MARIGOT–Thousands of people throughout the region had fun experiences with birds and nature over the past month during the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival.
Dozens of festival events took place on different islands to celebrate the birds that live only here. St. Martin’s events included the Endemic Animal Festival hosted by Les Fruits de Mer, and Earth Day festivities hosted by Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC).
Activities were held for pre-school and primary school pupils, to adults and families. Bird talks were held on many islands to help people understand the unique birds that live only on specific islands or only in the region.
Guided bird walks brought people of all ages out into nature to see these amazing birds first hand. For many, it was their first chance to get an up-close view of birds through binoculars or a scope.
Other activities were as diverse as the region itself. In the Dominican Republic, Ridgway’s Hawk Day celebrated the endangered Ridgway’s Hawk that lives only on Hispaniola. In Trinidad, bird education was brought to the streets with bird education stands at a local market.
In Puerto Rico, a special training workshop gave teachers learning tools about birds to use in classes year-round. On St. Martin, festival attendees planted coconut trees and painted bird feeders.
The Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival is one of the Caribbean’s only regional events about birds and nature. It is organized by Birds Caribbean each spring, and dozens of non-profit, schools, parks and other organizations develop events in their communities.
Endemic birds – those that live only on one island or within a small range – are at special risk of extinction. The Caribbean is home to many endemic species and many are already in danger. For more information about the Caribbean Endemic Bird Festival, visit birdscaribbean.org or find Birds Caribbean on Facebook.
Birds Caribbean is a vibrant international network of members and partners committed to conserving Caribbean birds and their habitats. It raises awareness, promotes sound science, and empowers local partners to build a region where people appreciate, conserve and benefit from thriving bird populations and ecosystems.
They are a non-profit (501 (c) 3) membership organisation. More than 100,000 people participate in their programmes each year, making Birds Caribbean the most broad-based conservation organisation in the region. Interested persons can learn more about the organization, their work and how to join at: http://www.birdscaribbean.org.