World Migratory Bird Day and eBird Global Big Day Round-up

The World Migratory Bird Day – a celebration of the wonder of bird migration – coincided with the eBird Global Big Day on 9 May 2020. The eBird Global Big Day is a bird sighting event where birders all over the world observe birds on the same day and submit their observations on the eBird website. Birders from all countries of the world can take part; it’s the peak of bird migration in the northern countries, while tropical countries have a wider diversity of birds. This year, despite most of the world being on lockdown, more than 51,000 people took part in the Big Day and submitted checklists. The top ten countries were all in the Americas, where eBird is well established. Kenya took the leading position in Africa and emerged eleventh in the world, after 85 groups or individuals all over the country recorded 613 bird species.

Mt. Kenya Biodiversity Conservation Group (Mt. Kebio) marked World Migratory Bird Day by holding a birdwatch along a three-kilometre stretch in Burguret. Despite a low turnout, a total of 60 different bird species were sighted.

Members of the South Nandi Biodiversity Conservation Group (SONABIC) marked the day by holding a birdwatch in Chepkong’ony area in the South Nandi Forest. A total of 60 bird species were recorded by the 14 members who participated.

Friends of Kinangop Plateau organised a birdwatch and a bird talk about bird migration at the Friends of Kinangop Plateau Resource Centre. The 22 participants were divided into four groups to allow them to cover the different habitats – grasslands and water bodies -which characterise Kinangop area. A total of 118 bird species were recorded.

Down at the Coast, members of the Mida Creek Conservation and Awareness Group celebrated World Migratory Bird Day with a birdwatch along the shores of the Indian Ocean and areas adjacent to the Arabuko-Sokoke Forest. A total of 54 bird species were sighted among them Mangrove Kingfisher (an intra-African migrant), Yellow-throated Longclaw and Collared Palm Thrush.