Category: Migratory Bird Festival

Awesome New Activities for All Ages at Migratory Bird Festival

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

Despite the rain, over 150 guests of all ages found fun new ways to learn about birds at the Migratory Bird Festival on Saturday. 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.

Kids find aquatic creatures in historic boiling coppers. (Photo by Tim CAM)

“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 measure yourself compared to local birds. People loved decorating their own bird tote bags and playing Bird Bingo in the gardens.”

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

The Migratory Bird Festival celebrates the birds that travel thousands of miles each year to live in St. Martin. They connect this tiny island to the rest of the Americas. The festival also highlights the things these 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.

Kids learned about nature by playing BirdSleuth games.

“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. Many people from French Quarter came to the festival, and we want to keep building the connection between the town and the Amuseum.”

Guests learned about migratory birds from bird expert Binkie van Es and teacher Jessica Sabas.

The 2018 Migratory Bird Festival was made possible by a team of 20 wonderful volunteers. The festival was free thanks to the support of its sponsors: L’Auberge Gourmand, BZSE, Coalys, Delta Petroleum, ECOFIP, Frigodom, IZI LIGHT, Lagoonies, Pelikaan Brewery, St. Martin’s Sweetness and SXM Logistics. To see highlights from the festival, visit http://lesfruitsdemer.com or find Les Fruits de Mer on Facebook.

MBF 2018: Photos Part 1

The 2018 Migratory Bird Festival was a real blast! There were so many fun things to do, and we were very lucky that the real rain didn’t start until right after the festival. Check out a few photos of the event.

Free Fun This Saturday at Migratory Bird Festival

Festival guests can compare their wingspan to local birds. Mark Yokoyama is larger than an Great Egret but smaller than an Osprey.

People of all ages are invited to enjoy the free 2018 Migratory Bird Festival from 9am to noon on Saturday, October 13th. The festival will be held at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House, on the hill above Le Galion in French Quarter. The annual family-friendly event was created in 2013 by Les Fruits de Mer. It celebrates the birds that travel thousands of miles each year to spend time on St. Martin.

“We’re excited to have lots of fun new ways to connect with birds and nature,” says Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “How big are you compared to some of St. Martin’s birds? You can measure your wingspan at the event and find out! You can also learn the songs of some of our visiting birds, and go on a hunt for the things birds need to survive.”

If you want to see what pond birds eat on St. Martin, visit the festival’s Portable Pond. Just one inch deep, it’s your chance to get a good look at all the aquatic insects and other animals that are usually hidden. At the birdwatching station, you can learn how to use binoculars to spot birds. You’ll find out about the amazing travels of migratory birds and why St. Martin is so important to them. 

What do pond birds eat? See the amazing world of life that’s just below the surface of our ponds.

The event is also a great time to explore Amuseum Naturalis and its gardens. Discover bats, night creatures and animals that live only on St. Martin in the exhibit hall. Find out about native plants and trees in the backyard, or explore the gardens playing Bird Bingo. Guests can also learn the 250-year history of the Old House itself.

“We also want to make it fun to help birds and nature,” explained Amuseum Naturalis curator Mark Yokoyama. “At the festival, you can paint bird art on a canvas tote bag. After the event, you can use it instead of a plastic bag. That helps protect the island and the habitats that birds need.”

Add your own bird art to a canvas tote bag and take it home with you!

The festival is designed to be a good time for all no matter the weather. “There are indoor areas for all the major activities, so it will still be lots of fun even if Saturday is a rainy day!” adds Yokoyama.

The Migratory Bird Festival is part of World Migratory Bird Day. Events celebrating migratory birds are happening on many Caribbean islands and all over the world. 

Head to the Migratory Bird Festival, rain or shine, Saturday, October 13th from 9am to noon at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter. The festival is brought to you by Les Fruits de Mer, and the 2018 sponsors: L’Auberge Gourmand, BZSE, Coalys, Delta Petroleum, ECOFIP, Frigodom, IZI LIGHT, Lagoonies, Pelikaan Brewery, St. Martin’s Sweetness and SXM Logistics. For more information and a map, visit http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com.

MBF 2018: Thank You Sponsors!

The 6th annual Migratory Bird Festival is coming up soon. It’s fun, it’s free and it wouldn’t be possible without our sponsors! Please come to the festival this Saturday, October 13th from 9am to noon at Amuseum Naturalis in French Quarter. If you’re on Facebook, join the event and invite your friends!

Learn a little more about our fantastic sponsors:

bzse-web-square
BZSE Attorneys at Law
Quality, continuity and stability are the foundations of the personalized approach by BZSE. In both the civil law as well as in the tax practice, the attorneys and tax lawyers have many years of outstanding service in Sint Maarten. BZSE has grown into the largest law firm in Sint Maarten.
http://www.bzselaw.com


delta-LOGO-smallDelta Petroleum
Founded in 1985, Delta serves the Caribbean with superior performance diesel, gasoline and LPG meeting U.S. and European standards. Delta is a proud and growing member of the communities from the Virgin Islands to Martinique. Delta Petroleum is a long-time supporter of Les Fruits de Mer and sponsors many of our events.
http://deltapetroleum.com


St. Martin’s Sweetness
St. Martin’s Sweetness is a home grown company on the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten that produces and sells high-end baked traditional St. Martin pastries, juices, confectioneries, foods and goods to retail and wholesale customers. We sell premade as well as made-to-order products using local and Caribbean ingredients. St. Martin’s Sweetness makes every day sweet with products ranging from coconut tarts and sugar cakes to tamarind juices and stewed gooseberry jam.


LagooniesLagoonies Bistro and Bar
Lagoonies Bistro and Bar serves food that is crazy good for breakfast, lunch and dinner and hosts some of the hottest live music on the island several nights a week. Located at Lagoon Marina in Cole Bay, Lagoonies is easily accessible by land or sea.
Lagoonies Bistro and Bar


IZI Light
Do you need to brighten your home or business for security or convenience? IZI Light offers innovative solar lighting solutions from streetlights to landscape lighting. Solar lighting is easily installed with no wiring needed, and a variety of long-lasting LED lights are available.
IZI Light


L’Auberge Gourmande
Auberge Gourmande, in the center of restaurant row in Grand Case, serves fine French cuisine in an intimate dining room in one of the oldest Créole houses on the island. Lovingly remodeled in subtle browns and yellows, the wood and stone of the old house harken back to a time of slower pleasures. Enjoy an evening on their terrace or step inside to find your favorite alcove.
L’Auberge Gourmande


COALYS
Expert in the rehabilitation of historical monuments, COALYS works with individuals and professionals in premium construction and renovation. Our teams rely on traditional know-how combined with innovative technologies to support you in all your projects.
COALYS


SXM Logistics
SXM Logistics is a shipping agent and consignor specializing in maritime, land and air shipment.
SXM Logistics


Pelikaan Brewery
Pelikaan Brewery is the first micro brewery on St. Martin, producing delicious local beers that are perfect for the Caribbean.
Pelikaan Brewery


FRIGODOM
Frigodom offers complete logistics solutions, specialized in the shipping of refrigerated and frozen products from the Port of Galisbay.
FRIGODOM


ECOFIP
Specialized in the field of industrial tax exemption for companies, ECOFIP mounts and provides investment management under the Girardin Industrial Law. For this, ECOFIP puts at your service its financial engineering and its support tools to allow you a great flexibility in the management and the realization of your investment program.
ECOFIP

World Migratory Bird Day in St. Martin and the Caribbean

World Migratory Bird Day will be celebrated on 16 Caribbean islands.

The month of October heralds a change in the seasons—even in the Caribbean. The days grow shorter and the fierce heat of the sun lessens. Countless birds journey to the their winter homes on these islands. October also brings World Migratory Bird Day, when Caribbean people celebrate the birds that come here every year.

In the Caribbean, about a third of our 500 bird species are summer or winter visitors. More than 30 events on 16 Caribbean islands are lined up to celebrate these amazing birds. More than 80,000 people will join in the activities, led by Environment for the Americas and BirdsCaribbean.

The Migratory Bird Festival is October 13th at Amuseum Naturalis in French Quarter.

On St. Martin, the Les Fruits de Mer association is hosting the sixth annual Migratory Bird Festival. This year’s event is Saturday, October 13th from 9am to noon at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter. It is free and people of all ages are invited.

The Migratory Bird Festival is a great chance to go birdwatching.

At the Migratory Bird Festival, guests will see birds and learn about the amazing journeys they take each year. There will be bird-themed arts and crafts, and fun games like Bird Bingo. Guests can also explore Amuseum Naturalis and enjoy its gardens and scenic viewpoints.

The 2018 theme for World Migratory Bird Day in the Caribbean is “Year of the Bird.” It is a chance to look at issues facing birds. On St. Martin, pollution and debris impact many places where birds live. It is also a chance to take action. Planting native trees to replace the ones lost to Hurricane Irma can help birds.

“Last October, we weren’t able to celebrate WMBD,” says Executive Director of BirdsCaribbean Lisa Sorenson. “Hurricanes Irma and Maria had just hit several islands with great force, and many of our partners were in shock. Now we are moving forward now with great hope as migratory birds return to our shores.”

Birds like the Whimbrel travel thousands of miles to spend their winter on St. Martin and other Caribbean islands.

Visit migratorybirdday.org or birdscaribbean.org to learn more about celebrations all over the Caribbean. For more information about the Migratory Bird Festival at Amuseum Naturalis in St. Martin, visit http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com.

MBF in the Press

After another fun and successful Migratory Bird Festival, we would like to give a quick “Thank you!” to the press for supporting the event by getting the word out. We appreciate it greatly, and we encourage St. Martiners to support their local press, particularly during this challenging economic time.

Here is some of the press coverage from the event:

The Daily Herald, November 2017

97150, November 2017

Le Pélican Journal, November 2017

97150, November 2017

SXM Fax Info, November 2017

Le Pélican Journal, November 2017

Soualiga Newsday
St. Maarten News
St. Martin Network News
The Daily Herald
BirdsCaribbean
SXM Island Time
Soualiga Newsday
St. Martin Network News
Le Pélican
SXM Island Time
St. Maarten News
SXM Fax Info
Soualiga Newsday
St. Martin Network News
Caribbean News Service
Le Pélican

Saturday’s Festival Welcomed Back Birds, Habitats, and People

Event-goers learned how to spot birds at the Birdwatching Station. (Photo by Tim CAM)

People of all ages flocked to Friar’s Bay to celebrate St. Martin’s nature and enjoy fun activities at Les Fruits de Mer’s 2017 Migratory Bird Festival, which was held this past Saturday at Kali’s Beach Bar.

The festival’s 2017 theme was “Welcome back!” to the island’s migratory birds and habitats that are recovering from the hurricane. The event also welcomed people back to the natural beauty of Friar’s Bay, and brought some to the French side of the island for the first time since Irma.

“It was a gorgeous day, and there was fantastic birdwatching on the pond! People were able to see migratory species like Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpipers and Blue-winged Teal ducks, and year-round resident species like Snowy Egrets and Caribbean Coots,” said Les Fruits de Mer co-founder Mark Yokoyama.

Professional birding guide Binkie van Es helped event-goers discover local birds at the festival’s birdwatching station. Adults and kids also learned how to use binoculars and wildlife-spotting scopes to get up-close views of the birds.

Kids and adults painted handmade calabash bird feeders to take home. (Photo by Jonaliza Matinguha)

The event’s calabash bird feeder craft was also a big hit. Festival guests painted their own feeders to take home with free birdseed to help provide food for birds while habitats continue to recover.

The Portable Pond Discovery Station drew a constant crowd as well, showcasing the tiny creatures that migratory birds come to the island to eat. Visitors young and old were surprised to learn how many flying insects, like dragonflies, begin their life in the water.

The festival’s Portable Pond Station showcased the tiny creatures migratory birds eat. (Photo by Mark Yokoyama)

Event-goers found out how native trees and plants protect shorelines, and provide habitat for birds, from EPIC volunteers at the Restoration Station. Volunteers from Anguilla National Trust came over for the day to assist and share their knowledge about birds and nature. A team of youth volunteers from the Rotary Interact Club of St. Dominic High School also came to help out at the event.

“We were thrilled to have so many people come out to the festival, and we’re super grateful that we had so many volunteers at a time when everyone’s so busy with their recovery work. We also couldn’t have done it without our event sponsors, BirdsCaribbean, BZSE, Caribbean Paddling, Delta Petroleum, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar, Tri-sport and Van Dorp,” said Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “People really came together to make this event happen for the island when times are tough for everyone, and it was amazing.”

Volunteers from St. Martin and Anguilla came together for the 2017 Migratory Bird Festival. (Photo by Shuja Reiph)

MBF 2017: More Great Photos

We were lucky to have a beautiful day, a great location and a wonderful crowd at this year’s Migratory Bird Festival. We also had some talented photographers capturing the moment. Enjoy these photos from Tim Cam and Chanchal Sharma!

Migratory Bird Festival Welcomes Birds Back This Saturday

The 2017 Migratory Bird Festival is at Friar’s Bay on Saturday.

While St. Martin waits for tourists to return, the island’s other seasonal guests have been quietly arriving. Migratory birds travel thousands of miles every year to spend the winter here. The fifth-annual Migratory Bird Festival celebrates these birds from 9am to noon on Saturday, November 25th at Kali’s Beach Bar in Friar’s Bay. The event is free and open to all.

Welcome back! is our theme this year,” explained Jenn Yerkes, President of Les Fruits de Mer, the association that organizes the festival. “We’re welcoming back the birds, and after the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, we’re also welcoming back the natural spaces of the island as they recover.”

The location at Friar’s Bay was chosen because it offers excellent viewing access to Guichard Pond. At the Birdwatching Station, festival-goers will get to see the migratory birds that live on the pond and explore how the mangrove trees are recovering. Attendees will learn more about native trees and their recovery at the Restoration Station, hosted by EPIC (Environmental Protection in the Caribbean). The Portable Pond Discovery Station will offer an up-close look at the aquatic critters that many migratory birds eat. These tiny, fascinating creatures are another important part of the wetland ecosystem.

Festival guests can decorate a bird feeder to take home.

The event’s Art Activity Station will have fun wildlife-themed coloring for kids, as well as a special bird feeder craft for people of all ages. Guests big and small are invited to paint bird feeders made from calabash, and bring them home along with bird seed to help out birds throughout the year.

The 2017 Migratory Bird Festival will be held on Saturday, November 25th from 9am to noon at Kali’s Beach Bar in Friar’s Bay. The festival is brought to you by Les Fruits de Mer, and the 2017 edition is made possible thanks to our sponsors: BirdsCaribbean, BZSE, Caribbean Paddling, Delta Petroleum, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar, Tri-sport and Van Dorp. It is a free event and people of all ages are invited to attend. Get all the details at: http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/events/migratory-bird-festival/

Migratory Bird Festival Partners

We are grateful to have such a great team of partners this year. EPIC will be hosting a Restoration Station where you can learn how native trees can help the island. You can even learn how to participate in the restoration projects EPIC is doing right now. Anguilla National Trust is joining us for the third year in a row as part of our volunteer team. Environment for the Americas contributes materials and support for migratory bird events throughout the Western Hemisphere. Kali’s Beach Bar is our location this year.


Kali’s Beach Bar
A St. Martin institution since 1980, Kali’s Beach Bar on Friar’s Bay is well-known for great food, cold drinks and its full moon parties. When you come to the festival, be sure to bring your swimsuit and enjoy the beach at Kali’s.
Kali’s Beach Bar


Environmental Protection in the Caribbean
Environmental Protection in the Caribbean (EPIC) is a non-profit organization registered in St. Maarten and the United States. Founded in 2000 with the mission to protect the Caribbean environment through research and community-based action, EPIC has conducted long-term studies on the birds of the island while working to raise awareness of bird conservation issues.
http://www.epicislands.org



Anguilla National Trust
The Anguilla National Trust (ANT) was founded in 1989 with the mandate to sustain the island’s natural and cultural heritage through active management and education for the benefit of today’s and tomorrow’s generations. It has been instrumental in the creation of Anguilla’s national parks, conservation areas, and heritage sites and continues to be involved in their day-to-day management. It conducts essential research and conservation work, including habitat and species monitoring. It works year-round to raise public awareness about the fragility, complexity, and beauty of the island’s natural and cultural resources. Above all, it acts as voice for Anguilla’s national heritage.
http://www.axanationaltrust.com



Environment for the Americas
From Argentina to Canada and the Caribbean, Environment for the Americas is on the ground, working with diverse partners to help participants protect our shared natural resources and to train the next generation of conservationists. Environment for the Americas is the coordinator for International Migratory Bird Day events across the Western Hemisphere.
http://www.environmentamericas.org


Welcome Back: BirdsCaribbean

We’re excited to have BirdsCaribbean as a returning sponsor of the Migratory Bird Festival! They are a regional organization that has really stepped up to support work in the Caribbean at a time when it is harder for local sponsors to do so.

You can join us for the festival on Saturday, November 25th from 9am to noon at Kali’s Beach Bar in Friar’s Bay. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors the festival is free for all. Come learn about the birds that travel thousands of miles to come here each year and the habitats that they depend on. There will be fun activities for people of all ages. Get all the info on our website or on the Facebook event page. Invite your friends and family!

About BirdsCaribbean
BirdsCaribbean is a vibrant international network of members and partners committed to conserving Caribbean birds and their habitats. They raise awareness, promote sound science, and empower local partners to build a region where people appreciate, conserve and benefit from thriving bird populations and ecosystems. They are a non-profit (501 (c) 3) membership organization. More than 100,000 people participate in their programmes each year, making BirdsCaribbean the most broad-based conservation organization in the region.
http://www.birdscaribbean.org

Welcome: Van Dorp


We’re excited to have Van Dorp as a new sponsor of the Migratory Bird Festival! It makes us feel great that even during difficult times, they still feel this is an important event to support.

You can join us for the festival on Saturday, November 25th from 9am to noon at Kali’s Beach Bar in Friar’s Bay. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors the festival is free for all. Come learn about the birds that travel thousands of miles to come here each year and the habitats that they depend on. There will be fun activities for people of all ages. Get all the info on our website or on the Facebook event page. Invite your friends and family!

About Van Dorp
Whether you’re stocking your office or getting ready to paint your masterpiece, you’ll find what you need at Van Dorp. They carry a wide selection of high-quality office, school and art supplies. Van Dorp also a great place to find local books written on or about St. Martin and the Caribbean. Stop by their stores in Madame Estate or Simpson Bay.
Van Dorp

Welcome Back: Delta Petroleum

We’re excited to have Delta Petroleum as a returning sponsor of the Migratory Bird Festival! It makes us feel great that even during difficult times, they still feel this is an important event to support. Delta has been up and running since just after the storm, providing the fuel to help us rebuild.

You can join us for the festival on Saturday, November 25th from 9am to noon at Kali’s Beach Bar in Friar’s Bay. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors the festival is free for all. Come learn about the birds that travel thousands of miles to come here each year and the habitats that they depend on. There will be fun activities for people of all ages. Get all the info on our website or on the Facebook event page. Invite your friends and family!

About Delta Petroleum
Founded in 1985, Delta serves the Caribbean with superior performance diesel, gasoline and LPG meeting U.S. and European standards. Delta is a proud and growing member of the communities from the Virgin Islands to Martinique. Delta Petroleum was a sponsor of many of our events.
http://deltapetroleum.com

Welcome Back: Tri-Sport

We’re excited to have Tri-sport as a returning sponsor of the Migratory Bird Festival! It makes us feel great that even during difficult times, they still feel this is an important event to support. Tri-sport’s Simpson Bay location is currently open for all your biking and running needs.

You can join us for the festival on Saturday, November 25th from 9am to noon at Kali’s Beach Bar in Friar’s Bay. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors the festival is free for all. Come learn about the birds that travel thousands of miles to come here each year and the habitats that they depend on. There will be fun activities for people of all ages. Get all the info on our website or on the Facebook event page. Invite your friends and family!

About Tri-Sport
Tri-Sport is the go-to shop for the active community of St. Maarten/St. Martin and the neighboring islands of Anguilla, Saba, Statia, and St. Barths. They run ecologically-friendly tours that get people out and moving – kayaking, bicycling, hiking, boogie boarding, and snorkeling. Tri-Sport’s retail shops carry all the necessities for triathlons with an emphasis on bicycles.
http://trisportsxm.com

Welcome Back: Caribbean Paddling

We’re excited to have Caribbean Paddling as a returning sponsor of the Migratory Bird Festival! It makes us feel great that even during difficult times, they still feel this is an important event to support. Caribbean Paddling has reopened after Irma and is currently renting from Orient Bay.

You can join us for the festival on Saturday, November 25th from 9am to noon at Kali’s Beach Bar in Friar’s Bay. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors the festival is free for all. Come learn about the birds that travel thousands of miles to come here each year and the habitats that they depend on. There will be fun activities for people of all ages. Get all the info on our website or on the Facebook event page. Invite your friends and family!

About Caribbean Paddling
As everyone on St. Martin knows, a trip to Pinel Island is the perfect way to spend the day. Renting a kayak or stand-up paddleboard from Caribbean Paddling is the perfect way to get to get there. They even have a giant paddleboard for up to six people. Visit their website to see everything they have to offer.
https://caribbeanpaddling.com

Welcome Back: Lagoonies Bistro & Bar

We’re excited to have Lagoonies Bistro and Bar as a returning sponsor of the Migratory Bird Festival! It makes us feel great that even during difficult times, they still feel this is an important event to support.

You can join us for the festival on Saturday, November 25th from 9am to noon at Kali’s Beach Bar in Friar’s Bay. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors the festival is free for all. Come learn about the birds that travel thousands of miles to come here each year and the habitats that they depend on. There will be fun activities for people of all ages. Get all the info on our website or on the Facebook event page. Invite your friends and family!

About Lagoonies Bistro and Bar
Lagoonies Bistro and Bar serves food that is crazy good for breakfast, lunch and dinner and hosts some of the hottest live music on the island several nights a week. Located at Lagoon Marina in Cole Bay, they are easily accessible by land or sea.
Lagoonies Bistro and Bar

Welcome Back: BZSE

We’re excited to have BZSE as a returning sponsor of the Migratory Bird Festival! It makes us feel great that even during difficult times, they still feel this is an important event to support.

You can join us for the festival on Saturday, November 25th from 9am to noon at Kali’s Beach Bar in Friar’s Bay. Thanks to the generosity of our sponsors the festival is free for all. Come learn about the birds that travel thousands of miles to come here each year and the habitats that they depend on. There will be fun activities for people of all ages. Get all the info on our website or on the Facebook event page. Invite your friends and family!

About BZSE Attorneys at Law
Quality, continuity and stability are the foundations of the personalized approach by BZSE. In both the civil law as well as in the tax practice, the attorneys and tax lawyers have many years of outstanding service in Sint Maarten. BZSE has grown into the largest law firm in Sint Maarten.
http://www.bzselaw.com

Pond Life Ebook Offers Preview of Migratory Bird Festival Stars

Download the new ebook Pond Life: Reflections for free.

Each year, the Les Fruits de Mer association hosts the Migratory Bird Festival on St. Martin. The stars of this festival are the birds that travel so far to come here each year, and the wild places and creatures they depend on. This lively cast of characters—birds, crabs, mangroves and the ponds themselves—is featured in the new ebook Pond Life: Reflections. The book is available for free download at lesfruitsdemer.com.

“Migratory pond birds—like wading birds and ducks—are common and easy to see on St. Martin,” explained author Mark Yokoyama. “Ponds are also some of the most important places on the island, ecologically and historically. So it makes sense to showcase ponds at this festival, and the new book also does that.”

Pond Life: Reflections has eight chapters that explore St. Martin’s ponds from different angles. It takes the reader across the island from the cemetery pond in Grand Case to the ruins of the Foga pumphouse at the Great Salt Pond. It marks the passing of time, from the change of the seasons to the turn of a century.

The book was created as a companion piece to the upcoming 2017 Migratory Bird Festival. This year’s location is Kali’s Beach Bar in Friar’s Bay, located just beside Guichard Pond. Many of the island’s ponds are inaccessible due to hurricane debris, but this spot offers great viewing of the pond, its birds and other wetland life. Festival guests will have a chance to see and learn about its post-storm recovery.

“Our theme for the festival this year is ‘Welcome back!’ to the birds, and also to the habitats that are recovering from Hurricane Irma,” said Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “The island’s ponds have been through a lot, just like the people. As we recover together, this book is a great reminder that people and ponds have been connected since the beginning.”

The 2017 Migratory Bird Festival will be held on Saturday, November 25th from 9am to noon at Kali’s Beach Bar in Friar’s Bay. The festival is brought to you by Les Fruits de Mer, and the 2017 edition is made possible thanks to our sponsors: Caribbean Paddling, Delta Petroleum, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar, Tri-sport and Van Dorp. It is a free event and people of all ages are invited to attend. Pond Life: Reflections can be downloaded for free at: http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/resources/books/

MBF 2016: In the News

We just wanted to give a big shout out to all the local and regional news media that helped us get the word out about the 2016 Migratory Bird Festival! Thank you!!! Here’s a round-up of some of the print and online press.

The Daily Herald, October 2016
mbf2016-herald-post-event-web

Today Newspaper, October 2016
mbf2016-today-post-event

Le Pélican, October 2016
mbf2016-pelican-web

The Daily Herald, October 2016
mbf2016herald1013-web

97150, October 2016
mbf2016-97150-1013-web

The Daily Herald, October 2016
mbf2016-herald1011-web

Today Newspaper, October 2016
mbf2016-today-1011-web

97150, October 2016
mbf-97150-1011

SXM Fax Info, October 2016
mbf2016-faxinfo1012

The Daily Herald, October 2016
mbf-2016-herald-outnabout-web

SXM Fax Info, September 2016
mbf2016-faxinfo-pondlife

Today Newspaper, September 2016
mbf2016-today-pondlife-web

The Daily Herald, September 2016
mbf2016-dailyherald-pondlife

Online Articles

SXM Fax Info
Soualiga Newsday
SXM Island Time
Soualiga Post
Pearl FM Radio
BZSE
SXM Fax Info
Soualiga Newsday
I Eye News
The Daily Herald
SXM Fax Info
Soualiga Newsday
Repeating Islands
Le Pélican
Soualiga Newsday
Anguilla News
Le Pélican
SXM Island Time

New Activities Keep Migratory Bird Festival Fun and Fresh

Guests learn about the Gaïac tree and receive seedlings to plant at home. (Photo by Jovito Hermoso)
Guests learn about the Gaïac tree and receive seedlings to plant at home. (Photo by Jovito Hermoso)

People of all ages came to celebrate migratory birds and learn about the amazing journeys that bring them to St. Martin. It was a record crowd for the Migratory Birds Festival, organized by Les Fruits de Mer. Attendees were treated to a variety of presentations and activities related to migratory birds and the habitats that sustain them.

“The story of bird migration is fascinating, but we also see it as a gateway to learning about the entire ecosystem that surrounds them,” explained Les Fruits de Mer co-founder Mark Yokoyama. “Activities like the Portable Pond Discovery Station and Crabitat highlight the less noticeable critters that sustain many of our birds, and the Club Gaïac seedling giveaway gets people personally involved in restoring native trees.”

This year’s event also showcased the different ways we interact with migratory birds. Ilja Botha, founder of Seagrape Tours, shared her experience offering birding tourism on St. Martin in her presentation. Jenn Yerkes, president of Les Fruits de Mer, presented the story of two women who laid the groundwork for major conservation treaties in their efforts to save egrets from exploitation by the fashion industry. Guests connected with birds through photography and art activities as well.

The Crabitat and Portable Pond brought critters out of the deep and into focus for guests. (Photo by Jovito Hermoso)
The Crabitat and Portable Pond brought critters out of the deep and into focus for guests. (Photo by Jovito Hermoso)

A birdwatching station on the Great Salt Pond, hosted by certified birding guide and Nature Foundation Board Member Binkie van Es was also a favorite. People of all ages learned to use binoculars and bird ID cards to spot Laughing Gulls, Spotted Sandpipers, Great Blue Herons, and other migratory bird species as well as year-round residents like Snowy Egrets, Brown Pelicans, and Magnificent Frigatebirds.

“Hosting the Migratory Bird Festival has been an amazing journey for us as well,” commented Jenn Yerkes. “Each year we’ve been able to expand and enhance the festival with the help of our volunteers, partner University of St. Martin and our sponsors Yacht Club Port de Plaisance, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar, Hotel L’Esplanade, GEBE, Delta Petroleum, BZSE Attorneys at Law, Buccaneer Beach Bar, Aqua Mania Adventures and ACE.”

For those that didn’t make it to the event, a wide variety of event materials are available online for free download. The Pond Life ebook tells the stories of seven wetland birds from St. Martin. Bird masks and coloring pages can be downloaded and printed as an activity for the classroom or the home. An preview clip from Les Fruits de Mer’s in progress documentary about the Great Salt Pond and presentations filmed at the event are available for viewing online viewing. Find all of these materials at: http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com/resources/

MBF 2016 in Photos, Part One

The Migratory Bird Festival was fantastic yesterday, thanks to all the volunteers and sponsors! Here’s the first batch of photos from the event (and the volunteer lunch), taken by Jovito Hermoso.

Hotel L’Esplanade – Sponsor Spotlight MBF 2016

Esplanade-Logo-horizontal

There’s no way we could pull off fun, free festivals like the Migratory Bird Festival without the support of our sponsors. We’re very excited to have Hotel L’Esplanade as a returning sponsor this year!

Hotel L’Esplanade
This hotel has established a cult following from guests that enjoy an authentic, luxurious, unpretentious and un-touristy Caribbean experience with a homey feel. Acknowledged by TripAdvisor as one of the Caribbean’s “Best Hidden Gems”, and more recently named #19 of the top 25 hotels in all of the Caribbean. Hotel L’Esplanade has been a benefactor member since 2013 and has sponsored many Les Fruits de Mer events.
http://www.lesplanade.com

Free Migratory Bird Festival Packed With Activities This Sunday

The Migratory Bird Festival will be held on Pond Island in the Great Salt Pond, a key habitat for many birds on St. Martin, including migratory species. (Photo by Mark Yokoyama)
The Migratory Bird Festival will be held on Pond Island in the Great Salt Pond, a key habitat for many birds on St. Martin, including migratory species. (Photo by Mark Yokoyama)

People of all ages are invited to enjoy a marvelous morning of wildlife at the fourth annual Migratory Bird Festival this Sunday, with a full slate of fantastic activities and nature presentations. The event will take place from 9am to noon at the University of St. Martin on Pond Island in Philipsburg. Created by the Les Fruits de Mer association as a celebration of the amazing birds that travel thousands of kilometers each year to visit St. Martin, the festival is free and open to the public.

“The story of bird migration—the astounding distances they fly, their ability to navigate and the way they tie the whole hemisphere together with their travels—is a wonderful gateway to experiencing and understanding so much of St. Martin’s natural history,” explained Les Fruits de Mer co-founder Mark Yokoyama. “For instance, at Sunday’s event, people can do birdwatching with the top experts on the island, but they’ll also get to explore the whole wetland ecosystem these birds depend on, getting up close and personal with the critters that birds eat at the Portable Pond Discovery Station.”

An array of other island wildlife activities await festival-goers this Sunday. They’ll be able to get coaching on how to take better photographs of birds and wildlife at a special workshop with a nature photographer. They can discover the role of indigenous plants and trees at the Club Gaïac Station, dedicated to the Gaïac or Lignum Vitae tree, and even take home free seedlings of this beautiful native tree. They’ll also have a chance to express their artistic side with a bird mask-making craft and wildlife-themed coloring at the Art Activity Station.

Visitors can discover aquatic insects and other creatures at the Portable Pond Discovery Station. (Photo by Olivia Roudon)
Visitors can discover aquatic insects and other creatures at the Portable Pond Discovery Station. (Photo by Olivia Roudon)

In addition to the hands-on activities, a series of multimedia presentations will be offered to the public throughout the event on topics including migratory birds, birding tourism on St. Martin, the best birdwatching spots on the island and the fascinating story of how a fashion trend drove the Snowy Egret to the brink of extinction–and how two women launched key parts of the conservation movement while working to save it at the turn of the 20th century.

“The University of St. Martin is a great place to see experts give these special presentations,” commented Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “Each speaker will be showcasing different topics, so there’s something new to learn all morning long. Plus being able to sit down for ten or fifteen minutes while someone tells a fascinating story about nature is a perfect break from the action of the festival.”

Les Fruits de Mer will also screen a short preview clip from the association’s current documentary film project about the Great Salt Pond and its importance to the ecology, history, economy, culture and identity of the island. Visitors will be invited to share their own thoughts and memories about the Great Salt Pond.

The Migratory Bird Festival is part of International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD), which is celebrated at hundreds of events throughout the Western Hemisphere. The dozens of events held in the Caribbean are under the regional coordination of BirdsCaribbean. The 2016 festival is hosted by Les Fruits de Mer and University of St. Martin. It’s made possible by the hard work of many volunteers and is absolutely free thanks to the generous sponsorship support of Yacht Club Port de Plaisance, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar, Hotel L’Esplanade, GEBE, Delta Petroleum, BZSE Attorneys at Law, Buccaneer Beach Bar, Aqua Mania Adventures and ACE. Visit http://www.lesfruitsdemer.com or find Les Fruits de Mer on Facebook for more information. With covered areas for all the activities, the event will take place rain or shine.