Bird Sleuth Caribbean programme connects kids to science, nature | THE DAILY HERALD

Students learn about birds during a Bird Sleuth class conducted by bird expert Binkie van Es. Photo by Mark Yokoyama.

MARIGOT–More than 1,000 youth on St. Martin have participated in Bird Sleuth Caribbean. Both Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) and Les Fruits de Mer Association have trained teachers and led Bird Sleuth with students.

Almost 50,000 people on 22 islands have learned new things about birds over the last five years. They took part in Bird Sleuth Caribbean, a programme by Birds Caribbean and partners throughout the region that uses birds to teach science and conservation.

“The goal of Bird Sleuth Caribbean is to promote the protection of birds and nature,” explained Birds Caribbean 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 programme and received kits of materials. Back home, they led teacher trainings for more than 1,000 teachers. Dozens of teachers in St. Martin have learned Bird Sleuth. The programme is available in English, Spanish and French.

More than two dozen activities are part of the Bird Sleuth programme, including classroom lessons, games and outdoor activities. Bird Sleuth can be taught as a series of 10 lessons. Many activities also work well on their own.

Bird Sleuth activities have been used in many ways. They are offered in schools and museums. Fun activities like Bird Bingo and the Habitat Scavenger Hunt are popular at bird and wildlife events. The focus on Caribbean birds connects with children, especially on islands where most teaching tools come from far away.

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

Les Fruits de Mer is a non-profit association based in St. Martin with the core mission to raise awareness about nature, culture, and sport. The organisation carries out this mission through publications, an education programme, and special public outreach events that entertain, inspire, and inform. The association is currently accepting new member and corporate benefactor member applications on its website

Amuseum Naturalis is a free museum of the nature, history and culture of St. Martin and the Caribbean, created by Les Fruits de Mer. It is located at the historic Old House in French Quarter on the hill above Le Galion. For the latest information about exhibits and special events, visit

Source: The Daily Herald