EuroBirdwatch 2016 – Observing Millions of Migratory Birds

Red-footed Falcon by Dave Nye_450_850_crp

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At this point of the year, millions of migratory birds are leaving Europe flying to their wintering places in Africa. Cyprus is on one of the main migratory flyways in Europe and so every autumn and spring hundreds of thousands of birds pass through our island: from colourful Bee-eaters as they call and swirl through the air hunting for insects to imposing migrating raptors, such as the Red-footed Falcon and the Pallid Harrier, species of global conservation concern. BirdLife Cyprus invites people to take the opportunity to discover the fascinating world of bird migration on 2 October 2016. 

This year, 36 national partners of BirdLife International in Europe and Central Asia invite people to observe migratory birds and hear interesting facts about bird migration and the threats they face during their journeys. In Europe many hundreds of activities are planned. This year’s EuroBirdwatch in Cyprus will take place on Sunday 2 October 2016 where we will be watching the autumn migration from different sites giving you a unique opportunity to see raptors, soaring birds, cranes, bee-eaters and other species as they travel over Cyprus during migration. Binoculars, telescopes and bird guides will be provided by BirdLife Cyprus and participation is free and open to people of all ages. 

You can choose one of the following meeting points and join us to enjoy and count birds: 

1. Athalassa Park, Nicosia. 09:30 – 12:00, Leader: Martin Hellicar, Mobile: 99907893. Meet at the park’s south parking area (Latsia entrance). 

2. Akrotiri Peninsula, Limassol. 09:00 – 12:00, Leader: Stavros Christodoulides, Mobile: 99425050. Meet at Phassouri Reed-beds. 

3. Paphos Plain, Paphos. 09:00 – 12:00, Leader: Alan and Lynn Crane, Mobile: 99276310. Meet at Larks Corner, Mandria seafront.

The EuroBirdwatch is an annual event comprising hundreds of nationally organised activities. On these observation posts the number of birds and participating people are counted and reported via the national centres to the European centre. Last year, 41 countries in Europe and Central Asia took part in organising 1.093 events, with more than 32.000 people turning out to watch and help count the birds, of which more than 5 million individuals were observed! The total number of birds observed in Cyprus during that day was 3,666. 

The aim of EuroBirdwatch 2016 is to raise awareness for the wonders of bird migration and the needs of the migratory birds on the breeding areas, the flyways and in the wintering areas in the Mediterranean and in Africa. 

This year the event is coordinated by BirdLife Switzerland which is acting as the European Centre to process the data collected in all participating countries. For more information on EuroBirdwatch please contact BirdLife Cyprus on 22455072 or at elena.markitani@birdlifecyprus.org.cy.

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