Events /

World Migratory Bird Day

October 13, 2020

World Migratory Bird Day (October 10th) is an annual awareness-raising campaign highlighting the need for the conservation of migratory birds and their habitats. Many bird species undergo incredible migrations each year, travelling thousands of kms. The absolute champion is the Arctic tern, covering 90,000kms going pole to pole each year. They can live up to 30 years, meaning there lifetime migration can be the equivalent of flying to the moon and back 3 times!

These migrations are full of hazards that include storms, hunting, collisions with manmade objects such as windows and wind turbines, and starvation. The risk of starvation is increasing as stopover sites are disappearing due to climate change and loss of habitat to development or agriculture.

We’ll spend the day connecting with scientists and conservationists who are studying and tracking migrations as well as researching the challenges migrating birds face and looking for innovative solutions to protect them along the journey.

Check out our story map with great media and resources:

The Events:

October 13, 2020

9:00 am eastern time

Annette is a seabird biologist at the University of Oxford in the UK. She tracks the journeys of seabirds to discover more about their life at sea, the places they use to feed and to migrate, and the threats they face. She studies multiple species in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Ocean, but the birds she’s studied the most are the charismatic Atlantic puffins, a key but declining seabird in the North Atlantic. In her talk, Annette will talk about her field expeditions to remote seabird islands, her discoveries on the remarkable migration journeys of seabirds, and the threats these fascinating birds face worldwide.

October 13, 2020

10:00 am eastern time

Join Boise State University's Intermountain Bird Observatory (IBO) to learn all about their songbird banding research. We'll follow the scientists into the field to watch them study migrating birds up close at their Lucky Peak Research Station. We will get to observe as the ornithologists capture, band, measure, and weigh tiny songbirds that are migrating south for the winter, and learn how, why, and when they study birds migration.

October 13, 2020

11:00 am eastern time

Martin Wikelski is director at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology based in Radolfzell, Germany, and professor of ornithology at the University of Konstanz. He is currently investigating global migratory patterns in animals with particular emphasis on conservation, detection of disasters, disease spread, and global change. He is leading the ICARUS (International Cooperation for Animal Research Using Space) initiative, aimed at installing the “Internet of Animals” and aided by a small-object tracking system on the International Space Station.

October 13, 2020

1:00 pm eastern time

Ben studies avian (bird) migration, focusing on understanding what drives change and flexibility in migratory behavior. His recent work has focused on three major themes: (1) birds’ innate (natural) migratory programs, (2) the impact of human activity on migration, and (3) continent-scale perspectives on migration systems. Since 2012, Ben has worked with the BirdCast project to study and predict large-scale migratory movements, including research on the effects of light pollution on migrating birds and a tool to forecast nocturnal migratory movements across the United States. He’s working to unify tracking, citizen science, remote sensing, and genomic data to infer detailed behavior across large areas. In addition, Ben hope sto develop and deploy sensors to reveal individual interactions and responses to light pollution during active migratory flights.

October 13, 2020

2:00 pm eastern time

Dr. Christian Artuso is a conservationist and ornithologist with the Migratory Birds Division of the Canadian Wildlife Service (Environment and Climate Change Canada). He is particularly focused on the conservation of migratory birds and grassland ecosystems. He also sits on the Bird Specialist Subcommittee of the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada (COSEWIC). He has given hundreds of presentations on natural history and conservation to a wide variety of audiences and uses blog posts ( and social media for outreach. Christian has trained many young biologists in field methods and identification. He enjoys travelling and wildlife photography, having photographed over 4,000 species of birds, including some of the first known photographs of rare species. His photos appear in many magazines, books, and other media.

Christian will share some of the work he has done over the years and touch on the topic of the conservation of grassland ecosystems and the particular challenges we face: why these habitats are so vulnerable; why so many grassland species are threatened with extinction; why grasslands demand innovative approaches and the role of sustainable agriculture.

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