First World Swift Day a Global Success


In January 2019, Swifts Without Frontiers launched preparations for the first ever World Swift Day (WSD), inviting admirers of the 96 swift species from all continents of the world to celebrate and arrange activities that help spread knowledge about these fascinating birds and encourage their protection.

In launching WSD, Swifts Without Frontiers was aiming to shine the spotlight on swifts and thus attract the attention of the media, the public, biodiversity protection associations, public authorities and building professionals.

WSD was celebrated on June 7th, 2019 in 39 countries of Africa, America (North and South), Asia and Europe. It was a real “swifts without frontiers” day! About 15 different species were highlighted in particular, including the common swift, pallid swift, and alpine swift.

An alpine swift in flight. Image credit pau.artigas, CC BY-SA 2.0.

Besides officially registered activities, a whole host of other initiatives emerged spontaneously. All in all, 110 in person events were listed, along with hundreds of publications on social media, triggering thousands of enthusiastic reactions!

Activities ranged from conferences and lectures to census-taking of local swift populations to the creation of a graphic novel and virtual book for children. There was even a tattoo depicting swifts done to mark WSD!

WSD had a choice sponsor, none other than Dr. Jane Goodall. Having herself been an enthusiastic ambassador for swifts for many years, she recorded a video message that was widely appreciated and viewed across many countries.

Many thanks to all ambassadors and participants, as well as to members of the public, and we are looking forward to June 7, 2020 for the second edition of World Swift Day. We are counting on you to spread the word far and wide and to amaze us with your many and varied events!

To find out more about WSD activities and partners, click on the map of the world here.

Featured image: a common swift in flight. Image credit Imran Shah, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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Swifts Without Frontiers aims to increase awareness, appreciation and protection of swift species throughout the world. The association wants to use the swift as an ambassador between the two hemispheres, enabling exchanges on both biodiversity as well as cultural matters. In this way the Swift becomes a means of promoting education and peace.

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