Nuevo Vallarta, Mexico - A minimum of 25,000 people is expected to participate in Global Bird Weekend 2020, a virtual event to be held October 17-18 of the current year. The event is the initiative of Global Birding in association with BirdLife International, eBird, and Swarovski Optik. The Riviera Nayarit, one of the top bird watching regions in Mexico, has also joined the program.
The event encompasses eBird's October Big Day, with the goal of establishing a world record for the most birds sighted by the greatest number of people on this weekend of maximum bird migration.
Global Bird Weekend emerged as an alternative to the in-person sighting events that had to be cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although international travel was cancelled and people had to stay home, on the positive side, more people than ever have become more aware of their local natural environment.
"We don't recommend international travel for this event. We want people to stay in their own country, ideally close to home, to minimize our carbon footprint. Let everyone celebrate their love of nature and birds from around the world in their own area and backyard," said the organizers.
They added that all species count, from the most common to the rarest, and each bird is as important as the next. "So, wherever you are in the world - in your garden, your local park, a nature reserve, a wetland or the ocean, deep in a forest or high in the most remote mountains - every bird sighting counts," they reiterated.
The best "birding" destination
The Riviera Nayarit is home to some of the best birding hot spots in Mexico, especially between the months of October and March. Observation opportunities abound from Sayulita to the San Blas mangroves, including the San Pancho and El Pozo estuaries, and the La Tovara natural reserve. This makes it a very attractive destination for the world's extensive bird-watching tourist market.
The area around San Blas has up to seven different types of ecosystems. The numerous natural estuaries and coastal mangroves are a tropical home for up to 250 endemic species; however, up to 80% of the bird population during the winter months consists of North American migratory birds.
Other notable places for this activity are Isla del Coral, Isla del Cangrejo, Chacala, La Vejiga Lagoon, El Quelele Lagoon, La Cortada Lagoon, Isla Isabel, the San Cristobal Mangrove Estuary, Islas Marietas, El Pozo Mangrove Estuary, Singayta, Tecuitata, and Zoquipan, which are home to unique bird species such as magpies, herons, gulls, pelicans, frigates, swallows, and, of course, the brown- and blue-footed boobies.
Participate in the Global Bird Weekend 2020!
1. Register HERE for the world record event
2. Go out Bird watching on Saturday, October 17, and register as many different bird species as possible on the globalbirding.org website.
3. On Sunday, October 18, every birder should take their camera, phone, or even drawing pad, to their favorite bird watching area and share their sightings in these places with their new global buddies by posting their photos on Global Birding's social media channels, tagging everything with #GlobalBirdWeekend and #GlobalBirding.
One of the most important points of this virtual event is that it includes a special section for fundraising, which will be used towards the conservation project to end the illegal bird trade. Click HERE for more information.
Remember, Mexico's Pacific Treasure will be here when you're ready to travel.