Celebrating Global Big Day 2020 online in Panama!

May 9th, 2020
Altos de Valle Dorado, Panama

Due to COVID-19, it was not possible for Panamanians to leave their homes to participate in this year’s, Global Big Day. However, this did not stop people from wanting to celebrate! In Altos de Valle Dorado in Panama, the local community created and shared a promotional video and flyers for Global Big Day on WhatsApp with local families. Olmedo Frago created a meeting on the online platform, Zoom, to coordinate activities families could take part in from their homes! This way everyone would be able to celebrate the Global Big Day without being exposed to the risks of the current pandemic.

Photo by Olmedo Frago

The result was amazing! People in Altos de Valle Dorado loved watching their local birds and sharing their bird observations. Global Big Day 2020 was an amazing opportunity for people to share their observations from home and add them to the many other observations made by thousands of people around the world! It also helped them distract themselves from the current health emergency that is happening.

The Zoom meeting had many participants! Moms and dads with their children were very excited as they took part in the activities. Unfortunately, some families that were interested in participating were not able to attend the online meeting. However, it was possible to reach a large number of homes in the community, and for those who could not make it, other means were used to transmit the information. In the online the meeting, participants learned tips and information on to identify birds.

Photo by Olmedo Frago

The event also talked about the importance of the Isthmus of Panama in the migration of many species. Participants also learned about what makes a group of birds live in some parts of the country and not in others. Some of these factors are altitude, access to food, habitat, temperature, and many other things. Lastly, participants learned about eBird and the Merlin Bird ID and how to use these applications as tools to learn and share their bird watching observations with the world. Very exciting!

At the end of the online event, everyone discussed how they would continue their observations and reporting them after the Global Big Day 2020. Realizing how excited and enthusiastic everyone was, a meeting was created to celebrate Global Big Day online with everyone. Chelina Batista, a bird specialist, and companion of the Adopta organization were all invited to speak on the day of the event. 

The event was a complete success in the Altos de Valle Dorado community. Families loved observing and identifying the birds they saw during the online Global Big Day 2020. It was amazing to be able to connect with so many people online during this difficult time! Perhaps the most important thing is that the event helped everyone share the joy of birds with their families and loved ones without even having to leave their homes! 

Picture by Olmedo Frago

Usually, the bird watchers in this community followed their passions independently. However, due to the current situation they found an amazing opportunity to gather with their neighbors and the people int he community to organize this online event! To celebrate this effort, a webinar organized by a webinar organized by the NGO Adopta (Guido Berguido in charge) interviewed Professor Olmedo on the experience of organizing this kind of event in the community during Global Big Day for birdwatching.

Community-led Professor Olmedo Frago is in the process of organizing new activities to carry out other bird observation workshops with children of Altos de Valle Dorado. These activities will focus on the use of binoculars, bird identification, using Panama’s bird book, the Celebrating Urban Birds brochure, the Merlin Bird ID, and the eBird platform. The community is excited to see what amazing things may come out of this!

Enjoy this amazing promotional video:

Video by Olmedo Frago

The article was written by Ashley Calderon and Julia Luna

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