Photo credit: Todd Burrows
World Migratory Bird Day is about promoting the need for conservation of migratory birds and their habitats, which they rely on for food, shelter, and nesting. The day aims to draw attention to the threats faced by migratory birds, their ecological importance, and the need for international cooperation to protect them.
This year’s theme for World Migratory Bird Day is Birds Connect Our World, chosen to highlight the importance of conserving and restoring the ecological connectivity and integrity of ecosystems that support the natural movements of migratory birds.
Across the world, unsustainable practices and infrastructural pressures are causing the habitats of migratory species to shrink. Collisions with man-made structures, particularly those made of glass and other reflective material pose a threat migratory birds, particularly those flying at night. Wind turbines built in flight paths (especially near wetlands) and expanded powerlines near sites where birds congregate have also resulted in high bird mortality rates. Although these threats may not occur in South East Queensland, they can affect the migratory birds visiting our region.
Over 35,000 migratory shorebirds visit South East Queensland’s wetlands each year and thousands of other birds migrate to other habitats within our region. The availability of food and rest for shorebirds when they get here is critical, as many have travelled tens of thousands of kilometres, some from as far as Siberia and Alaska!
Moreton Bay is the ultimate summer destination for most migratory shorebirds. Other coastal and inland wetlands in our region also provide critical habitat. Research by the Queensland Wader Study Group and the University of Queensland has shown migratory shorebirds and their habitats are unfortunately in decline in Moreton Bay. Migratory shorebirds like the critically endangered Far Eastern Curlew have experienced population decline of more than 80 per cent over the past 30 years.
For more information on the Moreton Bay Ramsar project click here.
What you can do:
- Make your garden bird-friendly by including shelters and a bird bath. Make sure food that is provided is bird-safe and does not cause malnutrition.
- Keep an eye on your pets, and make sure bird baths and feeding areas are out of reach of cats and dogs.
- Keep your dog on a leash when visiting the coast and other natural areas.
- Tell your friends and family about the importance of protecting migratory birds and the habitats they need to survive!
Click here for more information on World Migratory Bird Day.