World Migratory Bird Day: Celebrating the Avian Beauties

World Migratory Bird Day – a relatable day for every bird lover. Though, for a birder, every day is a bird day.

May 8th is celebrated globally as Migratory Bird Day, to raise awareness and a need to conserve these winter visitors some of whom even fly hundreds of thousands of kilometers.

Ruddy Shelduck in flight, Ladakh
Listen to the sound of Ruddy Shelduck. Recordist: Pierre Deviche

I’m not a birder, and cannot identify most birds, but I’m very curious about these miraculous flyers and do know about a few of them. I have seen, learned about, and been super impressed by some of the most amazing migratory birds. Like the Amur falcon that flies almost non-stop for impressively long distances. More than once I’ve seen Ruddy Shelducks (also called Brahminy duck) – a winter visitor to India – swimming in pairs in Ladakh many years ago, and in Assam recently.

For like a really long time, I’m waiting to see the gorgeous Greater Flamingos (hopefully, one day soon!) A birder friend who knows this had shared the (below) picture with me. However, I have seen many others like the Northern Pintail, Black-winged Stilt, Common Teal, Siberian Cranes, Yellow Wagtail, and Black Heron among the numerous others.

Greater Flamingos
Listen to the sound of Flamingo calls. Source: Wikipedia

These avian beauties annually migrate to India in winters and summers for food and shelter(breeding and nesting), escaping the harsh environments. Bird migration across large distances also helps the environment. Pollination, seed dispersal, natural pest control, are some of the ecosystem benefits of bird migrations. Watch out for these flying visitors around you that are interesting, beautiful and who are also helping the planet in so many ways.

Ruddy Shelduck or Brahminy duck in Ladakh

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