In the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, the Green Jay Mayan Birding Club, one of our 2015 mini-grant winners, has worked very hard to promote bird-watching, environmental and cultural conservation for people of all ages. The Green Jay Mayan Birding Club is one of our winner organizations of our 2015 Celebrate Urban Birds mini-grants that supports entertaining and educational events about birds. One of these events took place in the community of Xocén to celebrate the local birds with participation from children, young adults, and mothers of the community.
The event in Xocen began early in the morning, where the participants learned how to use binoculars given that it was the first time for many using them. Everyone was very excited to go out into the outdoors and observe birds! When they were finally ready to go out, they were divided into groups and walked towards the direction of the birdwatching site. The groups were super absorbed by the gorgeous scenery that even after 10 minutes of silent bird observation, they resumed for another hour. During their walk, they were able to observe the following beautiful birds: the Barn Swallow, Dark-billed Cuckoo, Blue-crowned Motmot, Social Flycatcher, Cinnamon Hummingbird, Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Collared Forest Falcon, Roadside Hawk, White-fronted Amazon, and Olive-throated Parakeet! Finally, to restore some of the energy, the participants enjoyed a delicious breakfast by one of the community women.
After enjoying an exquisite breakfast, the participants created beautiful drawings based on the birds they had observed earlier and different bird photographs available to them. Through the photos they were able to learn more about the various birds of the region, including birds they had seen earlier. Soon after this entertaining and colorful activity, they discovered the content of the Celebrate Urban Birds learning kit and discussed birding and bird conservation.
Finally, it was time for the last activity, where the participants planted native trees and fruits like avocados, mameys, mangoes, and zapotes. At the end, everyone contributed to planting a Ceiba, which is a tree considered sacred to the Mayans. It sent a message of unity, love, and friendship. The group also learned that when these trees are born, they bear fruit for humans and birds. Every time that the participants see a Ceiba tree, they will remember this day and what they helped create. What a beautiful message!
The event was a complete success! The participants loved it, and the children were especially very interested in learning more about birds. They asked many questions and used guides to identify birds.
Finally, some of equipment and binoculars were kindly provided by the Yucatan Jay group. How wonderful! Thank you for helping connect people to science and nature!
Check out some beautiful photos of the event from below!
You can learn more about Green Jay Mayan Birding here!