The organization Ecopil Arte Crea Conciencia AC organized their first bird festival: “Festival Tutubixi” in Apaxco, Mexico, thanks in part to a Celebrate Urban Birds mini-grant! The Festival was named after the well-known bird in the community, the Tutubixi (Vermillion flycatcher in English) (Pyrocephalus Rubinius). Participants had a wonderful time celebrating the environment and the birds around them!
The festival began with an interesting talk, Birds of the Mezquital Valley. The participants were excited to discuss the birds they often saw in their community. The youth were curious and asked questions about the relationship between birds and their environment. They left the talk wanting to take care of the environment and the birds! After the talk, everyone went on a bird walk to observe the birds around their neighborhood. They were so inspired that they started their own bird club called “Tutubixis del Mezquital”!
There were so many activities at the festival! The events included making your own seed bomb, building bird feeders, bird face painting, drawing your favorite bird, and painting a community bird mural! There were also informative talks about the importance of citizen science and birds found in the Southeast of the Mezquital Valley. All of these events helped the Apaxco community start thinking of ways they could help protect their local birds.
The passion of the members of Ecopil Arte Conciencia AC to share information about birds and the environment with people of all ages led to the second Festival Tutubixi, just a few months after the first festival!
Children painted their favorite birds and made a community mural come to life. They captured the importance of having green spaces for the birds and their community! Students were happy as they drew Vermillion flycatchers (Tutubixi in Spanish), Hummingbirds, Eagles, Owls, and Woodpeckers in vibrant colors all over the mural. They also enjoyed interesting discussions, bird photography expositions, making seed packets, building bird feeders, and of course, birdwatching. During the bird walks, participants learned how to use the application, aVerAves (eBird in Mexico), in where they could enter their bird observation data using their smartphones!
The Ecopil Arte Crea Conciencia AC also conducted a “BirdSleuth International” workshop to connect youth with birds through citizen science. Students were able to use binoculars to observe the birds around their community! After the bird walk, they talked about the birds they saw and how they could identify them. Participants were given materials that listed each bird’s characteristics so that they could have materials to bring home, and continue watching birds in their neighborhoods. After learning about migratory birds, participants spoke about the importance of using eBird to help protect the area’s birds reside in as well as migrate to.
Thanks to the support of Mexican biologists like, Iván Reséndiz, Raúl Caballero, Espinoza, and the members of Ecopil Arte Crea Conciencia AC who created a beautiful local bird photography exposition that has been displayed all over the schools and communities of Valle del Mezquital. Ecopil would also like to thank volunteers from the Red de Monitoreo Comunitario de Aves de la CONABIO, the Urban Birds Program, the Comisión Nacional de Biodiversidad (CONABIO), the Colectivo Huichapense de Artistas Independientes, Estudio WPW, the Facultad de Estudios Superiores Iztacala, Ecoman -the defender of the environment-, the Promotores Ambientales de Atotonilco, the Colectivo Tapayatzin, and the Cetreros del Cincoque. Everyone helped Ecopil Arte Crea Conciencia AC be successful in their events!
Ecopil Arte Crea Conciencia AC has continued establishing educational programs in Apaxco, Mexico. Here are some beautiful pictures of some of these events!