Migratory Birds for People

Logo of MBP

The Migratory Birds for People (MBP) programme is about 30 wetland visitor centres across Europe and West Africa in a network that follows the flight path of many migratory wetland birds species.

These centres are working together to share best practice and develop new approaches to delivering wetland messages to their visitors. We have an MBP strategic plan and the MBP Mission visual update 2018 that will help you understand what the programme aims to do.

The lead group for the project consists of the Dutch Staatsbosbeheer, WLI, and Wetlands International West Africa. We also work with partners across Europe and Africa. Please see the contacts list for details.

MBP Africa has a webpage with news specifically for wetlands educators and communicators in West Africa.

Optics for Africa

Where possible, MBP visitor centres in Europe collect binoculars and telescopes and share them with members in West Africa. So far we have collected more than 80 binoculars and telescopes.

We invite any member centre to participate! Find out how.

Adil hands many binoculars to Ibrahim

Social media guidelines

Together with partners Eurosite we produced an introductory guide to using social media at wetland visitor centres and nature reserves. In 2021 we produced these more advanced guidelines.

Educational Map

Discover the East Atlantic Flyway through games! The MBP flyway map is an educational resource developed by MBP members, a fabric map of 2 x 1.5 metres. It is rugged so you can bring it to schools or out to the wetland to illustrate migration and how wetland centres are networking to help migratory birds. Members, please contact us for a copy.

You can also download a free guidebook of activities, compiled by the network, to make use of the map.

Connecting Birds & Schools

We arrange video conferences between schools for World Migratory Bird Day. Pupils love it! Previous events have been in across three languages and two flyways.

Flyway Youth Forum

Since 2021 we have co-organised the East Atlantic Flyway Youth Forum. Along with the Common Wadden Sea Secretariat and Youth Engaged in Wetlands, we bring young people together virtually to expand their skills as wetland conservationists in the Flyway.

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Map of the Migratory Birds for People network

Our poster (on the left, with version for Naturum Getterön, Sweden) that can be tailored to your own centres – we can provide the design file for you to add your own logo, pictures and examples, for display at your centre. Just contact Chris Rostron to arrange for us to send it to you.

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Twinning programme

In 2023 we are developing a twinning programme. The Terms of Reference are in draft form, ahead of the first exchange at EVOA around the 2023 Annual Meeting.

Video for centre screens

We have a promotional video for visitor centre screens. MBP volunteers produced and translated it in Arabic, BasqueDutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Luxembourgish, PortugueseSpanish, and Swedish. You can view it on YouTube and we can send it to you as a PowerPoint or mp4 video file, as suits your technical setup.

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Flyway expeditions

We are supporting two expeditions on the East Atlantic Flyway.

For Conservation Without Borders' Flight of the Osprey we have developed educational materials. With insight from multiple MBP members and the Trust for Sustainable Living (TSL), we have made a PowerPoint, factsheets, and activity guides. You can download them to use in your centre and with schools. You can access them from the TSL app, where you will also see updates on the expedition, as well as this download pack.

For the Sounding Wild Exploration, we are connecting MBP members with the Drioli brothers to create 3D audio and immersive image magic with local people at MBP member wetland centres.

Newsletter, films, coordination and meetings

Regular newsletters are produced by Isabelle Zwick and Audrey Cadou. They give updates on meetings, project development, and partner news. To subscribe, contact any of the core group. We also have a Facebook and Instagram page.

MBP Newsletter April 2024

Migratory bird films

Roelof Heringa shares some of the public engagement work being done around the work via films.

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Open meetings of MBP on Zoom this year

Capacity development 2024 – 2030 15 May 2024 08.00 – 10.00 UTC A two-hour meeting dedicated to understanding how we should…

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MBP core group

Workshop report: International Women’s Day workshop We held an online workshop on International Women’s Day. This is an output from…

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NCF – NIGERIA – World Wetlands Day 2024

Introduction: Wetlands are dynamic aquatic ecosystems found all over the world. It’s an area of land that is saturated with…

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Maison du Lac de Grand-Lieu – France

World Wetlands Day This year we opened the centre to the general public at the beginning of February to celebrate…

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Wadden Sea WWF – Germany

The East Atlantic Flyway of Coastal BirdsLess than a year after the East Atlantic Flyway Week in April 2023 an…

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WWT Welney Wetland Centre – UK

Black-tailed godwit arrivals at WWT Welney after spring migration Spring migration is an exciting time of year, but when communities…

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Zwin Natuur Park – Belgium

Large number of wintering waterbirds at the Zwin nature reserveMany waterbirds were attracted to the Zwin nature reserve during the…

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Register: Visitor Centres Study Tour in Belgium & Netherlands

Eurosite’s Working Group on Nature and Recreation is hosting a Visitor Centers Study Tour in the Netherlands and Belgium. 28-30…

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EOVA – Portugal – Godwit Flyway

Resume LIFE-project number 101113618 LIFE22-NAT-DE-LIFE Godwit Flyway 1st July 2023 – 31 Oct 2030 Coordinator: Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Umwelt, Energie…

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Please also check out the archive of more than a decde of newsletters produced by MBP co-founder Roelof Heringa.

Annual meetings

2023

2023's meeting was hosted by EVOA, in Portugal, with Zoom participation also available. The group discussed communicating science, with lots of bird ringing, and an in-depth exchange on designing hides. We also looked at continuing capacity-building in Atlantic Africa, and empowering women in the network.

Download the PDF meeting report.

2022

Our first ever annual meeting in Africa was an opportunity for a regional capacity-building workshop. The detailed report, voluntarily compiled by consultant Tim Dodman, is a rich resource for anyone working in the flyway. It includes summaries of regional needs and expectations, approaches, and case studies. There are plenty of photos! See also the 2022/23 workplan.

2021

Our 2021 annual meeting was online, in the afternoons of October 11 and 12. We had our usual review of the past year and planning for the next, as well as presentations from MBP members and inspirational external groups.

This meeting had full simultaneous interpretation between French and English.

Read the meeting report, including our work plan for 2021/2.

2020

In 2020 we held our first virtual Annual Meeting. On 12 November we met, as usual, to review the past year, and plan for the next one, but we even managed some online birding!

The meeting report summarises the presentations from members and guests, and links to recordings and PowerPoints from the meeting

2019

Twenty MBP colleagues gathered at WWT Slimbridge Wetland Centre, in October 2019 to review the past year and plan for the next. Here’s the summary, with some photos, or read the full meeting report here.

2018

This meeting took place at the Maison du Lac de Grand Lieu, near Nantes, France from the 24th to the 27th of September 2018. To see the summary report of the meeting, please click here. For some feedback from some of the participants here’s what said they would be taking home to their wetlands centres and organisations.

MBP News

Grand Lieu Feb 2024 canoe

Maison du Lac de Grand-Lieu – France

World Wetlands Day This year we opened the centre to the general public at the beginning of February to celebrate World Wetlands Day. On the weekend of 3 and 4 February, visits to Lake Grand- Lieu Centre were free and we welcomed 628 visitors. As we do every year, we coordinated activities to raise awareness…

Cover of Wadden Sea flyway book

Wadden Sea WWF – Germany

The East Atlantic Flyway of Coastal BirdsLess than a year after the East Atlantic Flyway Week in April 2023 an exciting book about 50 years of research and conservation successes along this migration route was published.More details about this book published in German and English.

A pair of banded godwits

WWT Welney Wetland Centre – UK

Black-tailed godwit arrivals at WWT Welney after spring migration Spring migration is an exciting time of year, but when communities come together to follow individual birds from a specific species that excitement grows even more. The anticipation of welcoming known birds and hearing of them passing through important wetland sites is thrilling.In February the first…

Two storks on a nesting platform

Zwin Natuur Park – Belgium

Large number of wintering waterbirds at the Zwin nature reserveMany waterbirds were attracted to the Zwin nature reserve during the winter of 2023-2024. The combined maximum totals of geese, ducks and waders that were counted in the period October – March exceeded 20.000 birds. Various species peaked at different times during this period, so not…

May 2024

Register: Visitor Centres Study Tour in Belgium & Netherlands

Eurosite’s Working Group on Nature and Recreation is hosting a Visitor Centers Study Tour in the Netherlands and Belgium. 28-30 May 2024 Registration now open Oisterwijk In and around visitor centres and entrances to nature in Holland and Flanders, we will discuss several issues of visitor management and keeping a balance between nature and recreation.…

Screenshot of 'kick-off event hybrid meeting', showing a godwit, and webcam in the corner

EOVA – Portugal – Godwit Flyway

Resume LIFE-project number 101113618 LIFE22-NAT-DE-LIFE Godwit Flyway 1st July 2023 – 31 Oct 2030 Coordinator: Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Umwelt, Energie und Klimaschutz, GER Beneficiary: Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, NL; Universidade de Aveiro, PT; Companhia das Lezirias, PT; Natur- und Umweltschutzvereinigung Dümmer, GER and Associated Partner: Ministry of Environment, Department of Parks and Wildlife Management, Gambia Summary LIFE…

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