A beautiful Eurasian taiga breeder, the Broad-billed Sandpiper (Calidris falcinellus). All rights reserved by Daniel Pettersson. (This photo was legally embedded with the photographer’s permission and a direct link to his portfolio was provided)
…Finland, Malta, Poland, São Tomé and Príncipe, Uruguay, The Falkland Islands and Trinidad and Tobago… These are all new countries where birdwatchers thought it was worth supporting World Shorebirds Day and the Global Shorebird Counts in 2018. This is an amazing progress and despite only a few people made this difference in each country, we are hopeful for the future and it might be a good base for further growth. It could also be encouraging for other countries where participation is poor or non-existent.
The communication wasn’t much different from the previous years’ although the whole Global Shorebird Counts (GSC) campaign was shorter and less intense than usual. Yet, this is the second most successful year for the counts in terms of the number of checklists submitted. Birders, especially eBirders, who didn’t register to GSC or never heard about it before, are happy to contribute and share their checklists once visits to local patch or birding hotspots have been done regardless,
We see growth in the number of checklists submitted and also the number of unique counting locations. So far, 2016 was the strongest year in terms of the level of participation, but this year is catching up.
So why is it vital to have more and more participants in the Global Shorebird Counting?
Reaching out more and more birdwatchers, conservationists, researchers, teachers and students, amateur or professionals every year is one of the fundamental elements for connecting participants with the missions of World Shorebirds Day. World Shorebirds Day will succeed when the boards of related organisations will consider World Shorebirds Day an important event of the year, an important opportunity to raise awareness (or even money) for our vulnerable shorebirds around the world. When organisations will include World Shorebird Day in their annual event calendar and when there will be national representatives (what we already have in some countries or states) who take the lead in the campaign phase of World Shorebirds Day, then this event will significantly grow. It’s not about numbers but about the desire to make the world a better place for shorebirds. This sounds sentimental but we have the power to turn the negatives into positives.
It’s always frustrating to read excuses like, “I don’t use eBird” or “most shorebirds have gone”, or “I don’t live at the coast” and in many countries, these are leading to a complete lack of involvement in the counts. We all have to see that this event is not any different from what we always love to do. It’s called birdwatching. We do it anyway, regardless of a program or survey. We just simply go out and record our observations. In eBird or another way, it doesn’t matter. When we move on and just support an initiative unconditionally, then we will grow. There is a lot to do in this area but this community can make a difference.
Finally, take a minute to let us know how we should communicate with you for the future as counting location registration will not be required from 2019. You can do this with this simple form.