May 11, 2021

Migratory Bird Day Celebration

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DSCN5398Garden of the Groves International Migratory Bird Day Celebration

By Erika Gates From The Bahamas Weekly

Freeport, Grand Bahama Island, Bahamas – Once again, the Garden of the Groves family is pleased to announce its participation in the annual International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) activities. Along with the Society for Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) we spent the entire month of October educating our community. The main objective was to heighten everybody’s awareness of the thousands of migratory birds that pass through the Bahamas or spend the winter here and find ways to protect their habitat.

Co-ordinator, Mrs. Marilyn Laing, states, “We wanted to share the message of bird conservation with everybody and due to the interest by so many schools who participated we didn’t only limit our activities to one day. It has become a tradition at the Garden of the Groves to host fieldtrips, lectures and art competitions throughout the whole month of October!”

DSCN5324Last year [2013] the theme for IMBD was “Life Cycles of Migratory Bird” and conservation leaders, researchers and nature enthusiasts throughout the Caribbean and the Bahamas  joined forces to celebrate and promote public awareness surrounding the miracle of bird migration. While there are threats of development, illegal hunting and habitat destruction, nearly 350 species of birds make the annual journey from their breeding grounds in the U.S. and Canada to their winter homes in the Caribbean, Bahamas and South America.

During the month long celebration of our feathered visitors to Grand Bahama Island, the Garden held its third annual IMBD art competition. In order to give students ample time, entries were available from Monday, October 7th, 2013 at school offices or at Garden of the Groves. Students (seniors and middle school) presented an original piece on poster size while primary and pre-school may submitted a letter size painting. They were either oil, crayon or water coulour and had to adhere to the year’s theme “Life cycles of migratory birds”. All artwork was exhibited in the chapel at Garden of the Groves where a panel of judges selected first, second and third place winners in four school divisions. Prizes ranged from tablets with web cam, wi-fi etc. to medals.

There were a variety of other activities during the month of October that focused on the extraordinary journey and life cycle of migratory bird species. We had guided tours and presentations where participants received posters, colouring books, bird bands and stickers. A small fee of $ 3.00 was charged for students and parents, however, teachers were again admitted free of charge. A portion of all proceeds was donated to SCSCB. Mrs. Erika Gates of Garden of the Groves stated: “We are very grateful to the SCSCB for their outstanding work in education and bird conservation throughout the Bahamas and the Caribbean and we are giving back to this wonderful organization!”

And for the adults that would like to learn more about birds, their habitats, identification and conservation, the annual “Basic Birding Class” begins during IMBD month. This class has been sponsored by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism and Grand Bahama Nature Tours for the past 10 years and runs four consecutive Saturday mornings from 8am until 12 noon, beginning October 26th, 2013. Erika Gates, certified Bahama Birding Guide, will be conducting classes and fieldtrips.

For further information on all IMBD events please call the Garden of the Groves 374-7778 or email [email protected]

Erika Gates is owner of Kayak Nature Tours (one of the first Eco-Tour businesses in The Bahamas); co-founder of the Ecotourism Association; a published writer; and a Cacique award winner! Her column Bird Talk will enlighten and educate us about birds of The Bahamas, as well as the importance of Ecology. Erika can be reached at [email protected] or (242) 373-2485

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