World Migratory Bird Day is officially celebrated on the second Saturday in May (May 14th in 2022) as migratory birds’ journey to nesting sites and on the second Saturday in October (October 8th in 2022) as they return to wintering areas. Because birds do not all migrate at the same time and to provide the opportunity to observe birds on stopover sites as they journey, however, we encourage you to celebrate when the timing is best at your location. World Migratory Bird Day programs and events are hosted nearly every month of the year.
Every day is Bird Day!
WORLD MIGRATORY BIRD DAY 2022 IS FOCUSING ON THE IMPACT OF LIGHT POLLUTION ON MIGRATORY BIRDS.
Most birds migrate at night. They have been doing this for eons, as a night sky typically means calmer air space and fewer predators. Nocturnally migrating birds include ducks and geese, plovers and sandpipers, and songbirds of all kinds. These birds may travel thousands of miles between their breeding and non-breeding grounds.
However, the night sky is under threat. Artificial light is increasing globally by at least two percent a year, presenting a problem for birds. Light pollution from homes, businesses, and other infrastructure attracts and disorients migrating birds, making them more likely to land in dangerous areas where they are more vulnerable to collisions and predation. Artificial light also impacts birds in the breeding and winter seasons, disrupting feeding and other vital behaviours.
Solutions to light pollution are readily available. For instance, more and more cities in the world are taking measures to dim building lights during migration phases in spring and autumn. Best practice guidelines are also being developed under the Convention on Migratory Species to address this growing issue and ensure that action is taken globally to help birds migrate safely.
In 2022, the impact of light pollution 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 to “dim the lights for birds at night” and highlight the steps that individuals, communities, and governments can take to reduce the impact of light pollution on our shared birds.