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The Peregrine Fund Notes From The Field
First Annual Harpy Eagle Day Celebration a Resounding Success!
Marta Curti — in Neotropical Environmental Education Program    Share
Harpy Eagle Day
Harpy Eagle Day
On 10 April 2002 the Harpy Eagle was officially and legally declared the National Bird of Panama. To celebrate the third anniversary of this important event and to spread the message about raptor conservation to more Panamanians, the Environmental Education department of The Peregrine Fund-Panama decided to host a Harpy Eagle Day Celebration, called “Festiarpia.” After months of planning and organizing, the big day finally arrived on Sunday, 10 April 2005.

All in all, the event was more successful than we could have imagined. Over 18 different conservation, artisan, and humanitarian organizations from Panama contributed to the event by having stands, displays, and materials available to the public. Some of the contributing organizations included the Embera, EcoPolice, Ministry of Education, Mission: Harpy Eagle, Piggy Press Books, The Peace Corps, Explora, Asociación Amigos del Bosque, Panama Canal Authority, American Field Service, Panama Verde, Patronato: Friends of the Harpy Eagle, and Metropolitan Park.

Flying of Harpy Eagle
Flying of Harpy Eagle

The day’s events included face painting, obstacle courses, sack races and other games, a raffle, and, the most popular event, the flying of our education Harpy Eagle. We also hosted a raptor costume contest and parade for children and adults. Three finalists were chosen from each age category and winners were awarded Peregrine Fund t-shirts and hats along with other great prizes donated from Dunkin’ Donuts, Exedra Books, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, and Space Play World. Ancon Expeditions also donated prizes for a Raptor Quiz contest.

Raptor costume contest at Harpy Eagle Day
Raptor costume contest at Harpy Eagle Day
Approximately 500 adults and children came out to enjoy the day’s events and we received positive feedback from everyone. For many, it was their first time seeing a live Harpy Eagle up close. This event also provided many people with the chance to learn about the many different organizations in Panama working for conservation and education throughout the country. Though it was a lot of work for the Environmental Education team to plan and organize, the effort was well worth it and we are already looking forward to next year!

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