Two new species reported in the La Selva Christmas Bird Count
Two new species were reported in the foothills of Braulio Carrillo National Park, during the La Selva Christmas Bird Count, held on December 17, 2016.
The Northern Harrier (Circus cyaneus) and Yellow-winged Tanager (Thraupis abbas) species were included in the list of one of the oldest bird counts of the Neotropics, organized by the La Selva Biological Station. The La Selva Christmas Bird Count, in its 32nd edition, nourishes a database of immense value for preserving our tropical birds.
The importance of this bird count, explains Orlando Vargas, coordinator of the activity, lies in the fact that “bird lovers want to know the new distribution of species, their movements, and recent findings.” Additionally, “the identification of new sites where birds circulate helps guides locate them while working with natural history visitors or researchers”.
Although 32 years counting birds provides a lot of data, Orlando identifies as a challenge to determine the reasons why some species arrive to a specific site. “These are issues without an answer yet, we have to study a little bit further, and keep feeding the data base with new information.”
The La Selva Christmas Bird Count comprises an area of 452 km2. During its first edition in 1985, 290 species and 5,792 individuals were reported. For the current bird count, “the excellent participation of birdwatchers and the optimal weather conditions allowed counting 347 species and 12,865 individuals”, stated Enrique Castro, who also coordinated this activity.
Both coordinators deeply thanked the 127 participants, for 282 hours of birdwatching activity in a trajectory of 421 km, walking, by car and boat throughout different circuits within the La Selva Biological Station and the surrounding areas. Furthermore, they made a special acknowledgment to the compilers Joel Alvarado and James Zook.
The next bird count will be on December 16, 2017.
We invite you to visit the La Selva Christmas Bird Count web site.
Photographer: Adriana Molina