Chances are you have seen a large number of birds flying over Ancon Hill as a sign of the migration season. They come between September and October, millions of them. From March to April, they start flying back North. Their strategy is to make use of our geographic position. They either stop at well-planned checkpoints or stay close to coasts and forests. This is how they escape winter temperatures.
The Republic of Panama is a land bridge connecting North and South America. We can find a wide variety of migratory birds in a small territory. In fact, 177 out of the 1002 bird species reported in Panama are migratory. Each of them with their own story. This is the highlight of the temporary exhibition of Biomuseo: “El cielo cubierto de infinitas aves”. In place starting from October 20, 2017.
Migration is a natural wonder which has long captivated the attention of researchers. The seasonal comings and goings of birds is a fascinating subject to many people. It has been like that for centuries. Now scientists found the way of observing their every single movement. They gather valuable information useful for creating and improving conservation plans. All this for protecting these species, their habitats, and their survival.
It is critical to understand which resources they need, the routes that they use, and what is the current situation of their populations. Migratory birds are faithful to their routes. They travel to make use of abundant resources through their journey. But, sometimes they find a new neighborhood, and decide to move to this new place, instead of returning to the usual cold places. The mangroves in Panama Bay is one of their favorite spots. Up to two million migratory birds have been counted there. A world record!
Panama Bay wetlands are of a tremendous importance. So important that, after a lengthy process, the Audubon Society of Panama achieved the goal of having this area designated as a Wetland of International Important by Ramsar in 2003. Then, in 2015, it was designated as a wildlife refuge within the national system of protected areas (Sistema Nacional de Áreas Protegidas) in Panama.
With “El cielo cubierto de infinitas aves”, Biomuseo wants to inform about how important it is to preserve nature. We need more people to understand the importance of our biodiversity, and take pride in it. This is the only way of having more partners for the protection of our natural heritage.
This new temporary exhibition adds to the purpose of the “Worlds Collide” Gallery. Since the emergence of the Isthmus of Panama, this land has become a bridge uniting North and South America, opening the door to a continuous migration of species; an event that can still be seen happening every year.
Bird-watching is an excellent way of exploring Panama. Join any of the expeditions organized by the Audubon Society of Panama. They have scheduled activities all year round, including hiking for beginners at the Parque Natural Metropolitano (Natural Metropolitan Park).