Thursday, March 24, 2016

River of Birds in the Sky, Part 2

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Bird migration is starting all around the world. This year I'm migrating myself—over to the Middle East to take part in Champions of the Flyway in Eilat, Israel. Teams of birders are competing to raise money to help BirdLife International stop the illegal killing of migrant birds along the Mediterranean/Black Sea flyway.

This year the funds we raise will be going to the Hellenic Ornithological Society, the BirdLife partner in Greece.
Hellenic Ornithological Society team members.

The 2016 Champions teams have already raised more than the original goal of $50,000, but now we're trying to see how much we can raise.

The Way-Off Coursers official logo.

You can learn all about this event, the teams, the causes, and so on, on the Champions website.

At this moment, I am sitting in the Turkish Airlines area of JFK airport, preparing to fly to Israel by way of Istanbul, for the start of the week of activities for Champions of the Flyway. From here on out, most of my communications on the event will likely be via social media. You can follow the hashtag #COTF2016 on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You can see updates on my social media channels and on those of Bird Watcher's Digest.

Let me leave you with the lyrics I wrote for this year's Champions event, "River of Birds in the Sky." You can hear the recording of the song and watch the video we made, on the Champions site, and on the BWD YouTube channel.

Thanks to those of you who supported our team (or another Champions team) this year. it's not too late to become a Champions yourself by contributing directly, or by buying an official shirt from our Champions team, the Way-Off Coursers, sponsored by Bird Watcher's Digest and Carl Zeiss Sports Optics.

River of Birds in the Sky
(for Champions of the Flyway)

Verse 1.
For 10,000 years and more it’s been flowing this river of birds in the sky
Generations of people have watched it in awe and it still brings a tear to my eye

V 2.
Flying south in the fall and back north in the spring these millions must move to survive
Perils and dangers upon every side it’s a wonder any make it alive

There are some with traps and guns who wait along the way
Birds are passing   the guns are blasting                     it’s such a crying shame

V 3.
Drawn by the seasons’ irresistible call           migrating from East and West
Some fly by day and others at night,              but all run this gauntlet of death

Birds flying free know no borders, you see.   No one can claim them alone
This great migration over dozens of nations   Let’s help them safely get home

Flying so free, soaring high                 A river of birds in the sky
We can help them you and I               the river of birds in the sky

V 6.
These senseless traditions, like many before, must soon go the way of all things
We’re the Champions of the Flyway my friend and our hope it is carried on wings

A silent spring—what an awful thing—but what can one person do?
You can become a Champion, we’re all counting on you

Flying so free, soaring high                 A river of birds in the sky
We can help them you and I               the river of birds in the sky
Flying so free, soaring high                 Millions of birds in the sky
Still brings a tear to my eye                A river of birds in the sky

   Bill Thompson III, Whipple, Ohio, November 2015


On March 31, 2016 at 10:17 AM Eti said...

Amazing song, i cant stop listening to it: thank you so much, it came as a present into my life.