Observing Birds in the Biosphere Reserve in the Central Volcanic Mountain Range of Costa Rica!

April 30th – May 30th, 2019
Alajuela, Costa Rica

Through its Motmot Inititative Project in Costa Rica, a citizen science community science program, the Guaravito Sustainability and Conservation organization (Guaravito Sustentabilidad y Conservación) has led great activities on the conservation of the local environment. The participants in these educational and entertaining activities are children from different schools, their families and teachers, youth and adults, and anyone who wants to enjoy observing and protecting birds in the Province of Alajuela, Costa Rica!

With the support of educational and binocular materials from the mini-grant of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Optics for the Tropics, the participants were able to learn more about the birds in their environment!

During the observations, participants learned about the importance of environmental conservation and the little equipment needed to observe the birds. All that is needed is a passion for bird conservation and the natural environment! Participants also learned about the benefits of bird watching, and how nature can be used as a tool to connect with family members. In addition, they participated in a discussion on conservation and citizen science.

Throughout the workshop they worked with the SULA Environmental Association (Asociación Ambientalista SULA), an organization dedicated to the conservation of the environment. People of all ages were invited to participate in these wonderful activities. The observations were made in the Virgin (La Virgen) forest, which protects the aquifers (bodies of water from underground sources in rocky terrains), of Carrizal de Alajuela. The time of the bird observations was perfect because it coincided with the season of bird migration! The participants were very excited when they could closely see the passing birds of the region through binoculars. All of the participants were very motivated when they realized they could identify birds by name, using field guides to identify birds.They also downloaded eBird, an application on their mobile phones to help identify and report more easily the birds they observe!

On the other hand, there was also a bird watching walk with people from the city of Alajuela in the Children’s Park of the Alba María Urbanization. Thanks to the support of the Kiosko Vivo group, the participants planted trees and other plants to attract pollinators. They also collected the garbage they found in the park and its surroundings.

At the end of the activities, a community picnic was held, with healthy food and free of plastic. In addition, a cultural activity was enjoyed, thanks to the itinerant library of the Menari Children’s Reading Club. The participants left happy and eager to continue participating in the efforts for the conservation of birds and their habitats in the region.

Many thanks to the organization Trini Azul and the Development Association of La Trinidad, of the Biosphere Reserve of the Central Volcanic Mountain Range. Through their efforts to protect one of the richest regions of the country people can observe the amazing birds present in their community!

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