Written by Meredith Gutowski Morhouse/WHSRN
The San Antonio Bay Shorebird Festival in Rio Negro, Argentina, has become one of the biggest local events to have a major impact on the country and even the Southern Cone. The festival is renowned both for the originality of its activities and the degree of coordination among the local actors, as well as for its artistic materials and call to action. San Antonio Bay is a WHSRN Site of International Importance and a critical resource during the long migration of rufa Red Knots (Calidris canutus rufa), a subspecies of high conservation concern.
The nongovernmental organization Inalafquen Foundation, in collaboration with various public and private institutions, merchants, and neighbors, welcomed the community to join in celebrating the bay’s 5th Annual Shorebird Festival last weekend, 22 and 23 March. Most activities took place in the Plaza Luis Piedra Buena in the village of Las Grutas.
The festival’s many interesting activities are listed below, but you can see the entire program and schedules on the public Festival Facebook page (no account required).
MIGRATION: A reading and writing workshop for adults.
FLYING BIRD: Aerial trip. Win a trip for 3 people to see San Antonio Bay as the shorebirds do – by air!
PAINTING THE SKIES: A collective mural-painting workshop.
FOOTPRINTS: Mosaic and sculpture workshop for kids 7–11 years old. We will work on a story and paint it on tiles.
FLIGHT WITHIN FLIGHT. “Stop Motion” video workshop for kids 10 and older. The resulting video from this activity will be sent to kids at other festivals.
GAME BOOTHS: 10 stations with themed games to learn all about shorebirds: what are they, the different species, migratory routes, feeding, molting, banding, etc. Includes raffles and prizes.
SHOWS: Theater performances, puppets, and music in the square.
NATURE WALK AND BIRDING: We will walk along the wetland towards Flight Latitude 40 Nature Center to visit a birding area and have a guided tour.
Three lucky festival-goers won a shorebird’s-eye view of San Antonio Bay this weekend!
Additionally, and for the first time, an art contest was held prior to the festival, with the theme “Flights that inspire, skies that connect.” An international jury, chaired by renowned Argentine artist and illustrator Aldo Chiappe, selected 24 works which were exhibited at Las Grutas Cultural Center from 22 to 24 March. Surpassing all expectations, the contest rules and shorebird materials were sent to over 3,500 applicants and a total of 425 pieces of art were submitted from around the world! Argentina, Uruguay, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Colombia, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Mexico, United States of America, Spain, Italy, Germany, and Bulgaria! The winner was Natalia Raquel Bogado, a talented 22-year-old artist from Argentina, for her piece entitled “Arrivals”. ¡Felicitaciones!
Please visit and “Like” the public Festival Facebook page to see all the news from this year’s event.
For more information, contact Ms. Mirta Carbajal (firstname.lastname@example.org), President, Inalafquen Foundation, San Antonio Oeste, Argentina.