Once again this year all the bird lovers that visit Banderas Bay will have an opportunity to assist the annual Vallarta Bird Festival. The Banderas Bay Region is home to over 300 species of different birds; a diversity appreciated by the Festival organizers: the Vallarta Bird Conservancy and the Vallarta Botanical Gardens. This year the four-day festival will start on Thursday March 6th and will finish on Sunday, March 9th 2014.
The four days are packed with various birding events, nature walks in unique habitats guided by experts, workshops and lectures by local and international authorities on related topics. The events will take place in a choice of locations of the bay such as Islas Marietas Seabirds Sanctuary, Las Juntas and Los Veranos, Boca de Tomatlan, Las Carmelitas, Vallarta Botanical Gardens, Rancho Primavera, Bioto Road, Provincia Road, El Jorullo, El Salado, and Quelele Lagoon.
One of the workshops available, “Shorebirds Workshop” is a two day event with an introduction to around 40 species of shorebirds on the first day and the tour to Boca de Tomates on the second day. Boca de Tomates is a paradise for bird watchers as it constitutes one of the last undeveloped remnants of the “real Mexico” and is bounded by mangrove ecosystems full of sea, shore, and marsh birds. Another interesting event is a Photo workshop tour for beginners that will provide you with essential tips for finding and photographing birds, as well as for post image processing.
On Saturday, March 8th there will be Bird Identification workshop for kids over 6, with videos and supplementary learning materials. The workshop is free of charge, lasts 1.5 hours and has three schedules available starting at 9:00 am. Some of the events still have the transportation available and the participants will be picked up at chosen spots of the city, and some require you to get to the event location on your own. Remember to check the options before you book the event you like. Transportation by van costs about 30 USD per person per day.
If you plan to attend, don’t forget to wear proper, neutral color clothes, all-terrain shoes (sandals not advised), sun hat or cap, and insect repellent. The organizers recommend dressing in layers as some areas at higher elevations may be slightly cooler than the regular Vallarta temperature. Don’t forget your binoculars and the camera! All tours include a snack and water and lunch is available at extra charge at the Festival venues. If you’re coming to Puerto Vallarta especially for the Bird Festival you may be interested in staying at the Best Western Plus Suites, which is the official festival hotel and all the tours depart and return there. Some of the lectures will also be held at the hotel.
For more information and reservations see the official Vallarta Bird Festival web site.