“Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation”: Birdlife Sweden and SPNL Celebrating WMBD in Hima Ras El-Maten

On 1 October 2018 SPNL- Birdlife Lebanon and Birdlife Sweden announced an innovative partnership to increase awareness of the plight of migratory birds in Hima Ras El-Maten- Mount Lebanon. Articulating mainly on bird ringing at the newly established hima, for the benefit and involvement of all. Our Birdlife Sweden Bird Ringing Team of 4 persons, arrived Beirut yesterday and will stay for few days at their base camp in Ras El-Maten.

The partnership unites two of the world’s largest bird education campaigns, International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) and World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD) in a bid to strengthen global recognition and appreciation of migratory birds and highlight the urgent need for their conservation. From 2018 onwards, the new joint campaign will adopt the single name of “World Migratory Bird Day” and major events to celebrate the day will be organized twice a year, on the Second Saturday in May and in October.

Dr. Ghassan Jaradi and Andre Bechara from SPNL team met them, at the bird ringing site early morning, the team set up the mist nets and initiated awareness campaign with media, schools and Hima community, during the morning hours and in the afternoon.

The ringing of birds is a scientific method for gaining knowledge about birds and the environments in which they live. In principle, the method is to fasten a metal ring around one of the legs of a bird. On the ring, a unique number and a contact address are printed.

Traditionally, bird ringing has been used to increase our knowledge of bird behaviour. The most common questions we have wanted answers to are where birds have wintered, where their migration routes go, their important resting places and causes of death, how long they live and how fast they move (migrate). Now that this basic knowledge about various species has improved, the goals for bird ringing have become more nuanced. New goals and new content on the ring markings enable the study of such things as changes in bird-populations. This is an important contribution to current environmental monitoring. In many research projects, ringing is used as a sure method for recognising individual birds throughout their life.

Knowledge gained from ringing is often based on members of the public finding the ringed birds and reporting their finds to a ringing centre. It has, however, become increasingly common for scientists to seek out birds they themselves have ringed, and many research projects are now based solely on controls of one’s ‘own’ birds.


The year 2018 marks a new start for World Migratory Bird Day as it now unifies the planet’s major migratory bird corridors, or flyways, namely the African-Eurasian, the East Asian-Australasian, and the Americas flyways. Furthermore, to make celebrations even more successful and relevant to bird supporters all over the world, WMBD will now have two peak celebration days in the year – the second Saturdays of May and October – and can in addition still also be celebrated all around the year, whenever migratory birds are present in a given locality.

WMBD dedicates 2018 to its major flyways and the new inter-flyway cooperation

With “Unifying our Voices for Bird Conservation” as its theme for 2018, in the “Year of the Bird”, WMBD is focusing clearly and strongly on the development of its new identity and the need for people celebrating WMBD around the world to communicate and learn from each other, across borders, within and between the world’s flyways. Through the activities being undertaken on these three flyways and the resulting exchange of information, WMBD wishes to increase the level of awareness about the threats – both general and specific – that birds are facing. By comparing their experiences and concerns, sharing their stories and activities, people around the world will make their voices and actions reach out even further, throughout the flyways, underlying the fact that bird conservation is, indeed, a global issue.


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