Black-tailed godwits, Netherlands
© Edward van Altena/Minden Picture
World Migratory Bird Day. Flying high on World Migratory Bird Day
This soaring flock of black-tailed godwits were photographed in the Netherlands, where a large percentage of the world’s godwit population breeds. It’s the national bird there and is captured in paintings by Dutch artists Vermeer and Rembrandt, making the black-tailed godwit ‘as Dutch as they come', according to the Dutch newspaper Trouw.
However they do breed more widely in parts of Europe and Russia, before migrating to areas in Western Europe, Africa, Asia and Australia. As such they are a great mascot for World Migratory Bird Day, which is celebrated twice a year on the second Saturdays in May and October. As different species of birds migrate at different times, organisations taking part are encouraged to host local events when migratory birds are present.