World Migratory Bird Day provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the importance of conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. This day, proclaimed by the United Nations, is celebrated twice a year (on the second Saturday in May and in October) to highlight the cyclical nature of the long journeys made by migratory birds along the flyways linking the continents. Migratory birds are those that periodically migrate in search of food, a better climate or ideal breeding conditions. World Migratory Bird Day was established in 2006 by UNEP, the United Nations Environment Programme and aims to raise awareness among institutions and the public on the importance of protecting migratory birds and their natural habitats.
Light pollution will be the focus of the World Migratory Bird Day 2022 campaign. Artificial light is increasing globally by at least 2% per year and is known to adversely affect many bird species. Light pollution is a significant threat to migratory birds, causing disorientation when flying at night, as well as collisions with buildings, disrupting their internal clocks or interfering with their ability to undertake long-distance migrations. There are several solutions to reduce light pollution: for example, more and more cities around the world are taking measures to dim their building lights during the spring and autumn migration phases. Under the Convention on Migratory Species, this growing problem is being addressed by drafting guidelines to ensure global action to safeguard birds.
In order to get to know the creatures of the skies better, on the day dedicated to them, WWF is organising activities and guided tours in its nature reserves, which provide a refuge for thousands of migratory birds.