St. Martin and the Caribbean Celebrate World Migratory Bird Day This Fall

The seventh annual Migratory Bird Festival will be held at Amuseum Naturalis on November 9th.

The arrival of fall 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 their winter homes in the tropics. All over the region, Caribbean people celebrate World Migratory Bird Day and the birds that come here every year.

In the Caribbean, about a third of the 500 often seen species of birds are summer or winter visitors. More than 60 events on 20 Caribbean islands are already lined up to celebrate these amazing birds. More than 80,000 residents and visitors will join in the activities, led by Environment for the Americas and BirdsCaribbean.

On St. Martin, the seventh annual Migratory Bird Festival will be held at Amuseum Naturalis on Saturday, November 9th from 9am to noon. The free festival tells the story of these amazing birds with expositions, discovery stations, art activities and more. People of all ages can get to know these birds and learn why St. Martin is so important to them.

Learning what migratory birds eat at the 2018 Migratory Bird Festival.

The 2019 theme for World Migratory Bird Day is Protect birds: Be the solution to plastic pollution. Plastic pollution is a worldwide problem and a great threat to birds. Since the 1950s, we have made an estimated 8.3 billion tons of plastic. Over 90% of plastic is not recycled and ends up in our landfills and natural spaces.

Plastic can hurt birds in many ways. Birds mistake floating plastics like bags, drinking straws and bottles for food. Parent birds feed plastic to their chicks. Swallowing sharp plastic can kill birds by piercing organs. Birds can starve with stomachs full of plastic, and birds can die after being trapped in plastic waste or fishing line.

A young Brown Booby caught on a fishing lure. Many kinds of plastic are dangerous to Caribbean birds. (Photo by Michiel Oversteegen)

Residents and visitors of all ages are invited to the Migratory Bird Festival from 9am to noon on November 9th at Amuseum Naturalis in French Quarter. The festival is made each year by the Les Fruits de Mer association. Contact the Les Fruits de Mer to volunteer or become a sponsor. To learn more about the festival and see photos and videos from previous years, visit:

Decorating cotton totes to use in place of plastic bags at the 2018 Migratory Bird Festival.

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