The Mexican Alliance for Wildlife Conservation (Alianza Mexicana para la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre), an organization based in Hermosillo, Mexico, and one of Celebrate Urban Birds’ mini grant winners of 2015, hosted a beautiful event on May 9th of this year. The event, titled The First Bird Festival of Cananea (Primer Festival de las Aves de Cananea), brought the community of Cananea, a city in the northern state of Sonora, Mexico, together through the learning of birds. The festival was a great success, with the participation of over 100 children between the ages of 5 and 14, as well as over 50 adults. What a turnout!
The festival began early in the morning with some good old fashioned bird watching! This great event was hosted by the Management Unit for Wildlife Conservation Buenavista del Cobre, part of Grupo México, a major mining corporation in Cananea. Volunteers from the Department of Ecology acted as guides throughout the festival, leading groups of participants of mixed ages in identifying and photographing birds, followed by a tour through the Management Unit for Wildlife Conservation´s Eco Trail. In addition to these fun activities, the participating children and their parents learned about the different focal bird species, as well as about topics such as biodiversity and conservation of wildlife, in talks led by the Mexican Alliance for Wildlife Conservation and the birding organization Aviario Sonorense para la Protección de Especies Silvestres (translates to the Sonoran Aviary for the Protection of Wild Species). These two groups, along with some representatives of the Department of Ecology of Grupo Mexico and the Management Unit for WIldlife Conservation of Buenavista del Cobre, officially inaugurated the Bird Festival.
To add to the fun of the Bird Festival, the children that participated in the event were able to take part in a drawing contest following the inauguration. This was one of the more moving aspects of the event for the Mexican Alliance, as they had the opportunity to see first-hand the talent of the boys and girls of Cananea, as well as their respect for and admiration of birds. The girls dominated the contest, winning the majority of the votes and the best places in the contest. These talented girls were not only given commemorative medals, courtesy of Grupo Mexico, but they were also given binoculars as prizes in the hopes that they will continue to watch birds. To continue in the spirit of protection and conservation, all children and youth were given pine and oak seedlings produced in Grupo Mexico’s nursery garden, as well as taught how to plant and care for them. These plants will serve as habitats for urban birds in Cananea!
The children and youth that attended the Bird Festival are all students at the Profesor Gilberto Castillo Ríos Primary School, which is known for being a very green school. The school´s management, teachers, and students not only provided a tremendous amount of enthusiasm in the event, but they demonstrated a true commitment to conservation, reforestation, and the protection of native wild fauna. Their participation in the Bird Festival only emphasized this commitment which will hopefully only continue to grow!
The First Bird Festival of Cananea, Sonora, Mexico, was an extraordinary experience for the Mexican Alliance for Wildlife Conservation. The organization´s leaders were thrilled by the amount of participation their event received from the children and youth of Cananea, who are already eager to attend the next Bird Festival! However, this wonderful event would not have been possible without the support of all the contributing organizations, as well as the teachers, parents, and students themselves. The amount of people that the Bird Festival reached was great and we can only hope that everyone who participated, both children and adults alike, will continue to explore the nature around them and learn more about the birds and fauna that live in it, while doing their best to protect it!
Check out some other cool pictures from this wonderful Celebration in Mexico!
If you would like to know more about the wonderful activities of The Mexican Alliance for Wildlife Conservation ( la Alianza Mexicana para la Conservación de la Vida Silvestre), you can also find more information at their Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.