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It’s time to celebrate World Shorebirds Day

This our logo bird, the gorgeous Ruddy Turnstone, a beautiful representative of the Arctic Tundra. © Attila Seprényi

Happy World Shorebirds Day!

It seems like we ‘just’ finished organising the 3rd World Shorebirds Day in 2016, and now it is the 4th World Shorebirds Day. What a couple of weeks we have behind us. The World Shorebirds Day community again has proved its dedication and there are many, many positive signs of progress in education and engagement with the so called ‘they-all-look-the-same’ shorebirds. There is still a long way to go until World Shorebirds Day is recognised by national organisations, research teams, shorebird experts and thousands of birdwatchers, but we will not give up.

During the course of the year, news about the ‘Shorebird of the Year’, including previous ‘winners, were extensively shared through our social media channels, and with very few exceptions, we have been hit by negative and sad news almost daily. Multiple articles and news emerged weekly about the deaths of Piping Plover chicks, habitat losses of Spoon-billed Sandpipers around the Yellow Sea, or changes of breeding conditions in the Arctic for many shorebirds including the heroic migrant Red Knot. We need to put more focus on these birds and challenges and appreciate any kind of conservation and conservation research efforts. Nobody should underestimate the power of education and this is exactly what World Shorebirds Day is about. Raising awareness about the plight of shorebirds is a kind of education. World Shorebirds Day will go a lot ‘wider’ next year and more people will learn about this special day and its importance.

Now we should also start celebrating those who do exceptional work protecting shorebirds on the beaches, all the bird stewards, conservationists, researchers, teachers, enthusiasts, aged or young birdwatchers and policy makers who think saving shorebirds is crucial for the entire ecosystem. In the coming weeks and months we will be posting about individuals and shorebirds to present the beautiful interactions between them.

Our thoughts are with all those who planned to do counts for Global Shorebird Counting but instead they have to save their own lives from the disastrous series of hurricanes in the Caribbean and the southern part of United States. Stay safe everyone!

Thank you for all your efforts making World Shorebirds Day successful once again. I’m really proud of you All.

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