It’s always a dream for any birder to get a glimpse of as many birds as possible during birding time. World Migratory bird Day is a day set aside to mark the importance of birds migrating from one place to the other, these birds don’t just fly but do so for a reason.
Birds are also known as environment bio indicators assisting researchers, scientists and others detect changes that are about to or happening within a locality. We’ll look at why birds migrate later but let’s get back to the main center of discussion. Conducting WMBD sometimes isn’t easy and many twitchers don’t take part in this important event. How do you I then get involved:
1. Get yourself involved with a bird watching community around you.
This the most easiest way to take part in the celebration, scan around for community coming together to celebrate as this will take you little effort in organizing the event but will join the already planned activity. These communities includes individuals, community based organizations, faith based organization and other civil societies, these groups have what it’s take interm of resources to hold an amazing event.
It’s always amazing to be a team of birders going out looking for birds, the team learn a lot from one another and you will get to count and observed many bird species and be ready for a lifer. The other benefit being in an organized group you are able to access other bird watching cameras for great photo taking, best binoculars and other aiding equipment.
In a group you’ll always have a resourceful birder with years of skills, as a newbie or someone gaining knowledge it’s in your best interest to have these birders mentor you even just for a day as you may not get such an opportunity to meet these great people, always maximise when an opportunity presents itself. As a birder you need some skills to take great snapshots you may be lucky to have a skillful photographer guide you on basic in using camera, different cameras will be at your disposal as this will help you decide on which photographing camera and binoculars to go for.
Birding without knowing where to spot certain bird species is very frustrating, in a group you’ll get a guide from among the birders familiar with the area, this will enable the team to spot as many bird species as possible within a short time. I remember during our bird watching session looking for a papyrus gonolek only to move roound and spot the bird on the starting point.
2. Organize WMBD as an individual or group and invite people
This the most tasking and time consuming way to celebrate the event, you take the lead ensuring everything goes as planned.
Below is a list of things to do
a. Decide on the right date – WMBD is always celebrated on 12/5/ every year, if you find this day okay then it’s better to have it on 12th but at times it’s fall on a day that the invited people aren’t able to attend, with this as an organizer you decide on the best date. It always recommended to either have it a few days like two days before the event or 2 days after the designated dates.
b. Identify the venue
Once you’ve known the day and date it’s now time to look for a venue, consideration should be on accessibility, are invited people able to reach your venue without major challenges, is there a site where visitors can go birding in the morning or at any time
c. List all potential guest to invite.
Potential guest to invite are birders willing to take part, community members who are to be sensitive about the importance of birds, government representative especially wildlife and tourism department to promote avotourism among other stakeholders
d. Do a budget for the event
Any event requires some resources be it financial or materials and WMBD is no exception. You’ll need both book guides, watching gears such as binoculars, cameras among other things. These items can be donated by interested parties willing to support the event. Some basic bird watching materials must be available to help newbie interested in birds.
Financial assistance will help do publicity of the event to create more awareness, we have various ways to publicize an activity but the best and most effective is the use word of mouth. You can also use other means such as community forums, radios among others but these are costly at times.
e. Draft an invitation letter and a resource support request
Your invitation letter should briefly explain the purpose of the invite and why you think they should attend. Here you have to explain about more about WMBD and the importance of birds, in your letter remember to include itinerary of activities.
Your financial request should be seperate from the invite and should contain breakdown of the budget and where you need assistance, be specific with each potential sponsor on what you want them to contribute.Also include other sources of funding to help them know other partners already onboard and their support.
f. Constitute a team
An event to be successful there has to be a team of people working together, have a small team with specific tasks. Some of the tasks your team members can be responsible include distribution of flyers and materials, invitation and follow to visitors, request for financial and item support, birding team leader responsible for birding equipment and guiding guest during bird watching time
g. Draft Itinerary program with your team.
An event program must be done and attached to the invite and resources request letter. A sample program should have time, activity and responsibility section. You can use this sample as a guide when drafting your program.
Time. Activity. Responsible
0600-01000 Morning birding James
1030-12000 Introduction remarks. Organizers team leader
12000-01000-Migration history community elder or any person
02000-03000 Entertainment Various performance groups
04000-05000 Speeches from guest invited guests
05000-06000- Speech from Chief guest
07000 Vote of thanks. organizers team leader
Modify the program to suit your audience and invited persons