A group of Senegalese refugees visited the UBC with the organisation Ongi Etorri Errefuxiatuak, Busturialdea. Amongst many things, they wanted to explore the way in which this Center and their country are connected by birds. What relationship do birds from Basque Country have with Senegal? Well, many of them spend the spring and summer here but they then migrate to Africa in search of food and shelter.
To reach their destination they undertake a very dangerous journey, flying over mountains and crossing oceans and deserts. They face death in many forms: starvation, dehydration, predation, etc. Their journey is similar to that of any migrant who leaves their home in search of better conditions.
During the visit we were able to hear the stories of the refugees. They told us about the situation in their country and the hardships they faced on their journeys. They had crossed barbed wire fences, military checkpoints and countless obstacles created by the different countries they had to pass.
They were very interested to hear about the birds that make similar journeys and were particularly impressed by the story of Cousteau, the osprey which left Urdaibai in September 2016. Cousteau carries a GPS device so we know that he spends his time in Casamance in the South of Senegal. Some of the refugees were from this region so it was a fantastic connection. The group thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the Center.
Ongi Etorri Errefuxiatuak, Busturialdea was set up by local people last year. It is part of the group Ongi Etorri Errefuxiatuak, Bizkaia. Their aim is to aid the process of integration and help immigrants in general.
The Urdaibai Bird Center is going to hold different activities around the subject including conferences, visits and exchanges to find the best way to interconnect people, birds and migration. We welcome everyone. You don´t need a passport to visit Urdaibai Bird Center, The International Airport for Birds.