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World Bird Festival 2006

The biggest birdwatching event in the world is back

The biggest birdwatching event in the world is back! On 7–8 October, thousands of people will go birdwatching over World Birdwatch weekend, which kick starts a month-long celebration of birds during BirdLife International’s World Bird Festival. Activities include guided walks, festivals of dance, music and poetry, and lectures, with the celebrations aimed at young and old alike.

“This year we are focusing on Important Bird Areas (IBAs), the critical sites for conservation identified by BirdLife across the globe,” said Itziar Olmedo from the Americas Office in Quito, who is co-ordinating the overall Festival. “We want people to visit IBAs and realise their value for conserving not only birds, but other biodiversity too.” In the Americas, where the festival is known as Festival Mundial de las Aves, 22 countries will be taking part. BirdLife’s Director, Dr Michael Rands, will officially open the celebrations in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and will also launch a Spanish guide to birds of southern America, Guía Collins de Aves de Sudamérica. Dr Rands commented “The value of local language field guides in promoting awareness and appreciation of birds should not be underestimated. BirdLife is currently embarking on an ambitious programme to publish 100 such guides over the next decade.”

Antarctica will be represented during the Festival, with the Argentine Base, Orcadas, holding a special event.

“This year we expect the celebrations to be bigger than ever” said Maristella Filippucci, Eurobirdwatch co-ordinator with LIPU-BirdLife ItalyIn Africa, seven countries are participating in the World Bird Festival, which will have a high profile in Sierra Leone where His Exellency the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone is expected to join in.

Fourteen countries in Asia are hosting events, which coincide with the 30th Anniversary of FOGSL, the BirdLife partner in Sri Lanka. BCST in Thailand is organising a national raptor survey.

In Europe, 32 countries are putting on events for EuroBirdwatch 2006, where participants will experience the wonder of autumn migration as birds head to warmer climates for the winter. EuroBirdwatch 2006 is focusing on the region’s 4,500 IBAs.

In October 2005 more than 40,000 people across Europe took part in 1,427 events over the EuroBirdwatch weekend, and observed an incredible 3 millions birds.“This year we expect the celebrations to be bigger than ever, with people across the continent united in their appreciation and admiration of migratory birds,” said Maristella Filippucci of LIPU, the BirdLife Partner in Italy, who is co-ordinating events in the region.

For further information, or to participate in the World Bird Festival, please contact: Itziar Olmedo, World Birdwatch Co-ordinator 2006, itziar.olmedo@birdlife.org tel. +44 1223 279809.

For further information on EuroBirdwatch, please contact: Maristella Filippucci, EuroBirdwatch Co-ordinator 2006 LIPU-BirdLife Italy stella.filippucci@lipu.it tel. +39 0521 273043 mobile +39 346 5234426.

4th July 2014