EuroBirdwatch 2010: the wonder of migration
Over the past weekend, almost 60,000 people from 34 European countries enthusiastically took part in EuroBirdwatch 2010, BirdLife’s event to observe the fascinating migration of birds flying south for the winter. Many BirdLife Partners across Europe, from Portugal to Turkey, from Malta to Finland, participated organising over 1,000 national events. This year’s bird observations were collected in each country and referred to the European Centre, coordinated by SOS/BirdLife Slovakia. “The birds didn’t disappoint: attendees counted exactly 2,731,155 of them in total”, said Ján Gúgh from SOS/BirdLife Slovakia. EuroBirdwatch - BirdLife’s annual birdwatching event in Europe - aims to raise awareness on bird migration, promoting needed actions to save threatened bird species and their habitats. For many BirdLife Partners the event provides an opportunity to reach new audiences and to attract potential supporters. Participants were excited to make observations of White-winged Lark Melanocorypha leucoptera in Sweden, Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos in Hungary and Finland, Peregrine Falcon Falco Peregrinus in Belarus, Lammergeier Gypaetus barbatus in Armenia and Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor in Ukraine. With great surprise of birdwatchers, 34 Greater Flamingo Phoenicopterus roseus have been seen in Montenegro, the highest number in the last 115 years. The most frequently observed species were Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris and Mallard Anas platyrhynchos. “I am really pleased to see how massively BirdLife Partners participate in Eurobirdwatch, making sure people feel connected with nature”, commented Angelo Caserta - Regional Director at BirdLife Europe. “This year the award for the highest number of events organised and participants goes to SEO/BirdLife (BirdLife in Spain), while SOF (BirdLife in Sweden) was the country with the highest number of species observed”. “This year the events organised by BirdLife Partners mainly focused on the importance of saving our biodiversity. Heads of State and Government will soon meet in Nagoya and it is essential they get their acts together and turn the tide, if we want to save our planet”, concluded Mr Caserta.