The Toucan Ridge Ecology and Education Society (T.R.E.E.S.) in Belize was awarded a binocular Optics for the Tropics mini-grant from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, thanks to Optics for the Tropics. Since receiving the binoculars T.R.E.E.S. has been busy observing birds! They have housed many guests, interns, and school groups eager to learn about some of the incredible species of birds found in Belize. The addition of these binoculars have allowed for a much better viewing experience.
Many of their visitors are led on bird walks by their avian biologists. Over 300 species have been recorded at T.R.E.E.S. on the network of trails that runs through different habitats on the 200-acre property. Local student groups regularly attend some of their bird banding sessions. During these sessions the students learn about avian research and science. The binoculars are ever present as students identify birds at the research site!
For many of the students this is their first time birding. The new binoculars allow T.R.E.E.S. to provide the best possible first experience. Encouraging the younger generation will ultimately help future bird conservation!
For several years the station has conducted bird surveys along a 1km loop of trail. This allows weekly determination of when species are entering and exiting the area and allows tracking of migrations. Because of the binoculars guests and interns are now encouraged to join on these 1-hour transects!