Vallarta Botanical Garden's Bird Festival 2017
Neil Gerlowski - Vallarta Botanical Garden
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February 16, 2017

The Puerto Vallarta region is home to a host of bird diversity with over 300 species within just an hour or so from downtown Puerto Vallarta and over 500 species within a five-hour drive from here!

Just within the Vallarta Botanical Garden alone, over 200 different species of birds have been observed and documented on, a citizen science project of the National Audubon Society and The Cornell Lab of Ornithology. During the annual Vallarta Bird Festival, this abundant avifauna is observed, studied, and celebrated by an enthusiastic group of local residents and international visitors.

This year, accomplished international sculptor and bird aficionado Todd McGrain will be the festival’s guest of honor. He will present screenings of his documentary “The Lost Bird Project” at both the Juan Luis Cifuentes Auditorium of the University of Guadalajara’s local “CUC” campus and at the Vallarta Botanical Garden. Todd’s documentary covers his work in creating and installing enormous bronze masterpieces memorializing North American birds that have sadly been driven to extinction by human error. The topic, while grim, can help raise awareness for those species that are now endangered and will go extinct if we don’t do something to stop the threats against them and their critical habitats.

Mexico is the only country in North America not yet graced by one of Todd’s evocative bird sculptures. Mexico’s now extinct endemic Imperial Woodpecker (Campephilus imperialis) would be an excellent candidate for a memorial statue, and Jalisco’s pine forests, such as those that begin along the fringes of the Vallarta Botanical Garden, were at the heart of this majestic bird’s former range. With any luck, Todd will find sufficient inspiration to create a sculpture in coastal Jalisco and the Puerto Vallarta community will see the value in investing in such a memorial to nature.

Preliminary Draft Agenda for the 2017 Vallarta Bird Festival:

March 10
• Early morning Birding on Campus UDG CUC (meet up at entry to the Reptilario)
• Midday Screening of “The Lost Bird Project” Juan Luis Cifuentes Auditorium, UDG CUC

March 11
• Early morning Birding in the Forest VBG (meet up in parking lot at 8:00 am)
• Midday Birding by Ear Workshop VBG, Vallarta Conservatory of Orchids
• Afternoon Screening of “The Lost Bird Project” VBG, Vallarta Conservatory of Orchids

March 12
• Early morning Birding in the Forest VBG (meet up in parking lot at 8:00 am)
• Midday Presentation of Conservation Initiatives VBG, Vallarta Conservatory of Orchids

The Vallarta Botanical Garden thanks their colleagues at the UDG CUC, especially Dr. Jorge Téllez, Director of the campus’ Division of Biological Sciences and Health, for their collaboration in the Festival.

Equally, the Garden extends it’s gratitude to professional bird guides Alejandro “Alex” Martínez Rodriguez, Greg. R. Homel, Luis Morales, and Francisco García as well as volunteer birding coordinator Nancy Holland for their help with this and past festivals.

There are still opportunities for helping create the 2017 Vallarta Bird Festival. Those interested in learning more and/or offering their assistance should contact and/or

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