Celebrating and getting to know the birds in Honduras

Aves Honduras, an organization dedicated to expanding community awareness of the value of wild birds in Honduras, promoting bird tourism and birdwatching clubs, research and conservation, won a mini-grant from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology to support activities for the youth in their region. Aves Honduras worked with the ARABU Community Center and local Airbase to create two wonderful events. The activities in the ARABU Community Center aimed to promoting the appreciation of birds and their conservation and motivate kids and teens to get involved with conserving Honduran birds and their habitat. Aves Honduras also partnered with the local Airbase to create a second event during arbor day. During the event, participants connected under the idea that, without birds, there would no planes. This theme was used to develop educational and citizen science activities, with he goal of inspiring participants to observe, appreciate, and support the conservation of birds.

Activities In The ARABU Community Center

Aves Honduras, with the support from the ARABU Community Center, hosted activities for children and teens in their open spaces rich with nature. These activities sought to balance the themes of leadership, environmental conservation, culture, and art. Participants completed various educational and citizen science activities which promoted birdwatching and the appreciation and conservation of birds. The activities consisted of both group and independent work and took place outside, highlighting the importance of taking care of the environment.

The activities began by introducing all the participants to the program.  At this introduction participants were welcomed by the beautiful toucan song (Keel-billed Toucan, Ramphastos sulfuratus). Participants then received birdwatching equipment and a tutorial on how to use the equipment. They then began to search for the beautiful regional birds accompanied by guides Liliana Matute-Mandujano and Olbin Bejarano, members of Aves Honduras. During the search the group was able to identify 23  species!

Later, after more rhymes and songs and the call of a ¡chochorochocho! ¡chochó!, participants created a “never before seen bird” using organic materials. They gave their creation a common name as well as a scientific one. With their great imaginations and application of what they learned during their search, they shared the habitat, diet, and allusive song of their imaginary bird.

Participants continued their adventure with two fun and exciting games, Alphabet Bird Soup and Celebrate Birds Bingo. The winners of these games received prizes that left the kids and teens in awe. The group later explored their creativity by using posterboard and various colors and feathers to create bird masks. They were completely inspired!

To finish off this great event full of discovery, learning, and art, they concluded with the presentation of certificates and recognition for each participant.

If you want to learn more about these exciting activities, click here to read a summary from Aves Honduras of their activities in the ARABU Center.

Activities In The Local Airbase

In the local Airbase, Aves Honduras used work in teams, as individuals, and in the field, to create a greater awareness about the importance of protecting shared spaces. The event delved into various themes including aviation, leadership, the environment, culture, and conservation. The event took place on National Pine Day (Honduras’ national tree) highlighting the important relationship between birds and trees.

The day began by welcoming participants with beautiful bird calls, including the calls of the Clay-colored Thrush (Turdus grayi), Great Kiskadee (Pitangus Sulphuratus), Great-tailed Grackle (Quiscalus mexicanus) and White-fronted Parrot (Amazona albifrons).

The day’s activity was introduced by Lieutenant Colonel Héctor Ríos and Liliana Matute-Mandujano, then the participants received birdwatching equipment and set out on their search for the 16 key bird species in groups. All 16 of the key bird species were spotted on the outing along with several other species not on the list.

After wrapping up the outing, participants moved on to the next activity during which they used organic materials to create their own “never before seen” birds. These creative birds were given common, English, and scientific names. Participants also shared the habitat, diet, and  invented songs of their creations.

The adventure and celebration continued with two fun games: Bird themed Alphabet Soup and celebrate Urban Birds Bingo 2022. The winners of these games received prizes. After this, participants got another chance to show their creativity by making bird masks using vibrant colors and feathers.

Finally, with the guidance of the Pine Artisans and Guides it was time to paint. Each participant made their own bird painting using a wooden circle as a canvas.

The event closed with the distribution of certificates for the participants. They didn’t forget to take many pictures throughout the activities and provide a healthy lunch with fruits to refresh the participants’ energies during the event.

Aves Honduras thanks Cooperativa de Ahorro y Crédito Ceibeña Limitada for their essential and constant support to facilitate the activities.

Article written by Cassandra Nuñez.