Saturday, January 31, 2009

Colombia Street Parade

As part of the 3rd Cerulean Warbler Summit & 2nd Golden-winged Warbler Summit from October 21 – 25 2008 in Bogotá and San Vicente de Chucurí, Colombia, ProAves organised this amazing street parade in San Vicente de Chucurí.

Right on the lead banner were some birds from my "backyard" here in Canada (Olive-sided Flycatcher, Canada Warbler, Golden-winged Warbler and Cerulean Warbler). It felt as though these little birds, weighing just a few grams, were reminding us of just how connected we are. Their incredible migration, their "dual citizenship" was being celebrated here and, as conservationists, i think we all understood the importance of that message... that we needed to work as one in order to preserve both our homes - so diverse and yet so intricately connected...

It was truly a spectacle to see hundreds of kids dressed in Golden-winged Warbler and Cerulean Warbler costumes.

Of course, some just like to do things their own way!

costume or no costume, these kids were speaking our language: "Respect, protect our birds to ensure biological and cultural diveristy"... i love the idea of cultural diversity being protected alongside biological diversity!

big smiles in the scorching afternoon heat!

Local flare - a "chiva" is traditional means of transportation - a colourfully painted bus with wooden pews... adapted nicely for this parade

of course, kids always want their photo taken!

and they were genuinely interesetd in communication

Books and binoculars are a big hit

Exhausted but elated at the end of the day, we went to a local park to see a few birds and some of the kids borrowed my camera to take a few photos of me and each other

An extraodinary experience that instilled a lot of hope!



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