ST. MARTIN (MARIGOT) – Over the last five years, almost 50,000 people on 22 islands have learned new things about birds. They took part in BirdSleuth Caribbean, a program that uses birds to teach science and conservation. The program was done by BirdsCaribbean and partners throughout the region.
“The goal of BirdSleuth Caribbean is to promote the protection of birds and nature,” explained BirdsCaribbean Executive Director Lisa Sorenson. “It’s easy to fall in love with birds. They are beautiful and they are all around us. That makes them a perfect tool for teaching science and conservation.”
At a training workshop in 2013, 27 people from all over the Caribbean learned the program and received kits of materials. Back home, they led teacher trainings for over 1,000 teachers. On St. Martin, dozens of teachers have learned BirdSleuth. The program is available in English, Spanish and French.
Over two dozen activities are part of the BirdSleuth program. They include classroom lessons, games and outdoor activities. BirdSleuth can be taught as a series of ten lessons. Many activities also work well on their own.
BirdSleuth activities have been used in many ways. They are offered in schools and museums. Fun activities likeBird Bingoand theHabitat Scavenger Huntare popular at bird and wildlife events. The focus on Caribbean birds connects with kids, especially on islands where most teaching tools come from far away.
On St. Martin, over 1,000 youth have participated in BirdSleuth Caribbean. Both Environmental Protection in the Caribbean and the Les Fruits de Mer association have trained teachers and led BirdSleuth with students.
These activities are offered for free to classes and groups visiting Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter. The activities are led by local bird expert Binkie van Es and other Les Fruits de Mer association volunteers. Teachers, parents and students can learn more at:<a href="http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/projects/birdsleuth-caribbean/http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/projects/birdsleuth-caribbean/<a target="_blank" href="http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/projects/birdsleuth-caribbean/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" data-saferedirecturl="https://www.google.com/url?q=http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/projects/birdsleuth-caribbean/&source=gmail&ust=1552164628755000&usg=AFQjCNF6u47UNNtusPqrisXtGYOluianKg
Kids explore nature during a BirdSleuth activity at Amuseum Naturalis on St. Martin. (Photo by Mark Yokoyama)
Teachers learn the BirdSleuth Caribbean program during a training session on St. Martin. (Photo by Mark Yokoyama)