Yucatán is a paradise for both birds and bird watchers. We have all enjoyed Cherie Pitillo’s “Backyard Birding” columns in the Yucatan Times, and she tipped us off today about one of her mentors who will be honored tomorrow.
Barbara MacKinnon has documented the peninsula’s bird life for decades. She is “a special person who has dedicated her life here to create a birding culture in the Yucatán Peninsula and helped coordinate the preservation of Sian Ka’an Reserve. She has been and is a wonderful mentor to me,” says Petillo.
She will be recognized for some of her tireless efforts at the unveiling of the photo exhibition “Flying through the Peninsula,” 6 p.m. Saturday in the Siglo XXI Convention Center.
“In addition, you will be thrilled by an incredible photography exposition of other bird photographers,” says Pitillo. “These are also my friends and part of a huge, congenial birding family in the peninsula.”
Her books on the region’s bird life are well-known and her bird-watching manual s used throughout the world.
For seven years, MacKinnon coordinated the Toh Yucatán/Mexico Bird Festival, where in 2009, she presented two interactive CDs, “200 Birds on the Yucatán Peninsula.”
The exhibit, which runs through June 27, consists of a series of images of native birds, as Mexico ranks tenth in bird diversity with about 1,100 species; on the Yucatan Peninsula alone there are 555 species of birds registered.
Originally from Tarrytown, N.Y., MacKinnon has lived in Mexico since 1969, mainly on the Yucatan Peninsula; she was nationalized in 1981 as a Mexican citizen.