Marking World Migratory Bird Day in Donegal by gathering at Inch Island
Donegal-based bird and nature enthusiasts had a great morning with Aengus Kennedy of Nature North West at a ChangeMakers Donegal, Inishowen Development Partnership organized an event to mark World Migratory Bird Day. World Migratory Bird Day activities take place in many different countries and places across the globe – united by a common campaign and theme. Poor management, pollution, and climate change are all taking a toll on water and on migratory birds.
About World Migratory Bird Day
On their epic journeys, migratory birds help inspire many people and cultures along the way.
The focus this year is on the topic of water and its importance for migratory birds. Water is fundamental to life on our planet. The vast majority of migratory birds rely on aquatic ecosystems during their life cycles. Inland and coastal wetlands, rivers, lakes, streams, marshes, and ponds are all vital for feeding, drinking, or nesting, and also as places to rest and refuel during their long journeys.
Unfortunately, aquatic ecosystems are becoming increasingly threatened around the world and so are the migratory birds that depend on them. The increasing human demand for water, as well as pollution and climate change, are having a direct impact on the availability of clean water and the conservation status of many migratory birds.
To help promote awareness and conservation of migratory birds, Aengus Kennedy recommended several resources, including Catchment.ie, a website that provides information on Ireland’s water catchments and people’s connections to them. He also suggested visiting the maps section of the website to learn more.
Other resources included the Cuckoo Tracking Project, which tracks the migratory patterns of cuckoos departing from Ireland each summer, and Windy.com, a website that displays wind and weather patterns in real-time.
For those interested in citizen science, Aengus Kennedy suggested participating in the Irish Garden Bird Survey, which BirdWatch Ireland organizes each year. He also recommended the Irish Wetland Bird Survey, which monitors wintering waterbird populations across the Republic of Ireland.
During the session, Aengus Kennedy acknowledged and thanked the National Parks and Wildlife Service, the Local Authority Waters Programme, and other organizations working to address the challenges facing our planet.
In addition to promoting the conservation of migratory birds, Aengus Kennedy also encouraged attendees to learn more about climate change and its impact on our planet. He recommended several resources, including CARO, which coordinates local government efforts to address climate change, and the NASA Global Climate Change website which provides news, facts, and solutions on climate change.
Acknowledgements and thanks
Overall, the event organised by ChangeMakers Donegal of Inishowen Development Partnership was a great success, and attendees left with a deeper appreciation for the importance of migratory birds and the need to protect their habitats. Thank you to Irish Aid for funding ChangeMakers Donegal’s work. Thank you to everyone who braved the wind and the rain!