Birds Connecting Our World: An Overview of the Jos Bird Club October Outing

Jos Bird Club October Outing; Celebrating World Migratory Bird Day 2020

This month's outing was a special one as it coincides with World Migratory Bird Day (WMBD).  WMBD is an annual global campaign dedicated to raising awareness of the need to conserve migratory birds and their environment. Internationally celebrated on two peak days, every second Saturdays in May and October. The theme for the year 2020, is "Birds Connecting Our World". This holds so much true for us as a club- members are from different backgrounds but we have these in common; love for nature and birds.  We were at Eden Creation Care Initiative's Renajj Fish Farm to Birdwatch, welcoming migratory birds coming in mostly from Europe since last month. 

Many species of birds migrate to Sub Saharan Africa to escape the harsh winter climate and to look for food. Janet recorded 20 bird species personally of the 50 species average recorded by some of the club members. The bird of the day was the Western Olivaceous Warbler (Iduna opaca).

Western Olivaceous Warbler @ e-Bird

The Western Olivaceous Warbler, a migratory bird is found in dry open country with bushes or some trees. Like most warblers, Western Olivaceous Warbler is insectivorous. The adults have a plain pale brown back and whitish underparts. The bill is strong and pointed and the legs grey. The sexes are identical, as with most warblers, but young birds are more buff on the belly. It has a characteristic downward tail flick. Western Olivaceous Warbler breeds in Iberia and North Africa. It is migratory, wintering in sub-Saharan Africa. It is a rare vagrant to northern Europe. Population status is least concern with decreasing population trends.

It is an understatement to say that human activities are threatening the habitats of migratory birds. This month, we birdwatch under the backdrop of the #EndSARS protest in Nigeria,  SARS stands for Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a special police unit. The campaign started as a social media campaign 3 years ago to demand the government to scrap and end the deployment of the Squad, Nigerians have shared stories and video shreds of evidence of how members of SARS engaged in kidnapping, murder, theft, rape, torture, unlawful arrests, high-handedness, humiliation, unlawful detention, extrajudicial killings, and extortion.

On October 9th, 2020, the #EndSARS hashtag trended globally on social media. EndSARS protests, which started October 8, 2020, are still ongoing in major cities across the country and have attracted international mainstream media attention. This to the best of my knowledge in recent times has been the cause that brought Nigerians together irrespective of their political, religious, or tribal inclination. It affects us all on a personal level.

As we join our voices as one to #EndSARS, start gathering facts, save those videos and pictures, document it in your diaries hopefully before it is too late we will come together to #EndEnvironmentalDegredation #EndWildLifeMassacre #EndDeforestation...

Who knows? 🤷🏽‍♀️

Happy World Migratory Bird Day

#WMBD2020 #BirdConnectsOurWorld

Article written by Janet Faden, edited by Kazeh Nanchin