Spring Alive is an international campaign to encourage children’s interest in nature and the conservation of migratory birds.
By posting their first sightings of Barn Swallow, White Stork, Common Cuckoo, Common Swift, and European Bee-eater on the www.springalive.net website, children from Europe, Central Asia and Africa create a real-time map of the incredible journeys these birds take every year.
Each year, spring begins with a few scattered early sightings in warm countries, which are displayed as patches of pale pink on the Spring Alive map.
Over the next few months, as more sightings flood in, the colour spreads and deepens, until all the countries where these birds breed are a rich, glowing red,
Spring Alive began in 2006 as a European project, which soon spread to Central Asia. In 2010, Spring Alive was extended to Africa, where from September onwards children look out for the return of the same five species from their breeding grounds in Europe and Asia.
Creating the map remains the core activity. But Spring Alive now involves lots more indoor and outdoor events, to engage children, schools and the wider community in the conservation of migratory birds, and to encourage them to support their national BirdLife Partners.
In 2013, over 54,000 children, 900 teachers and supervisors, and 500 volunteers from 49 countries, recorded a total of 270,000 sightings of migratory birds on the Spring Alive website, and joined in a range of Spring Alive activities.
This year, with the announcement that Azerbaijan is joining, at least 50 countries will be taking part.
Spring Alive is organised by OTOP, the BirdLife Partner in Poland, on behalf of the BirdLife Partnership. Wildlife groups, teachers and others who would like to become more involved in Spring Alive should contact the International Coordinator, Karolina Kalinowska.