Mya-Rose Craig is a 12 year old young birder, environmentalist, writer and speaker. Mya resides near Bristol, United Kingdom, and is originally from Sylhet, Bangladesh. She writes the successful Birdgirl Blog, with posts about birding and conservation from around the world. Nonetheless, she has sealed the title of being the youngest person to visualize 3,000 birds in 2013 and she now hopes to see her 4,000th bird in Antarctica, her 7th continent, by the end of 2015.
To add more, Mya has been listed with the singer George Ezra and actress Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones as one of her hometown’s most influential young people, for her determined work in the field of bird conservation and the interest that she possesses in this field from such a young age.
Not-to-forget, out of all the numerous successes that Mya owns, in 2013, she proudly became the youngest person to see 3000 bird species in the world out of a possible 10,500. Also, Mya first became known in the 2010 BBC Four documentary “Twitchers: A Very British Obsession” when a delightful 7 year old Mya was witnessed bird-watching with her parents.
Demonstrating her abiding love for the Spoon-billed Sandpiper, one of the world’s rarest waders (shorebirds) with only 200 being left from extinction, Mya has been chosen to be Ambassador for the international bird conservation initiative, World Shorebird Day.
To add more, Spoon-billed Sandpipers breed in Arctic Russia during the summer and then fly 8,000 kilometres south all the way to Bangladesh to spend the winter. This fact fascinated Mya which resulted in her recent visit to Bangladesh with a camera crew, to survey this one bird. This was organised by Sayam U Chowdhury who runs the Bangladesh project on the conservation of such birds.
Highlighting the vital part of her short trip in Bangladesh, Mya set off from Cox’s Bazar by boat, carrying out the survey on Sonadia Island with researchers Mohammed Foysal and Sakib Ahmed. Interestingly enough, they witnessed 3 of the Spoon-shaped bills and a total of 19 birds which accounted to 10% of the world population of this species.
To mark her trip as one of the memorable ones to be cherished forever, Mya-Rose commented “Today was the most amazing day possible for any birdwatcher. I have seen other rare birds, but the Spoon-billed Sandpiper is the most special.”
Nonetheless, last month Mya attended a talk show at the “Festival of Birds” filmed by the BBC Natural History Unit. On 20th February 2015, she gave a well-attended talk in Gulshan, Dhaka which was presented by the Bangladesh Bird Club. In it, she highlighted conservation issues in Bangladesh including the Sundarbans oil spill and the risks of building a deep sea port on Sonadia. Mya will also be speaking at the Oriental Bird Club AGM in Cambridge about her trip to Bangladesh and showing the film on TV stations in the UK and Bangladesh.