Since 2012, Hong Kong Bird Watching Society (HKBWS) has been implementing Hong Kong Fishpond Conservation Scheme, which aims to promote fishpond conservation through habitat management, research and education. This year marks the 10th anniversary of the scheme. To celebrate the anniversary and also World Migratory Bird Day, a 3-week exhibition was held from 29 September to 19 October 2022 in TKO Plaza, which mainly targets young families nearby. Through exhibition panels, display of decoy and bird-ringing tools, we aim to promote our 10-year-effort on fishpond conservation in HK for migratory birds along EAAF, and arouse public’s awareness on importance of fishpond.
In the exhibition, we also invited local eco-artist, Ankie@WeaveBeing, to design a set of art installation for our anniversary. The installation included a Giant Black-faced Spoonbills made by raven and bamboo, and 4 Giant fishnets. The whole concept is based on the daily lives in fishponds that, Black-faced Spoonbills rely on fishpond to forage in their daily lives, and fishermen rely on fishponds to earn a living. The artist wished to deliver a message that human and birds can live harmoniously in fishpond through her art installation. In addition, public were invited to write their messages to birds, conservationists or fishpond operators on mullet cards after visiting the exhibition. The 1000 cards drawn by the audience were then hung on the giant fishnet as a form of collective art in the exhibition, which looked like the bumper harvesting of mullets in HK fishponds.
Apart from the visual display, we also had diverse interactive elements to engage the visitors. Game cards with 8 questions about fishpond conservation were distributed to participants. All the answers could be found in the exhibition panels. If participants get all the answers correct, they can win a sticker as gift. Visitors were invited to like HKBWS’s Facebook and Instagram to obtain timely updated information of birds. A metal pin was given when the participants finished the game card and like our social media. In the exhibition, a total of 989 participants joined the game and won the pins, while 483 of them also won the metal bird pin!
Besides, binoculars were provided to visitors to experience “bird watching”. A panel with ringed birds were displayed. Some of the birds also carried message of WMBD2022 – “Dim the lights for birds at night!”. Hence, when participants tried the binoculars, they could read the message. Our onsite volunteers introduced more WMBD and migratory birds to participants too. Also, in weekends, kids could learn net-casting like fishermen and learn the pond fish farming culture in fishpond. Our mascot, Mullet-kun, showed up and greeted visitors at the exhibition during weekends.
Dreamcatcher-making and needle-felt bird pin workshops were organised on weekends during the exhibition period. 36 participants joined the needle felt bird pin workshop, and made the Black-faced Spoonbill and Garganey pins. They could also know more about the 2 migratory birds in the workshop as well.
The 3-week event attracted over 50,000 public to visit. 4 media in HK shared the event online. The activity was also listed on 2 online event listing platforms.
Article by Hong Kong Bird Watching Society. Learn more about their work: website.