During the month of October, conservation leaders, researchers and nature enthusiasts from across the Caribbean and the Bahamas will join forces to celebrate and promote public awareness surrounding the incredible phenomenon of bird migration. Each year millions of birds representing hundreds of species, travel between North America, the Bahamas, the Caribbean, South America and back, as Erika Gates reports in The Bahamas Weekly.
While ongoing threats like development, illegal hunting and destruction of habitat continue to endanger many of the nearly 350 species of birds that migrate annually between summer and winter habitats, conservation organizations and individuals have shown that they can make a real difference.
The program is led by the Society for Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB), the largest single organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. SCSCB is supporting the Garden of the Groves in its month-long activities. Many
local school classes have already signed up for the informative sessions this month, and students of St. Pauls College were the first group to experience the “Miracle of Migration” this past Friday.
Mrs. Marilyn Laing, co-ordinator of the Garden’s children educational program is conducting classroom sessions followed by field trips where youngsters will be introduced to birds, habitats and migration. Upon completion of the class the children will receive a high quality educational colouring book featuring 41 drawings of migratory birds along with brief text about the species. They will also be given bird stickers and the very popular “bird buddy” bracelets.
The theme for the events is “Go Wild, Go Birding” and Garden of the Groves will also hold its first International Migratory Bird Day Art Competition for students. They are encouraged to get creative by painting or drawing birds doing something wild or funny. First prize will be a gift certificate of $ 100.00, second prize $ 50.00 and third
prize $ 25.00 to be redeemed at Bellevue Business of Bellevue Gifts.
For the adults there will be fieldtrips on Saturday, October 15th and October 29th when the Grand Bahama Birding Group will visit a variety of birding locations to observe and record migratory species that will be making the island their home for the winter or just pass through to feed and rest before continuing their amazing journey to South America. Birders are encouraged to present their checklist on those days and will receive the attractive “Birds of the Bahamas” award certificate upon reaching 50 species. The award program is sponsored by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Grand Bahama Nature Tours. The person with most birds recorded will receive the 2011 IMBD t-shirt “Go Wild, Go Birding”. See you on Saturday, October 15th at 8 am at the Garden of the Groves.
For the original report go to http://www.thebahamasweekly.com/publish/bird_talk_erika_gates/Celebration_of_Migratory_Birds_in_the_Bahamas18232.shtml
Top photo: The striking Purple Gallinule, which spends the winter on Grand Bahama
Bottom photo: The Rose-breasted Grosbeack, which enjoys the islands fruits and berries during the winter