It was great to spend time with people who are committed to a bird-filled urban world.

It was an absolute treat to be invited by the BirdLife Netherlands urban bird team to another BIGUB meeting this past March! We kicked off the first day by doing a bit of birdwatching while we walked across the urban-rural gradient of Almere.

Almere is a green city with a commitment to sustainable development that flows out to a reclaimed patch of seaside that has been transformed into wetland bird heaven, complete with education centre and bird viewing areas. We spent a few days workshopping and having BIGUB meetings - sharing our urban bird program learnings with each other, reviewing our working group objectives and goals, and planning an urban bird framework to fit in with the BirdLife International strategy. We were then lucky enough to attend the “International Conference on Metropolitan Planning and Ecology” which was hosted by BirdLife Netherlands and included some fascinating presentations by international architects on incorporating birds and nature into urban design.

Beyond the traditional ecology crowd, many of the audience members represented city planners, business/industry, developers, architects, and landscape planners. It was a very informative and interesting day that highlighted and reminded me of the diversity of stakeholders and immense possibilities for the work we do within the urban bird space. A very motivating trip! Plus, it’s always great to spend time with people who are committed to a bird-filled urban world.


Main image: some of the members of BIGUB at the conference

Smaller images: birding in the suburbs of Almere (like any good urban bird enthusiast would do!)