Your Bi-weekly ‘Tiny Moment’

From Alison Olivieri

This was a tiny shock of recognition and not much needs to be said as the keen birders you all are will spot the juvenile Fiery-billed Aracari immediately.

We were verandah-watching with our good friends Helen LeVasseur and Greg Homer several months ago, eyeing the Banana Dehydration Station, when a band of these rogues landed all around us.

And there among them was the youngster — a first for us even after all these years of admiring each and every arrival.

Photo, with joy, by Alison Olivieri

Your Bi-Weekly–‘Tiny Moment’

From SVBC Member Judy Richardson

Now that the tomatoes are ripening, I set my “Have a Heart” trap daily to catch the naughty Chipmunks. 

So far this year, I’m up to ten that I take on a ride to a new, grassy home across town!

I’ve caught two naughty Red Squirrels, but they are so darn cute that I just release them.

But checking the trap is always a surprise! Yesterday there was a Song Sparrow, and last week there was a Catbird! They obviously loved the bait…peanut butter! Who knew?!

Drum Roll Please . . .

Sending thanks to Nancy Nelson and Dan Fender for starting our recent Teacher Transport Fund Challenge — we have more than doubled their lead gift thanks to the following generous supporters:

Denise Dausey

Helen and Greg Homer

Catherine Lindell

Dorothy MacKinnon

Alison and Michael Olivieri

Judy Richardson

Jean Schroeder

Lydia Vogt

Recently, the teachers are working far afield, bringing the Detectives de Aves course to students in La Casona, Agua Buena, Chanengua and other remote locations. Most are without cars so we rely on busses, taxis and willing drivers to get them where they need to go.

The Transport Fund is an enormous help with the rising costs of fares and gas! We can’t possibly thank Nancy and Dan enough for their far- sighted and successful Challenge.

Bird Walk this Sunday at the Wilson Botanical Gardens/ Caminata para ver aves este domingo al jardín botánico Wilson

It’s past time for another bird walk. I was hoping someone who is actually a good birder would be around to lead, but it looks like there’s just me 🙂 So, if you like to get together, enjoy the beautiful gardens, some, hopefully, interesting company, and try to figure out together what birds we are seeing, please join me at 7:30 in front of the Recepción. As usual, a small or large breakfast will be available, as well as binoculars for those who need them. If your planning to come, please fill out THIS form so I can let the staff at the gardens know.

Nos falta mucho una caminata juntos para ver aves. Desgraciadamente, el único guía disponible es yo 🙂 Pues, si quisiera disfrutar del jardín, las aves, los compañeros e intentar determinar juntos cuales especies vemos, por favor venga a la recepción a las 7:30 este domingo. Habrá disponible un desayuno grande o pequeño si haya interés, y binoculares también. Si intenta venir, por favor llena ESTE formulario para que puedo avisar el jardín. ¡Gracias!

Open House at the WBG! / ¡El Día de las puertas abiertas al jardín botánico Wilson!

Please help support the Wilson Botanical Gardens and have fun, too! This Saturday is Open House Day once again after a long, pandemic break. It starts at 9 AM. Don’t miss it!

¡Por favor apoye el jardín botánico Wilson y divertirse también! El día de las puertas abiertas volverá este sábado después más de 2 años Todo empiece a las 9. ¡No lo falte!

Sábado Artesano en la finca Cántaros/Artisan Saturday at Finca Cántaros

Este sábado la finca Cántaros sigue con el Sábado Artesano, un espacio que pretende apoyar la economía local artesanal del cantón. Esta vez habrá la exposición de la artesana Edith Lopez, quien realiza bisutería con semillas recolectadas en el bosque, de una manera respetuosa con los recursos naturales. Ella estará en la entrada de la Finca este sábado en horario de atención al público de 9 am a 3 pm.


This Saturday Finca Cántaros continues with its new initiative “Artisan Saturdays,” an activity that supports the local craft economy in our region. The featured artist this week is Edith Lopez, who makes jewelry with seeds collected from the forest in keeping with a philosophy that respects our natural resources. She will be at the entrance of Finca Cántaros this Saturday during our visitor hours from 9am to 3pm.

#FincaCántaros #Artesaníalocal #educaciónambiental

Sunday Walk Rained Out + Pop Quiz

We’ve had unseasonable rain for about a month and the forecast says this will continue for another few days……

Are we tired? Depressed? No: just struggling along with the barometric pressure! It seems more like October than May at the moment.

All of this is to say we will not have a Bird Walk this weekend but we encourage you to go out and look around — in between showers — because, guess what, there are birds’ nests galore out there!

And here’s a Pop Quiz just to keep you sharp! Identify this nest — the first correct answer sent to: alison.w.olivieri@gmail.com wins a prize. We promise.

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A Moment from Al Zucha

My pleasure to meet SVBC members as I am a recent International Member with plans to migrate to San Vito in Spring 2023 with a month-long visit in Aug/Sep 2022. While I’ve been birding for decades, I remain a novice. Since I live on the Houston Ship Channel, shorebirds are a constant. However I looked at the migration patterns and see that Red-winged Blackbirds’ range is to Panama.

Each morning the pup and I watch the chest-bumping patches of red signal dominance for the feeder. One chirps from a nearby shrub and then swoops in — wings back, chest out — and creates space and dominance — if not but for a seed or two. As seed protection, feeder sensitivity is set to to allow two Red-wings at once (finches up to four). Each grabs a seed, hops to the left, cracks seed, dumps hull, and enjoys the effort. “Conk-la-ree!”

Red-wings are ubiquitous on Texas coastal plains. Some flocks register in the tens of thousands. Red-wings were the first wild bird I learned to identify. Maybe that’s why red, black and yellow remain my favorite colors.

Photo by Greg Lasley/VIREO

Tiny Moments

Small bits, brief memories, filling our lives with joy — we all have these! Let us share them, from us to you and you back to us.

We’ll start: every day I walk my small dog and need a sturdy bamboo stick for balance (plus sunglasses, phone and keys). By the time binoculars and, worse, a camera are added it becomes completely unmanageable so the equipment is left at home.

I hear birds all around and see movement everywhere but am forced to concentrate on my steps to stay upright so it can become a vexation.

But suddenly the little dog will stop and spend minutes inspecting one or two blades of grass during which I can look around and this is when the Tiny Moment might happen.

The other day, two Yellow-bellied Elaenias popped onto a nearby wire fence and began to dance, each showing the other both their sides with fully poofed-up crests.

They make a noisy, vomitous call and thus are more often heard than seen. Needless to say this was new, thrilling and an out-of-myself moment — we all live for these!

Please send us one of yours (with photos if you’d like) to me: alison.w.olivieri@gmail.com or Greg Homer: eltangaral@gmail.com.

From The Birds of Panama, a Robert Dean illustration.

Bird Walk this Sunday at the Wilson Botanical Gardens / Caminata para ver aves el próximo domingo al jardín botánico Wilson

Please join us this Sunday at 7 AM at the Wilson Botanical Gardens for a bird walk. The upside of the rainy weather is that everything is now incredibly lush and green and the gardens will be spectacular. Pretty much all of the migrants are gone now, or should be, even the last, stubborn Swainson’s Thrushes, but there are lots of residents to enjoy still. A small and large breakfast will be available after the walk for $5 and $8 respectively. Please fill out THIS form if you are planning to have breakfast. I hope to see you there!

Por favor júntese con nosotros el próximo domingo 8 de mayo al jardín botánico Wilson para una caminata para ver aves. Un aspecto provechoso de la lluvia es que ahorita todo luce muy verde y resplendente en el jardín. Casi todos los migrantes ya se fueron, incluso los últimos Swainson’s Thrushes muy jupones, pero hay muchos residentes para disfrutar aún. Habrá un desayuno pequeño o grande disponible después de la caminata para $5 o $8 respectivamente. Por favor llene ESTE formulario si quisiera un desayuno. ¡Ojalá que nos vemos entonces!