5.8 million migratory birds counted during EuroBirdwatch 2016

Purple Heron by Albert Stoecker_450_850_crp

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24,115 people attended this year’s EuroBirdwatch, the biggest European birdwatching event hosted by 40 national partner organisations of BirdLife International in Europe and Central Asia. 

Participating in more than 1,000 different events taking place over the past weekend, they were able to observe the stunning autumn migration, as birds make their way southwards to their wintering places. Taking place annually on the first weekend of October since 1993, EuroBirdwatch aims to raise awareness for bird migration, promoting needed actions to save threatened bird species and their habitats. Furthermore, the event is a great way for people to observe birds with the help of local ornithologists who are familiar with the nature spectacle which is taking place year after year.

This year, 40 countries in Europe and Central Asia participated in EuroBirdwatch, hosting 1,070 events and observing 5.8 million migratory birds. Next to observing, identifying and counting the passing birds, many BirdLife partners offered a variety of activities from photo exhibitions to ornithological excursions and public bird ringings, as well as special events for children.

In Cyprus, BirdLife Cyprus organized three birdwatching events on Sunday 2 October 2016 which were attended by 57 participants in total. The total number of birds observed in Cyprus during that day was 1,310 with the most numerous species observed being the Barn Swallow followed by the Yellow Wagtail and the Sand Martin. The most exciting observation of the day was at Paphos Plain where there was a continual stream of migrating Barn Swallows and a Marsh Harrier seen flying out to sea. In total, 63 species were observed in Cyprus during that day.

As millions of birds are travelling to their wintering areas in the Mediterranean and in Africa, EuroBirdwatch encouraged people of all ages to observe, enjoy and learn about migratory birds and their fantastic abilities as well as the dangers they face on their long journeys. The data collected by all national BirdLife partners were evaluated and published by the European Centre, a task taken on by a different BirdLife partner each year. This year, BirdLife Switzerland had the honour of processing the data which is accessible online at www.eurobirdwatch.eu.

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