Get ready for the biggest birding event of the year! We will be hosting a special event in honor of the birds that fly thousands of miles to visit St. Martin each fall. Part of International Migratory Bird Day, there will be plenty of activities and guided tours of the mangrove discovery trail at Étang de la Barrière right next to the Pinel ferry dock. Learn about our migratory bird visitors and the mangrove, beach and mudflat habitats that bring them here each year. More updates to follow, so “Join” the event (https://www.facebook.com/events/518285941588370/) and invite your friends! It is free and open to the public and there will be special activities for children, so bring the whole family. The event will be on Sunday, September 29th from 8-11am. See the map below for the location.
Here are a few photos of the trail where we will be having the bird event. It is an awesome trail. Completed earlier this year, this trail is fantastic for seeing birds.
Here are some photos of birds that are at this site right now:
St. Martin’s Migratory Bird Festival was organized by Les Fruits de Mer, a non-profit association dedicated to raising ecological and cultural awareness, through publications like The Incomplete Guide to the Wildlife of Saint Martin and events like this bird festival.
The Réserve Naturelle de Saint-Martin and Conservatoire du Littoral are co-hosts for the Migratory Bird Festival on St. Martin. Réserve Naturelle staff will be guiding tours at the event, teaching guests about our migratory birds and the wetland ecosystems that support them. The Réserve Naturelle and Conservatoire du Littoral protect and manage St. Martin’s marine and terrestrial protected areas and constructed the discovery trail at Étang de la Barrière where the event will be held.
International Migratory Bird Day is organized by Environment for the Americas, who also produce educational and promotional materials for the events, which are held throughout the Americas, including Canada, the United States, Mexico, Central and South America, and the Caribbean. The annual migration of birds is an astounding phenomenon that unites the entire hemisphere, as do International Migratory Bird Day festivities in dozens of countries. EFTA provides free birding and bird conservation resources for download or online use on their website.
The site where we are hosting the event has just been added to the Caribbean Birding Trail: “The mission of the Caribbean Bird Trail (CBT) is to create and promote nature-based, authentic experiences that engage visitors and locals with the unique birds of the Caribbean and connect them to the extraordinary places, diverse cultures and people of each island.” The CBT is a metaphorical trail that includes important birding sites throughout the Caribbean. It is a great tool for raising awareness about the diversity of Caribbean birds and encouraging birders and non-birders to experience local nature and culture using birds as a focal point for exploring our islands beyond the typical mass-tourism activities. Here is the CBT page for this site:
For the LOVE of Grand Case will be providing refreshments for the attendees. They are a group of Grand Case residents dedicated to improving and enjoying Grand Case, through cleanups and other events. Although the bird festival is not a clean-up event, we will be encouraging guests to help keep the area clean by taking a moment to pick up a few pieces of trash from the beach. To find out more about For the LOVE of Grand Case, visit: https://www.facebook.com/fortheloveofgrandcase
Birdwatching equipment and educational materials for this event are provided by Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC). EPIC has been working on St. Martin for over 12 years to protect the local environment through research and community-based action.
Art supplies for the event are sponsored by the St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association (SHTA). The St. Maarten Hospitality & Trade Association is the largest private business representative on the island, representing close to 150 companies. For more information, visit: http://www.shta.com.
The Society for the Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) is the regional coordinator for International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) events for the Caribbean. The Society is the largest organization devoted to wildlife conservation in the Caribbean, and has been coordinating IMBD events throughout the Caribbean for six years.