Bird Walks and Birding During the Coronavirus Situation

Social distancing, we are told, is vital to ‘flattening the curve’ of the coronavirus, or slowing down the spread.  This means we should all avoid crowds and limit physical contact with our fellow citizens. The San Vito Bird Club respects and agrees with this philosophy.

However we also believe that getting out of the house, breathing fresh air and interacting with nature is important to our health, both mental and physical.  

What better way, what better time than right now, during these days of worry and stress, to do a bit of bird watching?  Could this activity not be an antidote to some of our fears?

The following quote is from New York state’s Department of Environmental Conservation:

‘During the current COVID-19 public health crisis, getting outdoors and connecting with nature is a way to help maintain our mental and physical health.

Scientific studies show that time outside in nature, especially among trees, significantly reduces stress and anxiety, lowers blood pressure, improves mood, energy, and sleep, and boosts the immune system.’

This does not mean we are suggesting a pre-Coronavirus bird walk!  Those walks…always with much hugging, hand shaking and good fellowship…must be suspended for the time being.  BUT THEY WILL BE BACK! Oh yes, they will be back. For now we must keep some distance from each other. Let’s flatten that curve and keep this thing in check.

When the viral world is back to normal, we will announce the resumption of our hugging, hand shaking, good fellowship, constantly talking to each other when you should be watching birds…San Vito Bird Club Bird Walks!  Could be as early as in the next month or two.

So until that time, get out there and do some walking and birding; just you or just you and your loved ones/special ones.  

Where to go?

First of all, the best place to go birding is…where you are.  In Coto Brus there simply are no bad places to go birding. Hell, there are Gray-breasted Martins and House Sparrows at the Rio Java gas station.  So explore your own territory. You’ll be surprised what you’ll see and hear.

The second best place to go birding is…where you AREN’T.  Here are three superb and fairly unfrequented birding spots around San Vito.

  1. The Old Road/Magic Road: This spot has become increasingly popular with birders and may soon become a ‘destination site’.  It’s open and can be dusty but you should see many bird species on both sides of the road. Be sure to listen as well as watch.  Now is a great time to learn some of our local bird songs. This road is between the closed brown gate (closest to San Vito) of El Tangaral and the perfectly maintained light blue house.  Bring plenty of water and good shoes (a bit up-and-downy).
  2. The Sansonetti Road: We all know the cut-in-half car advertising La Chiminea, right?  It’s just past Finca Cantaros. That road goes up over the hill and comes out by the San Vito International Airport.  Check out the many flowering Inga trees along the road; they have white ‘floofy’ flowers. ‘Floofy’ is an Alison word.
  3. The Tres Rios Road: On the main road at the Neilly end of the San Vito Hospital is a mini-super.  Turn down that unpaved road and keep going down. When you come to a nice, shady, riverside spot…park your car and go birding.  Look for the white Vulture up on the hillside. Spend some time looking into the flowering Porro trees. See the Oropendola nests in one of them.

FYI: The best times to go birding are dawn and dusk.  We suggest the hours of 6am to 9:30am or 4:00pm to 6:00pm.

So for now, get out there!  And stay healthy, both menatlly and physically.

Contact Greg Homer with your birding question/concerns:

(photo courtesy of Helen LeVasseur)

Special Bird Walk: La Troja! Sunday, March 8

Please see the attached information below. Our friend and neighbor, Jose Luis, owner of Restaurante La Troja in Limoncito is having a bird walk this coming Sunday, March 8th at 9:00am.

The trails of La Troja are truly special. The La Troja habitat, a bit drier than San Vito should offer several bird species rarely seen up here.

La Troja is about a 20 minute drive from downtown San Vito. Please try to carpool.

There will be no San Vito Bird Club walk on that day.

Let’s Have a Bird Walk: Sunday, Feb. 23

Please join the San Vito Bird Club for our regular Bird Walk, this coming Sunday, Feb. 23rd at 7:30 am. The walk begins at the Recepcion office of the Wilson Botanical Garden (Las Cruces) and will conclude up at the Comedor, where we can chat, have coffee and good fellowship.

Binoculars and field guides available as needed. Hope to see you there!

Streaked Saltator: photo courtesy of Alison Olivieri

Bird Walk Sunday!

Please join Greg Homer and the San Vito Bird Club for our next bird walk.

Sunday, Jan. 26 at the Wilson Botanical Garden (Las Cruces). Meet at Recepcion at 7:30am. Binoculars available as needed.

Who knows? We might spot the SVBC ‘logo bird’; the Turquoise Cotinga! It was spotted nearby very recently. Hope you can join us.

Bird Walk Tomorrow: Sunday, October 27!

Northern Waterthrush: a migrant to watch for! Photo by Gail Hull

Please join us for a free Bird Walk at the Wilson Botanical Garden tomorrow morning, October 27, at 7:30 a.m.

As usual, we will meet at the Reception Building and have binoculars and bird guides to share.

Many migrants have arrived in the past several weeks so we will look for them as well as whatever other beauties we can find.

Look forward to seeing you there!


Sunday, Sept. 22: Let’s Have a Bird Walk!

Please join Alison Olivieri, Greg Homer and the San Vito Bird Club for our Sunday Bird Walk: September 22nd.

Meet us at the Recepcion office in the Wilson Botanical Garden (OTS Las Cruces) at 7:30 am. Binoculars available as needed. Bring the kids.

Northern migrant birds are arriving in great numbers and, if you haven’t noticed, butterflies have arrived with stupendous diversity.

Hope you can join us.

Golden-winged Warbler: a northern migrant bird.

Bird Walk Photo Challenge/Reto de Fotos en la Caminata

The San Vito Bird Club and the Pajareros del Sur have many excellent photographers, so let’s try something new on this next bird walk (Sunday, March 10th at the Sansonetti finca).

A Bird Walk Photo Challenge!  Here’s how it works:

  1. Each week, following the bird walk, we will review bird photographs taken during the walk. Photographers may offer a single photo for review.
  2. The very best photo taken during the walk will win a prize (something like a pastry from the bakery).  A panel of three non-photographers will make the selection.
  3. We will share that photo on the website!

Good luck and good shooting!


No Bird Walk on Sunday, Feb. 24

Sorry fellow birding enthusiasts but we will not be having our regular San Vito Bird Club bird walk on Sunday, Feb. 24th.

HOWEVER…please join us the following Sunday, March 3rd for our big, big, big San Vito Bird Club Annual Meeting (at Cascata del Bosco)!

Details about the meeting coming soon!


Detectives de Aves teachers Carla Azofeifa and Paula Mesen with SVBC President Peter Wendell. Photo by Alison Olivieri

Bird Walk: Sunday, Feb. 10th

Please join the San Vito Bird Club for a 7:30am bird walk at the Wilson Botanical Garden (Las Cruces Station).  Meet at Reception for a brief update on SVBC activities then a walk through the lower gardens where many of the trees are filled with fruit and hopefully many birds!

Binoculars available as needed.

(photo courtesy of Helen LeVasseur)