Fundación Científica Ara Macao

July 1st – August 31st, 2016
Parque Esequibo, Barquisimeto, Lara, Venezuela

The organization Fundación Científica Ara Macao (Ara Macao Scientific Fundation), hosted not one, but two events concerning urban birds! The group held both events in the Esequibo Park, Barquisimeto, in the state of Lara, Venezuela. The events, sponsored by a Celebrate Urban Birds mini-grant, were titled “Let’s Help Birds/ Celebrate Urban Birds” and lasted three days each in the months of August and July. Since these dates coincided with summer vacation, the activities were thoughtfully crafted with children between the ages of 8 and 15 in mind. Youth had the wonderful opportunity of enjoying their vacation, while engaging in fun and educational activities about their local birds and environment.

During the events, children, parents, and friends learned various ways to help the birds in their community. Together, they creatively used recycled material (plastic bottles with sections cut out for access) to build feeders and fill them with seeds.  Nest boxes were also constructed out of recycled wood and placed throughout the park, each carefully custom-made for birds of all sizes that would soon be looking for a home. Children also painted all of the feeders and nests with bright colors.

Among other art activities, children created wooden signs to alert passerby to take care of the birds of the park, and spent time drawing beautiful birds on paper and on walls. There was also face-painting, so the children could have their favorite birds painted on their cheeks! A beautiful banner with the words “Celebrate Urban Birds” was also painted, and everyone had fun playing educational games about wild birds.

The Fundación Científica Ara Macao placed the energy of the children to good use by creating mini-gardens in selected areas of the park. Together, they used farming and gardening tools to prepare the land for seeds, flowers, and plants. They took great care to plant, water, and place their beautiful signs beside each new garden.

The event concluded with a nature walk in the park to observe and identify the common birds in their community. Every participant received bird identification materials to use for the walk and take home for future birding adventures.

The main goal of the the organizers was that the community learned more about their local birds, the relationship between birds and their environment, and how everyone can help wild birds in Barquisimeto. Thanks Fundación Científica Ara Macao for the fantastic work that you did for your community and its local birds! The organizers of the events created two beautiful bird guides for the city of Barquisimeto in Spanish, too. One bird guide for generalist birdwatchers that you can download by clicking here, and another bird guide focused on parrots, parakeets, and macaws, That you can download by clicking here.

If you would like to see more of the beautiful artwork, You can find the children’s drawings in the gallery below.

Additionally, we would like to thank the Fundación Científica Ara Macao, Grupo Guardaparques Universitarios, Bird, and the local community in the East of the city, for their support and participation in both events, and Josmar Esteban Márquez and Daniel Serva, and Osmaira Alvarado, who conducted the workshops.

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