People of all ages are invited to learn about amazing traveling birds at the seventh annual Migratory Bird Festival this Saturday. They can also share their memories of the island to help preserve local heritage and stories. The free festival runs from 9am to noon at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House in French Quarter.
“St. Martin is special to everyone who lives here, but it is also very special to birds,” said Les Fruits de Mer co-founder Mark Yokoyama. “Birds travel thousands of miles to live in St. Martin during the fall and winter. They depend on the fish and crabs in the island’s ponds, and the insects in our forests and fields. They’ve been coming here for millions of years, and the festival is a great way to learn about them and the island we share.”
There are many fun things to do at the festival. You can see the incredible underwater world of insects, fish and crabs at the Portable Pond Discovery Station. You can test your detective skills with BirdSleuth activities. You can hear the calls of some of our migratory birds, and see how your wingspan measures up to theirs. You can also add bird art to a cotton backpack, and bring it home with you to use instead of plastic bags.
“We’ll also have some great heritage activities at the festival this year,” explained Les Fruits de Mer President Jenn Yerkes. “We will be recording oral histories, and we’ll have a heritage preservation station. If you bring old photos or other items, we can scan them for you. You can also learn how these photos teach us about the culture and history of the island.”
The festival is organized each year by the Les Fruits de Mer association. This year, several guests will also be leading activities. There will be a showcase of IdeasBox, a mobile library and learning hub that recently launched on St. Martin. The St. Maarten Nature Foundation will be presenting research on pelicans and what we can do to reduce plastic trash.
The Migratory Bird Festival is free. It lasts from 9am to noon on Saturday, November 9th, rain or shine. It will be held at Amuseum Naturalis at The Old House on the hill above Galion Beach in French Quarter. For more information, visit https://lesfruitsdemer.com or find Les Fruits de Mer on Facebook. The event is made possible by the 2019 sponsors: 97150, Animal Hospital of St. Maarten, Belair Beach Hotel, BirdsCaribbean, BZSE, Caraïbes Numeric Print, Delta Petroleum, Dynaf, Etna Ice Cream, Hotel L’Esplanade, Lagoonies Bistro and Bar, Trakx Design, White Sands Beach Club and Yacht Club Port de Plaisance.