The 3rd festival to celebrate migratory birds held in Caracas, Venezuela, was a total success! This festival is organized locally every year by the Fundación William H. Phelps (Celebrate Urban Birds mini-grant winner organization), the Botanical Garden Experimental Institute, la Fundación del Instituto Botánico de Venezuela Dr. Tobias Lasser, the Laboratory of Biology, Conservation of Birds of the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Venezuela, and the School of Don Pedro Fe and Alegría. The festival is designed to pique the participants’ interest in birds and the conservation of birds as well as to inspire them to increase their efforts to design concrete activities to increase the diversity of birds in the region.
Venezuela is an important country for migratory birds because of its geographic location and the number of birds that pass by or stay during the winter. The festival was designed with the goal of mass environmental education about migratory bird species and their scientific identification. The majority of the participants were 4th to 6th graders and their teachers from the School of Don Pedro Fe and Alegría. Through activities like observing and identifying birds, learning how some birds nest in artificial nests, and building and painting such nests, the children learned about the importance of birds and how to participate in their conservation. The activities brought a lot of happiness and excitement to all the participants and organizers.
To ensure continued interest and to increase the number of participants each year the festival has a different theme and is held in a different location. This year it was held in the Botanical Garden of the University of Central Venezuela with the theme “Celebrating Urban Birds”. This theme fit in well with the more urban community in which it was being celebrated, motivating people to participate in bird conversation despite living in the center of a city.
Children learned about birds and became very passionate about them! Depending on the organizers, events like this successfully transmit knowledge about birds and their habitats to the next generations, ensuring the birds are protected for many years to come. The participation of the children and young adults in bird conservation activities and their registration in scientific platforms like eBird and Celebrate Urban Birds turn them into active participants of bird conservation. A true wonder!
By: Natalie Bonilla