The wonderful people of the Fundação Butantan planned, organized and hosted the Festival de las Aves Urbanas in the Museo Biologico Butantan in Sao Paulo, Brazil. People attending the festival came from different backgrounds and areas in the city. Children and their guardians, as well as school teachers from all over the city participated in the festival activities. With the help of the staff of the Museo Biológico’s education program, the Fundação was able to host activities that simultaneously entertained and educated all of those who attended.
At the festival, there was a small exhibit of bird field guides, binoculars, and other instruments used by ornithologists and bird watchers. The goal of this exhibit was to show what bird watchers and ornithologists use to learn, enjoy and study the birds of their region. The organizers also ran an interactive workshop for the guests, where they were taught to make paper-folded (origami) birds. These origami models resembled birds found in the urban areas, so the activity was a great way to teach the guests about the details and aesthetics of the birds found locally.
The participants had wonderful opportunities to engage in other forms of artistic expression as well. Children and adults were happy to be learn about local birds through the painting, drawing, and sculpting workshops the educators hosted. These activities were a blast! And they were greatly appreciated because they made science more understandable and entertaining for everyone!
During the second day of the festival, the community and participants helped plant native trees and bushes, to attract and help feed local birds. The plants were donated by a women’s co-op, located at the Valle de Ribeira in Sao Paulo. They planted Pitanga (Eugenia uniflora, pitangueira), Jaboticaba (Myrciaria cauliflora, jabuticabeira), Cambucí (Campomanesia phaea, cambuci), as well as Oiti (Licania tomentosa, Oiti) and pimentero brasileño (Schinus therebinthifolius, aroeirinha). The plants species were selected because they produce fruits that the birds feed on; and by feeding on them, the birds then disperse the plant’s seeds. Planting in the community was a fun way to learn while simultaneously engaging with nature, spending time outdoors, and creating a habitat birds. It also gave everyone who participated an opportunity to learn the connection between the plants chosen and local birds.
The festival was an excellent feat for the Museo Biológico de Butantan, as well as for its Observatorio de Aves del Instituto Butantan. It attracted many people to learn and to participate in the activities about local birds, as well as to promote bird conservation in Sao Paulo. Thank you to everyone who participated and made this event possible. This festival made a positive and fun impact on the local birds as well as on the community of Sao Paulo, and we hope to see more of these events in many more communities!
Special thanks to Camilla Carvalho and Naylien Barreda for the beautiful photos.
This page was written by Vanessa Navarro Rodriguez.