Between September and November of 2013, a dedicated group of raptor counters from SELVA and the Tacarcuna Reserve recorded a remarkable 623,149 raptors of seven species. This excellent count was made over the village of Sapzurro on the border with Panama, in the Colombian Darién. Only four other sites in the Americas have recorded counts over half a million birds, putting the Sapzurro watchsite not only within the top 5 sites for raptors in the Americas but within the top 10 sites in the World.
To celebrate this phenomenon, SELVA and the Tacarcuna Reserve carried out a series of educational activities in and around Sapzurro, culminating in a parade through the village. During the parade, children from the local school wore raptor masks that they themselves had created. It is hoped that this migration festival will be repeated in future years and that the observation of migrating raptors becomes a source of tourist revenue for the local community.
These activities form part of the project Crossing the Caribbean and were made possible through funding from the Rufford Small Grants Foundation.