEP, globally every eighth bird species is endangered, including the European turtledove. Its population has declined by more than 90 percent since the 1970s.
Now scientists around the world are studying the impact of the pandemic on birds, in particular how the temporary cessation of human activity has affected the birds. In parallel, scientists are investigating the benefits of bird singing to human health.