Osa Peninsula Christmas Bird Count

Red-lored Parrots

This year Friends of the Osa organized the first annual Costa Rica Osa Peninsula Christmas Bird Count, a more than century long Audubon Society tradition.  This year actually marks the 111th Audubon CBC and on December 17th 2010 Friends of the Osa along with Osa Peninsula lodges, the Osa Peninsula Birders Association, Osa bird experts and enthusiasts headed out at dawn and dusk to count as many birds that could be seen, heard or flushed out from under foot.

All throughout the Americas citizen scientist volunteers from Canada down through Argentina come out, in some parts of the world in frigid cold temperatures, to count birds on one single day between December 14th and January 5th as part of a long running tradition in avian conservation and science.  Those of us here in the tropics didn’t need to worry about freezing temperatures.  We were out instead in t-shirts, shorts and our signature black rubber boots with the same eagerness to document the birds of the Osa this year and for years to come.

Common Tody-Flycatcher

We covered an area the size of a 15 mile diameter circle that included Puerto Jimenez, Playa Sandalo, Dos Brazos, Matapalo, the National Wildlife Refuge and Carate just south of Corcovado National Park.  Each participant walked routes and trails through lush tropical rainforest, palm and almond tree lined beaches, lagoons, creeks and rivers that run through one of the most biodiverse areas on the planet; the Osa Peninsula.

The Christmas Bird Count helps protect bird species and their habitats.  Data collected from volunteers is used by biologists and other interested parties to study the long-term health and status of bird populations throughout the Americas and to see how populations have changed over time and space over the last 111 years.  Scientists have used CBC data to detect birds in decline from fragmentation and/or loss of habitat and effects on populations from climate change as well.  We will now be able to include Osa birds in Audubon’s database to help protect and conserve them for years to come.

We would like to thank Luna Lodge, Bosque del Rio Tigre Lodge, Iguana Lodge, Lapa Rios, Bosque del Cabo, El Remanso, the Osa Peninsula Birding Association, and many individuals that participated in the count.  Lets do it again next year!

For more information and history on the Audubon Christmas Bird Count visit http://birds.audubon.org/christmas-bird-count

Also visit our website at http://www.osaconservation.org

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