Everyone loves birds. They are majestic and inspiring. They are dedicated parents. Their sweet songs fill the air with life. They’re also a great way to learn about nature and science.
“Imagine a school class having fun and learning about biology by playing a game of Bird Bingo or Habitat Scavenger Hunt,” said Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “We’re excited to make that possible by offering a free training program for teachers and educators. It can be used in the classroom and outdoors and it was made for the Caribbean.”
BirdSleuth Caribbean is a set of fun lessons and activities that uses birds to teach youth about nature and science. BirdSleuth Caribbean has been specially adapted for the region, so kids learn about the birds and habitats that they can see around them. It’s designed for students 9-13 years old. The program contains lessons, activities and learning games that can be done in the classroom and outdoors.
Les Fruits de Mer will be hosting free training in the BirdSleuth program with instructor Binkie van Es. Participants will enjoy hands-on training and receive materials to bring back to their class or youth group. On each training day, 4-5 different games and activities will be taught.
“It’s an amazing feeling to see kids fall in love with birds and science through the BirdSleuth program,” explained BirdSleuth instructor Binkie van Es. “Birds are the perfect gateway to a love of nature and a passion for learning. The activities are a lot of fun for teachers, too!”
The training will be at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House on two Saturdays: September 22 and Sept 29, from 9am-1pm. It will be bilingual in English and French. It is free, and lunch will be served after each training session. If you are interested, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve your spot in the free training.
Little Key is a tiny island in the Simpson Bay Lagoon. We visited the other day to take a look at how it is doing after Hurricane Irma and document some of the plants and animals living on the island. Meanwhile, EPIC, the Nature Foundation and a bunch of volunteers were planting mangroves near the islet. Below are some photos and a short video from Little Key.
I just wanted to thank Destination St. Martin/St. Maarten Magazine for giving us the chance to tell the story of the island’s fascinating wetland birds in the 2016 issue. Wildlife—at least of the animal sort—may not be the first thing on people’s minds when they think of St. Martin, but the nature of the island is a fascinating and unique part of what the island has to offer and we love to share our passion for it.
Birds—both migrants and year-round residents—are all over right now. They are resourceful, and many of the shorebirds and other wetland species will use any body of water available to them. As long as it has crabs, snails, aquatic insects or other food for them, that is. Check out a few photos here, but don’t forget to put the main event on your calendar, too: Migratory Bird Festival. See you there!
This morning we went on a nature walk to see the birds and other animals that live on the island. We were able to see many species that are endemic to the region or have a regional sub-species, like the Zenaida Dove, Carib Grackle, Black-faced Grassquit and Caribbean Elaenia. It was also just a lot of fun to take a walk and see how the local critters are doing in the scrub and around a couple ponds. Thanks to everyone who came!
The weather in the Caribbean may seem like summer year-round, but the tropical heat doesn’t mean there are no seasons. Like most tropical areas, rainfall is a primary differentiator for Caribbean seasons, and rainfall drives changes in vegetation as well as wildlife populations. While many animals can, and do, breed year-round in this area, reproductive rates can increase dramatically when rainy weather boosts the amount of food available. Clouds of butterflies in the winter are a noticeable example, but many other species are going through a population boom more quietly right now.