International Migratory Bird Day Celebrations at the Garden of the Groves supported by the Society for Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds
Freeport, Grand Bahama island - During the final months of 2012, Conservation Leaders, Researchers
and Nature enthusiasts from the Caribbean and Bahamas joined forces
to celebrate and promote public awareness surrounding the miracle of
Bird Migration. While there are threats of development and
illegal hunting that continues to endanger the habitat of birds, nearly
350 species of these birds make their annual migration between their
summer homes in the U.S. and Canada and their winter homes in the Caribbean,
Bahamas and South America.
This year the Garden of the Groves was again able to highlight the
importance of preserving habitats for these migratory Birds. As we focused
on the theme, “Connecting People to Bird Conservation.” The Garden
of the Groves team headed by Mrs. Marilyn Laing launched activities
early. During the month of September, notification was sent to
all schools on Grand Bahama Island about pending schedule.
For the second annual IMBD Art Competition students received guidelines
for the competition. The judging was held at the end of November,
however, we thought to give them ample time to get their pieces done.
Bishop Michael Eldon Primary students on fieldtrip
with IMBD co-ordinator Marillyn Laing
This year we created four categories namely: Preschool , ages
3 -5, Primary ages 6 – 11, Middle school ages 12-14 and senior High
School ages 14 – 17. The winners were as follows: One
preschool entry was named first place, Anella Dekari of Tabernace School.
In the Middle school only one entry, Khalia Wright of Sir Jack Hayward
In the primary division, first place went to Alyssa Turnquest of Mary
Star School, second and third places went to Wannisha Hanna and Cyiah
Willis also of Mary star of the Sea School.
In the High School division, Sir Jack Hayward School received triple
honours as their student s won first, second and third places.
Melvin Dixon received first place, second went to Terrance Bain who
was also a winner in last year’s competition and third went to Dexter
First encounter with a "real" bird
Students from Grand Bahama traveled from the east and west settlements
to attend the field trips to the Garden. As during previous years
they were given talks on protecting the habitats of birds on our island.
Lots of smiles could be seen at the end of each trip when they received
Bird Buddy Bands, stickers and posters sponsored by the SCSCB.
This year we were able to host about 249 students.
Each year as birds travel over long miles between their winter and
summer homes, we on Grand Bahama would continue to anticipate their
arrival and discuss the many ways we can Connect People with Bird Conservation.
Erika Gates of Garden of the Groves expresses her appreciation for
the Society for Conservation and Study of Caribbean Birds (SCSCB) who
supports the annual bird conservation programs throughout the Caribbean
and the Bahamas by sponsoring posters, coulouring books and the
popular “Bird Buddy Bands”.
Erika Gates –
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
Winners of the IMBD art competition for middle school and senior high from Sir Jack Hayward.From right to left: first Melvin Dixon, second Terrance Bain, third Dexter Ingraham and middle school winner Khalia Wright
IMBD art contest participants of Mary Star by the
Sea Primary , winner Alyssa Turnquest, Wannnisha Hanna second and
Cyiah Willis third place.
The winner in the pre-school division was Anella
Dekari from Tabernacle Baptist Academy seen here with her proud
Fieldtrip at Garden of the Groves for Special
Education Hampton Academy