Celebrate the Birds that travel thousands of miles each year to St. Martin

Guests compared their wingspan to local birds.
Guests compared their wingspan to local birds.

Despite the rain, over 150 guests of all ages found fun new ways to learn about birds at the Migratory Bird Festival held in St. Martin in October. Created by an all-volunteer team from the Les Fruits de Mer association, this year’s festival took place at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter.

“This was our sixth Migratory Bird Festival, so we created a lot of new activities to keep it fresh,” explained Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “You could listen to bird sounds and compared your outstretched arms to the wingspan of local birds. People loved decorating their own bird tote bags and playing Bird Bingo in the gardens.”

The Migratory Bird Festival celebrates the birds that travel thousands of miles each year to St. Martin, connecting this tiny island to the rest of the Americas. The festival also highlights the things migratory birds need to survive. At the Portable Pond, guests could see aquatic insects and other creatures that many migratory birds eat. The Habitat Scavenger Hunt sent kids looking for food, shelter and other things that birds depend on.

Youngsters search for aquatic creatures in historic boiling coppers
Youngsters search for aquatic creatures in historic boiling coppers

“This was our first Migratory Bird Festival at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House,” commented Les Fruits de Mer co-founder Mark Yokoyama. “It was the perfect place, with lots of indoor and outdoor space to explore.”

Yokoyama noted that many people from the surrounding areas came to the festival, and that it was important to keep building the connection between local people on both sides of the island and the Amuseum.

Children learned about nature by playing BirdSleuth games
Children learned about nature by playing BirdSleuth games

The 2018 Migratory Bird Festival, which is free, was made possible by a team of 20 volunteers and several local sponsors including L’Auberge Gourmand, BZSE, Coalys, Delta Petroleum, ECOFIP, Frigodom, IZI LIGHT, Lagoonies, Pelikaan Brewery, St. Martin’s Sweetness and SXM Logistics.

Kids and adults had fun decorating bird tote bags to use instead of plastic bags
Kids and adults had fun decorating bird tote bags to use instead of plastic bags

 

ABOUT LES FRUITS DE MER:
Les Fruits de Mer is a non-profit association based in St. Martin whose core mission is to raise awareness about nature, culture, and sport. The organization carries out this mission through publications, an education program, and special public outreach events that entertain, inspire, and inform.

ABOUT AMUSEUM NATURALIS:
Amuseum Naturalis is a free museum of the nature, history and culture of St. Martin and the Caribbean, created by Les Fruits de Mer. It is located at the historic Old House in French Quarter on the hill above Le Galion beach. For the latest information about exhibits and special events, visit http://amuseumnaturalis.com

Everyone got an up-close look at aquatic creatures in the Portable Pond
Everyone got an up-close look at aquatic creatures in the Portable Pond

 

To see highlights from the festival, visit http://lesfruitsdemer.com or find Les Fruits de Mer on Facebook.

Gary Brown
Gary E. Brown is the Editorial Director of All At Sea Caribbean. He is a presenter on Island 92, 91.9 FM, St. Maarten, and the author of the thriller/sailing adventure Caribbean High. For more information, visit: garyebrown.net