12 May 2011

14 May (Sat) is World Migratory Bird Day

With the theme “Land Use Changes from a Bird’s-Eye View”, this year's World Migratory Bird Day highlights humankind's dramatic impact on the global environment.
World Migratory Bird Day highlights the need to protect migratory birds and their habitats. It is celebrated world wide on the second weekend each May since 2006.

What are migratory birds?

Many different species of birds regularly make journeys at certain seasons of the year. These are generally called migratory birds. The most spectacular migratory birds regularly fly long distances along routes called a flyway. These flyways may cover huge distances over continents and across oceans. Singapore is on the East-Asian flyway.
From the Australian Online Coastal Information website
Sungei Buloh is one of the ideal places in Singapore to observe migratory birds that visit our shores.
Kids looking at shorebirds at Sungei Buloh

Why do birds migrate?
The reasons are complex and not fully understood. But a simple explanation is food and a safe place to breed. Birds which breed in the summer in the extreme north such as the Arctic benefit from an abundance of food as plants and insect life flourish in the long daylight hours; and because few large permanent predators can survive the harsh winter. Many birds that breed in the Arctic simply lay their eggs on the ground. Being able to fly, they can avoid the harsh winter conditions, and be the first to arrive to enjoy the summer benefits.

How did bird migration routes become established?
Migration is affected not only by food supply, but also by wind and oceans currents. These make some routes and locations easier to reach.

Why are migratory birds important?
Migratory birds rely on several different habitats; they need different locations for breeding and raising their young, and for feeding. Some of them migrate up to thousands of kilometers to find suitable areas and cross many different habitats, regardless of any political borders. Thus, saving migratory birds means saving their required habitats and that benefits other species as well.

Because birds are found nearly everywhere and, with more than 10,000 described species, being the best known and best-researched taxon, they serve as vital indicators of distribution and state of biodiversity and the ecosystems they inhabit.

If a bird species becomes threatened by extinction it is a clear sign that the conditions of, or the ecosystem itself, have changed and that other species that depend on this ecosystem may be affected as well. Saving every species is therefore essential, because if one species becomes extinct, the whole ecosystem will be affected.

Here's a video about World Migratory Bird Day

Find out more about migratory birds and their habitats in Singapore, as Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve celebrates World Migratory Bird Day with this talk and walk.

14 May (Sat): Talk and walk for World Migratory Bird Day at Sungei Buloh

Let's celebrate World Migratory Bird Day 2011 at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve. This year's theme is, "Land Use Changes from a Bird's-Eye View", A Unique Perspective on the World's Changing Environment.

Each year migratory birds fly thousands of kilometres across entire continents covering the vast expanse of the planet, its many different climates and landscapes. Listen to Mr David Li, Conservation Officer and shore bird expert, explain about these amazing birds. A guided tour about what Sungei Buloh does in our Shorebird conservation programme will follow after the talk.

The event is free but pre-registration is requires. Limited to 40 persons. To register, email mendis_tan@nparks.gov.sg

Time: 9.30am-noon
Venue: SBWR Visitor Centre.
Website and contact: http://www.sbwr.org.sg/

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