BirdFlyway – Urdaibai Bird center

Category: Europe, Migratory Birds for People, WLI Europe

Last updated: June 14th, 2019

BirdFlyway is a nature tourism project that covers a network of European wetlands that have at least two elements in common: they have a visitor’s centre and they are located on the migration route of two well-known bird species, the goose and the osprey.

The project is run by the Urdaibai Bird Center (Aranzadi Society of Science) with the collaboration of Migratory Birds for People network. The aim is to create a north-south trans-European experience, similar to the Way of St James. It is a trip to be taken by all naturalists over the course of their lives until they have completed all the stages, recording in a passport the visits to each of the different wetlands that make up the route.

The overall objective of the “BirdFlyway” project is the creation of a trans-European tourist experience that includes a selection of wetlands, following the migration route of the goose and the osprey, from Finland to West Africa. This activity will allow the enhancement of these wetlands, which form part of the Natura 2000 Network, together with the generation of economic resources that will in turn enable the conservation and management of these natural spaces.

At the same time, this project will have a very direct repercussion on the conservation of the wetlands, by increasing the number of visitors, generating new economic resources and enhancing the natural resources of each reserve.  The presentation of the BirdFlyway project took place on the past 5th May. The event was held simultaneously in the four Spanish stages that make up the route and had excellent coverage of the media and counted on the participation and support of all the administrations involved, Ministry of Agriculture and Environment, autonomous communities, provincial councils and municipalities.

Since the official beginning of the BirdFlyway on the 8th of May (World Migratory Bird Day), many travellers have already acquired their passports to travel to any of the stages of the route and, once met the challenges in each one, get their passport stamped.  Eleven of the fifteen European stages that make up the route can be visited already, while the incorporation of the remaining four stages is foreseen for the coming weeks. The centres where you can already get your passport stamped can be found here.

At the moment the promotion of the project is being carried out throughout fairs all around Europe: The International Birdwatching Fair (FIO) in Extremadura (Spain), Doñana Birdfair in Andalusia (Spain) and soon in Rutland Birdfair (England), in which representatives from the different members of the route are called. We will even see a novel on the route which will be published in the next months, in English and Spanish.