Today we celebrate some epic migrations. And they are not the type of migrations that usually take the limelight in the news, they are neither political, nor they divide the public opinion.
It is World Migratory Bird Day. It is one of the greatest and mysterious natural events. At least partly mysterious for me, even though I know some of the science behind these incredible journeys birds undertake every year, I am still in awe with these creatures. With their resilience, freedom, energy efficiency and organisation to accomplish such a massive task in order to breed, survive and thrive as species.
They follow a leader, they swap when they are tired, they protect their young, they fly off at a signal, they constantly adapt to the climate and to habitat conditions.
But they can adapt up to a point. When their routes are so disrupted by wires, buildings, pollution of all kinds, the immediate effects are very visible and large numbers just vanish.
Danube Delta is one of the stopovers on the African-Eurasian Flyway. Each year large flocks of pelicans, greater white-fronted and red breasted geese, ferruginous ducks, red-crested pochards, Ural owls, common terns, spotted redshanks or common snipes just to mention a few, stop here to breed, to rest and to spend the summer.
Here the light pollution is almost non-existent and there is refuge for them in the specially protected areas, but the Delta is just one break in their long journeys.
This is the day when I can reflect about what I can learn from the Delta and pay more attention in my attempt to help the birds along the way. Maybe I can turn off the lights more often when I leave the room or be more careful what I throw down the drainage and use birds’ deterrents for my windows. We should not forget that every thing we do has an impact. And it could be for the better.
When I stay on the banks of the Danube and see these beautiful flocks of birds I am always inspired to think that a community’s or a group’s interest is much more important than the individual one.
I never stop looking up waiting for them every year! If you live somewhere on their migratory routes, I wish you the same.