Change to Competition: ALL children between the ages of 7-13 years old may compete in all three categories!
Helpful Information to Have a Good Chance of Winning!
Below you will find links to resources about the birds of St Maarten – if available online. Scroll further down for specific Tips and Tricks for each of the three different competition assignments. We are looking forward to receiving your submission.
Check here for a full description of the competition including the deadline.
Help with Bird Identification
- ‘Birds of St Maarten Identification Card’ by DCNA
Distributed to all Dutch side primary schools, available for free at The Nature Foundation – out of stock at the moment, new arrivals beginning of 2015 – and available for reference at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library
- For the Drawing Competition: The five birds marked with a star on the bottom half of the ‘Landbirds’ card fit the category of St Martin’s birds who are endemic to our region
- For the Writing Competition: Visiting migratory birds are marked on this card
- ‘The Incomplete Guide to the Wildlife of St Martin’ book by Mark Yokoyama
Available at many schools, the Philipsburg Jubilee Library and online. Great for in depth info on St Martin’s birds and their habitats.
- ‘Birds of the West Indies’ Field Guide Book by Raffaele
Available for reference at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library.
- Birdwatch SXM Articles by Mark Yokoyama
For info on ‘Why birds matter’ and the ‘Joys of birdwatching’. These articles have been published in the Weekender supplement of The Daily Herald and are now available on Facebook Page ‘Wildlife Guide SXM’.
More Bird Info
- Sint Maarten Birding by Binkie van Es
Beautiful photos of recent bird sightings on St Maarten/ St Martin, on Facebook Page ‘Sint Maarten Birding’.
Tips & Tricks
Tips on Making a Good Bird Photo
o Take a camera. Ask your mom or dad to lend you their mobile phone with camera or their digital camera and ask them how to work it. Take the camera along when going outside when ever you can and may. Having a camera along just widens the opportunity to take photos.
o Get as close to the bird as possible:
o Wait around at a feeding place. Find out where the birds around school or your home like to be: where there is water, a fruit tree, lots of insects or blooming bushes and try and sit there sheltered and still so the birds won’t notice your presence.
o Have you got a birdfeeder? Set one up on the porch or near the window of your kitchen or another area you spend a lot of time. You won’t get nearer to any birds anywhere else, and being on the other side of a window means the birds are less likely to spook.
o If you haven’t got a birdfeeder, drop a few seeds or bread crumbs on a rock or fence post. A bowl of water with some sugar dissolved in it attracts Banana Quits and Hummingbirds. A few birds will soon get the message that there is a regular meal to be had.
o Use cars as a hide when in your yard or on the street, or even just to get close to your bird feeder. Works especially well if you have tinted windows, but have a few practices first to see the effect of taking images through the windscreen.
o Dogs. Don’t take them along most of the time. They will scare birds away!
o Know the camera’s options. When taking a photo of a bird, he is sure to fly off as soon as you point the camera at it. Try and find the ‘burst shot’ or ‘spy mode’ options on the camera you are using. The first one takes a lot of pictures during a couple of seconds, so you might have a chance of having a nice action photo in it, the spy mode allows you to put the camera down on something and have it take pictures every say 3 seconds until you stop the camera, the memory card is full or the battery flat.
o Take loads of pictures. With a decent memory card, you can take hundreds of images at no cost, and then either review them instantly on your camera and ditch them straight away, or later on a PC at home or in the class room if you’re making this assignment at school.
More Photographing Bird Tips in the Birdwatch SXM Articles by Mark Yokoyama
The most recent articles are all about photographing birds, they have been published in the Weekender supplement of The Daily Herald end of August and in September. These articles are now available on Facebook Page ‘Wildlife Guide SXM’.
Identifiying the Bird
Part two of the assignment is to identify the bird you took a photo of. Use the ‘Birds of St Maarten’ Identification Card for this. This card is available at all Dutch side primary schools, in the Philipsburg Jubilee Library and can be picked up for free at The Nature Foundation.
How to Draw a Bird
How to Draw a Bird
Check out the second part of this animated WikiHow article: How to Draw a Traditional Bird in 7 Steps.
For a more detailed description check out How to Draw a Bird
To make sure you’re drawing a bird which lives on St Maarten and is endemic to the Lesser Antilles region (who only lives in this area) choose one of the five birds marked with a star on the bottom half of the ‘Landbirds’ card of the ‘Birds of St Maarten’ Identification Card which is available at the Dutch side primary schools, the Philipsburg Jubilee Library and you can pick up a card for free at The Nature Foundation.
Writing an Essay
In the Competition Assignment you will find a list of the subjects you can describe in the essay. It’s up to you in which sequence you describe them and whether you sum everything up or make it in to one coherent story.
Check out these 10 Steps for Writing an Essay
To make sure you’re drawing a migratory bird which visits St Maarten, choose one of the birds marked with a flying bird on the ‘Birds of St Maarten’ Identification Card which is available at the Dutch side primary schools, the Philipsburg Jubilee Library or you can pick up a card for free at The Nature Foundation.