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Puerto Vallarta News NetworkTravel & Outdoors 

Botanical Gardens, CUC Host 2017 Vallarta Bird Festival

March 8, 2017

Vallarta Bird Festival 2017 activities will include bird watching and the premiere of The Lost Bird Project, a documentary by creator and renowned sculptor Todd McGrain, who will participate in the 2017 Festival.

Puerto Vallarta, Jalisco, Mexico - Neil Gerlowski, Executive Director at the Vallarta Botanical Garden, in conjunction with the University of Guadalajara's Puerto Vallarta Campus (Centro Universitario de la Costa, or CUC) recently announced the upcoming Vallarta Bird Festival 2017, to take place March 10-12, 2017, at the CUC campus (March 10) and the Vallarta Botanical Garden (March 11-12).

"We at the Vallarta Botanical Garden are very excited to receive the participation of renowned sculptor Todd McGrain for our 2017 edition of the Vallarta Bird Festival," commented Gerlowski. "Todd's evocative bird sculptures, along with his thought-provoking documentary about extinct bird species in North America, have inspired a new generation of conservationists. The opportunity to celebrate Vallarta's rich avifauna alongside such a special guest is a real treat for all of us."

A highlight of this year's Vallarta Bird Festival will be the Mexican premiere of Todd McGrain's poignant documentary, The Lost Bird Project, an account of how he managed to install memorial sculptures of birds driven to extinction by human actions in the locations where these particular species once thrived.

The documentary will be screened twice; first at the University of Guadalajara, Puerto Vallarta Campus, on Friday, March 10, at 1 pm; then at the Vallarta Botanical Garden on Saturday, March 11, at 11 am. The artist will be present at both screenings, and will be available to answer questions about his ongoing projects, and the possibility of a similar installation in Puerto Vallarta, commemorating an extinct bird whose former range included the mountains of Jalisco.

Mexico is the only country in North America not yet graced by one of Todd's evocative bird sculptures. Mexico's now extinct endemic Imperial Woodpecker (Campephilus imperialis) would be an excellent candidate for a memorial sculpture, and Jalisco's pine forests, such as those that begin along the fringes of the Vallarta Botanical Garden, were at the heart of this majestic bird's former range. With any luck, Todd will find sufficient inspiration to create a sculpture in coastal Jalisco, and the Puerto Vallarta community will see the value in investing in such a memorial to nature.

The Puerto Vallarta region is home to a host of bird diversity with over 300 species within just an hour or so from downtown Puerto Vallarta, and over 500 species within a five-hour drive from here. Just within the Vallarta Botanical Garden alone, over 200 different species of birds have been observed and documented on, a citizen science project of the National Audubon Society and The Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology. During the annual Vallarta Bird Festival, this abundant avifauna is observed, studied, and celebrated by an increasingly enthusiastic group of local residents and international visitors.

The Vallarta Bird Festival 2017 includes the activities described below, available to the general public. Activities at the CUC campus are available free of charge, and those at the Vallarta Botanical Garden are available for the standard $150 peso admission fee. The CUC campus is located at Av. Universidad 203, Ixtapa. The Vallarta Botanical Garden is located approximately 40 minutes south of Puerto Vallarta along Carr. 200. For more information about the Vallarta Bird Festival, please call (322) 223-6182.

Agenda for the Vallarta Bird Festival 2017

March 10, 8 am • CUC Campus
Birding on Campus (Meet up at the entry to the Reptilario)

March 10, 1 pm • CUC Campus
Screening of Todd McGrain's "The Lost Bird Project"
Mini Auditorio de Rectoría, CUC Campus

March 11, 8 am • Vallarta Botanical Garden
Birding in the Forest (Meet up at parking lot, 8 am)

March 11, 11 am • Vallarta Botanical Garden
Screening of Todd McGrain's "The Lost Bird Project"
Vallarta Conservatory of Orchids

March 11, 1 pm • Vallarta Botanical Garden
Birding by Ear Workshop
Vallarta Conservatory of Orchids

March 12, 8 am • Vallarta Botanical Garden
Birding in the Forest (Meet up at parking lot, 8 am)

March 12, 11 am • Vallarta Botanical Garden
Presentation of Conservation Initiatives
Vallarta Conservatory of Orchids

Located 30 minutes south of Old Town at Km. 24 on Highway 200, Vallarta Botanical Gardens offer something to keep every age group happy; from a Rose Garden for the romantic to jungle trails for the adventurous and a Carnivorous Plants area for the younger generation! The Botanical Gardens' vibrant and elegant settings also offer the perfect venue for weddings and special occasions. For more information, call (322) 223-6182 or visit

Click HERE to learn more about Vallarta Botanical Gardens.