April 13, 2024

4th Annual Medellin Bird Festival: October 11-16, 2017

 Medellin-based Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitología (SAO) announced July 28 that it will host its fourth annual Medellin Bird Festival on October 11-16, 2017, featuring guided birding walks around the city, expert lectures by Colombian and international ornithology researchers and birding excursions to world-famous sites such as Jardin (Antioquia) and Manizales (Caldas).

The Medellin-based Sociedad Antioqueña de Ornitología (SAO) announced August 24 that it will hold its fourth annual Medellin Bird Festival on October 11-16, 2017.

This year’s festival (see: https://www.festivaldelasavesmedellin.com/ ) will include free morning bird-walks on October 11, 12 and 13 to Santa Elena, San Cristobal and Parque La Presidenta (Poblado neighborhood). 

Promotional videos about this year’s Festival can be viewed here https://youtu.be/ws_dy3EyGOE and here https://youtu.be/adY6VYuFm9I.

Afternoon sessions on the first day willl include an expert lecture on recent discoveries in biology; a study on the relationship between certain plants and birds; a special session teaching children about birds; and highlights from recent wildlife research in Virginia (USA).

Second-day afternoon sessions include a lecture on advances in reproduction of endangered species in zoos; an overview of Colombia’s spectacular birding opportunities; and a night tour of the Medellin Zoo, where nocturnal birds display songs, calls and behaviors not seen or heard during daylight hours. 

Day-three afternoon sessions will include a special exposition of bird photography; a lecture on gardening for birds and wildlife; a lecture on using the “eBird” computer program to record and share bird observations; and an expert overview from the Colombia chapter of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

SAO History

Founded in November 1984, the SAO now has 210 dues-paying members (including members in several countries in addition to Colombia). This year’s president is Martin Estrada, and the executive director is Ana María Castaño Rivas.

“Medellín is the capital of the department (Antioquia) that is the richest in bird species in Colombia, the country that holds the world record for greatest number of bird species. Because of this, Medellin is justly known as the ‘World Bird Capital,'” according to the SAO.

Aside from the annual Medellin Bird Festivals, other main activies of the SAO include:

1. Publication and sale of bird reference books and field guides;
2. Monthly bird-watching trips;
3. Training guides that work at nature reserves;
4. Monthly meetings featuring illustrated lectures by leading ornithologists and environmental researchers.
5. Distribution of scientific bulletins (“El Cucarachero” and SAO Bulletin);
6. Maintaining the DATAVES computerized database (for members only);
7. Offering courses and workshops on bird subjects, for children and adults;
8. Participation in public exhibitions;
9. Environmental impact studies and projects;
10. Providing training and educational materials;
11. Working with allied institutions;
12. Offering for sale bird-themed shirts, calendars, mugs and caps.

Books published by the SAO include three illustrated editions of the Birds of Aburra Valley (Aves del Valle de Aburra);  a Dictionary of Names of Colombian Birds; an illustrated gardener’s guide on planting trees for birds (“Vida, Color y Canto”); a photographic guide to the Birds of the Aburra Valley and several pocket guides.

“We work to encourage more people in the community to devote their free time to enjoy wild birds,” according to the organization.

“For those who have found in birds a passion that combines both birdwatching and research, SAO stimulates places for generating sustainable projects.

“Bird-watching involves not only the proper use of binoculars, but also accurate identification skills through the use of field guides, photos, sounds and songs, habitats and distribution patterns. SAO members make their knowledge available to help form new generations of qualified birdwatchers and scientists.”

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