The Year in Review: 2019

2019 was such an incredibly busy and productive year that I hardly know where to begin!

First of all, I want to express my thanks to all of you who helped out with the binocular campaign. We now have nearly 50 pairs of quality binoculars for our educational efforts. This exceeded my hopes and I am really humbled by your response. These binoculars will be really important this year and in years to come as we have more teachers and expand our efforts to involve more kids. I’d like to give a shout out here to all who helped either with transportation, money, or both. In no particular order:

  • Roni Chernin
  • Tom Wilkinson
  • Nancy Warshawer
  • Greg and Helen Homer
  • Lydia Vogt
  • Greg Mellon
  • Fred Sibley
  • Fred and Jean Schroeder
  • Judy Richardson
  • Julie Girard and Dave Woolley
  • Terry Farling
  • Michael and Alison Olivieri
  • Douglas Wilson and Karen Villalobos
  • Roger and Tara Madison
  • Gail and Harry Hull
  • Steve and Liz Allen
  • JP Thelliez
  • Lilly Briggs and the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology

Thank you so much for your support! These binoculars will serve the kids of Coto Brus for years to come.

Detectives de Aves

In 2019 we taught Detectives de Aves to 161 students in 9 schools and in Finca Cántaros during the summer vacation. We now have 6 experienced and dedicated instructors: Paula Mesén, Carla Azofeifa, Marco Mora, Jeissom Figueroa, Randall Jiménez, and Yadira Barrantes. All of them have offered their time, energy, and passion to the program both inside and outside of the classroom. By contributing and sharing their ideas and experiences with each other and with me they have improved the course and helped adapt it to the needs of our students. I frankly feel privileged to be working with them and am really looking forward to 2020.

El Bosque de Los Niños de Coto Brus

As I am sure most of you know, Finca Cántaros was sold last year to Lilly Briggs, who just happens to work for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and who is the head of the Lab’s educational efforts for Latin America. Along with the Finca, she bought several hectares of adjoining pastureland, intending to reforest it. (I’m sure most of you all also know that 25 years ago when Gail Hull bought Finca Cántaros it, too, was all pasture with hardly a tree.) Lilly had the wonderful idea to include all of our students in this project and to create El Bosque de los Niños de Coto Brus – The Children’s Forest of Coto Brus – and it really is their forest! Lilly, in collaboration with the Club, plans to hold events in the Forest for years to come, brining the children and their families back time and time again to help care for the Forest and to witness the profound changes their efforts will have made possible. It makes me happy to think that one the day, long after I am gone, the kids who we helped plant these trees will bring their kids, and their grand kids too, to enjoy the Forest and to reflect on the positive differences we can all make in our environment. I hope that all the members of the Club take the time to visit the Forest soon, and in the years to come, to share in this project and to see the changes it will bring. Those of you who have yet to meet Lilly and speak with her will have the chance to do so at our annual meeting on the 1st of March.

So, it was an exciting year! Of course, the more you do, the more you find that needs to be done. ¡Así es la vida! Our excellent teachers are continually coming up with ways to make birds and environmental education more relevant to our community and our neighbors and making more work for all of us 😊. I believe that we all want Coto Brus to develop in a way that maintains its beauty and hospitality. There are many people and organizations here who have been working towards this future with different perspectives and needs and who are now finding new ways to work together. All of us who have chosen Coto Brus as the place we want to spend our vacations every year, as our home away from home, or as the place we want to live out our lives, have a special obligation, I believe, to offer what help we can to make the community stronger and to serve the needs of our neighbors. There are exciting things on the horizon! But more about that at the annual meeting… I will leave you with some pictures of last year’s students.

Bird Walk this Sunday! / ¡Caminata para ver aves este domingo!

NOTE: I reposted this because the email that was sent was truncated. I hope this one works! / Reescribí esta noticia porque el correo electrónico que se envió fue entrecortado. ¡Ojalá que funcione esta vez!

There is a fig tree in fruit on Cerro Paraguas that is reportedly absolutely packed with bird species that we don’t often get to see, like the Barred Becard. The tree is right by the road, so the walking will be easy, and the bird count high, Ojalá. We will meet at the Botanical Garden at 7:30 AM in the parking lot by the entrance so we can ride up together. The road is in pretty good condition, but very steep and rocky. So, those with smaller cars, or no car, can catch a ride in a 4X4. After the walk, we’ll head over to Los Jilgueros for coffee. As always, there will be binoculars and guides available. It will be fun!

Hay un higuerón en fruta por el camino hasta cerro Paraguas que contiene actualmente un montón increíble de aves poco vistas, como el Cabezón ondeado (Pachyramphus versicolor). El árbol está justo al lado del calle, pues el acceso es facilísimo. Nos encontraremos al jardín botánico Wilson al las 7:30 en el parqueo cerca de la entrada para que podremos ir al la cima juntos. El camino está en buen estado, pero es muy inclinado y rocosa, pues los con carritos pequeños o sin transporte podrían ir en 4X4. Después de la caminata, podríamos ir a Los Jilgueros para un cafecito. Como siempre, habrá binoculares y guías disponibles. ¡Será muy genial!

Bird Walk this Sunday! / ¡Caminata para ver aves este domingo!

There is a fig tree in fruit on Cerro Paraguas that is reportedly absolutely packed with bird species that we don’t often get to see, like the Barred Becard. The tree is right by the road, so the walking will be easy, and the bird count high, Ojalá. We will meet at the Botanical Garden at 7:30 AM in the parking lot by the entrance so we can ride up together. The road is in pretty good condition, but very steep and rocky. So, those with smaller cars, or no car, can catch a ride in a 4X4. After the walk, we’ll head over to Los Jilgueros for coffee. As always, there will be binoculars and guides available. It will be fun!

Hay un higuerón en fruta por el camino hasta cerro Paraguas que contiene actualmente un montón increíble de aves poco vistas, como el Cabezón ondeado (Pachyramphus versicolor). El árbol está justo al lado del calle, pues el acceso es facilísimo. Nos encontraremos al jardín botánico Wilson al las 7:30 en el parqueo cerca de la entrada para que podremos ir al la cima juntos. El camino está en buen estado, pero es muy inclinado y rocosa, pues los con carritos pequeños o sin transporte podrían ir en 4X4. Después de la caminata, podríamos ir a Los Jilgueros para un cafecito. Como siempre, habrá binoculares y guías disponibles. ¡Será muy genial!

Bird Walk this Sunday / Caminata para ver aves el próximo domingo

We will be having a bird walk this Sunday at the lovely Hacienda Pino Colina in Las Cruces. Judy Richardson, the owner and an excellent birder, has reported seeing a Rufous-tailed Jacamar on the property. If we are lucky, we will see it too! We will meet at 7:30 in front of the bodega. Please enter the property at the gate closest to the Cascata del Bosque and turn left. The bodega is a bout 100 meters from the gate. See the photo below.

Habrá una caminata para ver aves el próximo domingo a la Hacienda Pino Colina en Las Cruces. La dueña Judy Richardson, una pajarera exellente ha visto un Jacamar rabirufo dentro de la propriedad. ¡Si tendremos suerte,podremos verlo también! Reuniremos frente a la bodega. Por favor entre para el portón más cerca al restaurante Cascata del Bosque y gira la la izquierda. La bodega es unos 100 metros de la entrada. Vea el photo.

Bird Walk This Sunday // Caminata para ver aves el próximo domingo

There will be a bird walk this Sunday, December 29th at Finca Cántaros. We will meet at the Rancho Grande (100 meters from the front entrance on the left) at 7:30 AM. There will be binoculars and guides available. Please join us for the last bird walk of the decade!

Habrá una caminata para ver aves el próximo domingo el 29 de diciembre en la Finca Cántaros. Nos reuniremos al rancho grande (100 metros de la entrada principal, mano izquierda) a las 7:30. Binoculares y guías serán disponibles. ¡Júntese con nosotros para la última caminata de la década!

Bird Walk This Sunday / Caminata para ver aves el próximo domingo

We will be having a bird walk this Sunday at the Wilson Botanical Gardens. We will meet at 7:30 AM in front of the Reception. There will be binoculars and guides available for all. Please join us and enjoy these incipient days of Summer!

Habrá una caminata para ver aves el próximo domingo al jardín botánico Wilson. Nos reuniremos frente al la recepción al las 7:30 AM. Habrá binoculares y guías para todos. Por favor venga para disfrutar con nosotros estes días incipientes de verano.

NO Birdwalk this Sunday, but… / No habrá una caminata el próximo domingo, pero…

There are two, really interesting events to which you are all invited.

First, this Saturday at Finca Cántaros there will be lots of students from the Detectives de Aves program coming at 8 AM to check out the trees they planted in the Children’s Forest and to participate in the county-wide bird count. You are all welcome to stop by and and meet the kids and their parents. Careful, though, because we may put you to work!

Second. Turibrus is holding a festival at the auction ring in Limoncito this Saturday and Sunday. Turibrus is a Cooperativa that is activly promoting sustainable rural tourism in Coto Brus. Several Club members will be there Sunday morning to present the results of the bird count and the winners of the photo competition. Birds are an important part of rural tourism, and sustainable tourism may be very important to the economic future of the cantón. The schedule is below. Please stop by, if you can.

We will have a bird walk next Sunday!

//

¡Habrá dos eventos muy interesante para disfrutar!

Primero, el próximo sábado a la 8 en Finca Cántaros habrá muchos estudiantes de Detectives de Aves cuidando los arboles que sembraron en el Bosque de los Niños. Después, todos participarán en el conteo de aves cantonal. Ustedes podrían venir para ver las actividades y encontrar a los estudiantes y sus familiares. Pero ¡Cuidado!, es posible que les pongan a trabajar a ustedes también.

Segundo, Habrá una festival en la subasta por parte de Turibrus, la cooperativa de turismo rural. Unos miembros del Club estarán para presentar los resultados del conteo y dar los premios por la competencia de fotografía. Las aves son un aspecto muy importante del turismo rural y sostenible en Coto Brus, y para el desarrollo economico del cantón. Por favor vengan si podrían.

¡Tendremos sin duda una caminata para ver aves domingo en ocho dias!

Bird Walk This Sunday! / ¡Caminata para ver aves el próximo domingo!

Please join us at the Wilson Botanical Gardens this Sunday, the 24th of November! We’ll meet in front of the reception at 7:30 AM. There will be binoculares and guides available. I look forward to seeing you all!

Por favor venga al jardín botánico Wilson el próximo domingo el 24 de noviembre. Nos encontraremos frente a la recepción a las 7:30 AM. Habrá binoculares y guías disponibles. ¡Espero ver a ustedes allá!

Please read this article about the decline of bird populations in the Western Hemisphere

Here is a link to the study that many of us, professionals and amateurs alike, are thinking about today. Please take a moment to actually read the study — and not just the headline. It is a dire message we must consider as we go forward with our lives here on earth.

Scarlet Tanager, a migrant from North America. Photo by Jo Davidson.

Read the study here by clicking here. 

You can read the ‘summary’ or the entire article if you want more detail. As many have said, “There is no Planet B”! 

We would like to hear your comments — and how we can work together, going forward, to stem this frightening trend.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak, another migrant from North America. Photo by Gail Hull.