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Columns : Bird Talk - Erika Gates Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM


Garden of the Groves’ Celebration of Migratory Birds
By Erika Gates
Dec 14, 2013 - 11:37:24 AM

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Basic Birding Class for adults was also part of the IMBD celebrations and was conducted over four consecutive Saturdays by Cert. Bahamas Birding Guide, Erika Gates.

Freeport, Bahamas - During the final months of this year nature enthusiasts, researchers, scientists and conservation leaders throughout the Caribbean and the Bahamas joined in the celebration and promotion of public awareness of the miracle of bird migration.

Each year birds travel over thousands of miles between their breeding grounds in the United States and Canada and their winter homes in the Caribbean, Bahamas and South America. For the past five years it has become a tradition at Garden of the Groves to host a variety of events and Mrs. Marilyn Laing, co-ordinator, states, “We want to share the message of bird conservation with the Grand Bahama community and due to the interest by so many schools and persons on the island, we do not limit our activities to just one day, however, we plan fieldtrips, art competitions and basic birding classes throughout the months of October and November”.

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More than 400 students came to the Garden of the Groves to attend fieldtrips and talks on how they could become involved and protect bird habitat on Grand Bahama Island.

More than 400 students came to the Garden of the Groves to attend fieldtrips and talks on how they could become involved and protect bird habitat on Grand Bahama Island. Upon completion of their fieldtrips big smiles could be seen from the children when they received colorful “Bird Buddy Bands”, stickers and classroom posters sponsored by the Society for Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) or BirdsCaribbean which is the new name for this amazing organization that works with over 40 countries throughout the Caribbean to create awareness in bird conservation and habitat.

Garden of the Groves has donated a portion of the proceeds from each event to Birds Caribbean. Erika Gates expressed her appreciation to Dr. Lisa Sorenson of Birds Caribbean to have partnered once again with Grand Bahama and the Garden of the Groves to make this one of the most successful International Migratory Bird years!

In the art competition for primary, middle and high school, students had to adhere to this year’s theme: “Life Cycles of Migratory Birds”. Their work could be done in either oil, crayon or water color. The artwork was exhibited in the chapel at the Garden and a panel of judges selected first, second and third place. Winners were awarded electronic tablets and all participants received medals.

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The annual Basic Birding Class for adults was also part of the IMBD celebrations and was conducted over four consecutive Saturdays by Cert. Bahamas Birding Guide, Erika Gates. The class has been sponsored by Grand Bahama Nature Tours and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism for the past 10 years and teaches novice birders bird identification skills, the proper use of binoculars, organization of fieldguide and recording of sightings into their personal checklist. Erika shares that she was extremely pleased with the progress her students made and went on to say that this was the first time all class members reached the huge milestone of identifying their first 50 bird species. In addition to the certificate of participation they also received a “Birds of the Bahamas” certificate, sponsored by the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism!

Grand Bahama is now preparing for the 14th annual Christmas Bird Count which is scheduled for Saturday, January 4th, 2014. So let’s go birding, come join us and enjoy Grand Bahama’s beautiful environment and its jewels in the sky! For more information call 242-374-7778


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Dr. Lisa Sorenson, Executive Director of Birds Caribbean receives check from Marilyn Laing and Erika Gates



Erika Gates is owner of Kayak Nature Tours (one of the first Eco-Tour businesses in The Bahamas); co-founder of the Ecotourism Association; a published writer; and a Cacique award winner! Her column Bird Talk will enlighten and educate us about birds of The Bahamas, as well as the importance of Ecology. Erika can be reached at gbntours@hotmail.com or (242) 373-2485


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Bird Talk - Erika Gates
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