Land Use Survey: You Can Participate!

The San Vito Bird Club is pleased to introduce you to Savannah Lenhert, a Graduate Student from Northern Arizona University. Ms. Lehnert is requesting your help.


Estimado Señor,

Soy una estudiante de maestría en Northern Arizona University y estoy trabajando en un estudio acerca de la administración de la tierra y programas de conservación del gobierno. Me gustaría saber sus opiniones y preferencias en la administración de la tierra y los programas que ofrece el gobierno. Esto nos ayudará a entender las necesidades de los propietarios en Coto Brus, y nos ayudará a contemplar maneras para hacer la tierra más accesible para la vida silvestre. La encuesta sólo le tomará 5 – 10 minutos, y sus respuestas serán totalmente anónimas. 

Usted podrá llenar la encuesta una sola vez, pero es libre de compartirla con otras personas en su domicilio o comunidad. Como agradecimiento por llenar la encuesta, usted puede elegir a participar en una rifa para ganar una orden de compra en Súpermercado BM. Para llenar la encuesta por favor haga clic en el link:

Si tiene preguntas me puede contactar por correo a: 

Muchas gracias por su participación.

Savannah Lehnert



I am a Master’s student at Northern Arizona University and am conducting research on land management and government conservation programs. I would love to hear from you about your preferences for land management and thoughts on government programs. This will help us to understand the needs of land managers and landowners in Coto Brus, and consider ways for making the landscape more accessible to wildlife. The survey should only take 5 to 10 minutes, and your responses will be completely anonymous.

You can take the survey once, and are free to share the survey link with others in your household or community. As a big thank you for taking the survey, you can choose to enter in a raffle to win a $40 gift card to Súpermercado BM.  To take the survey, please click on the link:

If you have any questions about the survey, please email me:

I really appreciate your input!

Savannah Lehnert

Bird Walks Coming Soon as Wilson Botanical Garden Re-Opens

Violet Sabrewing, the largest hummingbird in Costa Rica. Photo by Jean-Philippe Thelliez

OTS Las Cruces/Wilson Botanical Garden re-opened to the public yesterday, Friday, June 26. New Rules due to Covid-19 preventive restrictions include mandatory reservations for any kind of visit including Bird Walks. Entrance Fees must be paid at the new Gatehouse; costs are $3 for locals and residents and $10 for non-residents. (The colones equivalent will be calculated at the daily exchange rate.) Masks and hand sanitization are required so bring your mask! Staff will have hand sanitizer at the gate and at Reception.

If you would like to go on your own, please send an email to, noting the date and time you wish to go and the number of people in your party.

Upright red with yellow trim. Photo by Alison Olivieri

In the coming weeks, we will schedule a SVBC Bird Walk with an imbedded link for you to RSVP. That way, we can make the reservation and keep numbers within an acceptable limit.

Because the pandemic has hit tourism spots very hard, SVBC members must now pay Entrance Fees – additionally, we encourage you to add a donation of whatever you can afford!

Hellzapoppin Heliconias!

Right now, the Heliconia Garden is glorious; nearly every plant is in flower and they are all amazing. As you birders know, hummingbirds are going to be busy in there – nectaring and zipping around — so you will have a double treat if you go soon.

Pendant ‘Sexy Pink’. Photo by Julie Girard

SVBC Annual Meeting: Sunday, March 1st

All San Vito Bird Club members and future members.  Please join us for our 2020 Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 1st at Cascada del Bosco.  

Our Annual Meeting is traditionally a time for good fellowship, good food and lots of fun. Plus, this is THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO PAY YOUR 2020 SVBC DUES

  • Resident Individual for $25
  • Resident Family for $50
  • International Individual for $20
  • International Family for $40

Additional donations to our education program Detectives de Aves, are also welcome and encouraged.

Meeting Agenda:
8:30-8:45—Meet and greet at Cascada del Bosco, with coffee/tea.  
8:45-9:00—Collection of membership dues and submission of bird feeder contest entries.
9:00-9:30—Welcome, 2019 Year in Review and What is Ahead: Peter Wendell.
9:30-9:35—Treasurer’s Report: Bley Fernandez
9:35-9:45—Taxonomy Update: Jo Davidson
9:45-9:50—Winners of Bird Feeder Contest: Greg Homer
9:50-10:30—Keynote Speaker
10:30-10:45: Final comments, art exhibit silent auction rules: Peter Wendell
10:45-12noon: Brunch is served.  c7,000 per person.

Hope you can join us!

Photo courtesy of Alison Olivieri

Bird Feeder Contest-2020!

It’s February; time for our annual SVBC Bird Feeder Contest.
Here are the ridiculously simple rules:
1. From Feb. 1-29 keep track of the number of bird species that land on or below your bird feeder.  Please limit your feeder viewing to a single location; don’t use one feeder here and one WAY over there.
2. Take your best bird feeder photo.
3. Take a picture of the most unusual bird species on your feeder.

THREE prizes will be awarded:

  • The greatest number of species.
  • The best feeder photo.
  • The most unusual feeder species photo.

To be eligible for a prize you must bring your list and/or photo to our SVBC Annual Meeting on Sunday, March 1, 2020…NO LATER THAN 8:30AM.  Also, you must have paid your 2020 membership dues!  Annual Meeting announcements will be coming soon.
Good luck.

Photo courtesy of Jo Davidson

October Big Day: Join Us in the Field on Saturday the 19th!

How to participate

  • Get an eBird account: eBird is a worldwide bird checklist program used by millions of birders. It’s what allows us to compile everyone’s sightings into a single massive October Big Day list—while at the same time collecting the data for scientists to use to better understand birds. Sign up here. It’s 100% free.
  • Watch birds on 19 October: It’s that simple. You don’t need to be a bird expert, or go out all day long. Even 10 minutes in your backyard will help. October Big Day runs from midnight to midnight in your local time zone. You can report birds from anywhere in the world.
  • Enter what you see and hear on eBird: You can enter your sightings via our website or—even easier—download the free eBird Mobile app. You can enter and submit lists while you’re still out birding, and the app will even keep track of how far you’ve walked, so you can focus on watching birds. While you’re downloading free apps, try out the Cornell Lab’s Merlin Bird ID app for help with identification. Please enter sightings before 23 October to be included in our initial results announcement.
  • Watch the sightings roll in: During the day, keep an eye on how the lists are growing in different parts of the world. Follow along with sightings from more than 150 countries. Stats will be updated in real-time on our October Big Day page.

Join Us for a Fun Family Day at OTS/Las Cruces! Dia de las Puertas Abiertas sabado 1 junio!

Please come to the Las Cruces Biological Station this Saturday for a fun-filled family day! The Las Cruces staff will provide events, workshops, music and more for every member of the family. As usual, the SVBC will host an Annual Bake Sale, Face Painting, an Artistic Mural for all to create plus an environmental education activity. See the schedules below for detailed information! Hope to see you there!

Reminder: 2019 Bird Feeder Contest!

These are final days for the 2019 SVBC Bird Feeder Contest, so keep your feeders full and your eyes open.

The list of birds that have come to your feeder must be submitted to me…Greg Homer…no later than 8:30am, Sunday, March 3rd.  You may submit your list to me on paper or via email—

Whomever has seen the greatest number of bird species at their feeder will win!  Second most will also be a winner.  Any questionable species may be subject to review by me.  I am unbiased and am not in the contest.

Also, we have a Best Bird Feeder Photo category this year.  Please send a digital copy of your photo to me (see above) no later than midnight Friday, March 1st.  No more than one photo per contestant.

To be eligible you must be a paid-up member of the San Vito Bird Club.  Dues may be paid at the Annual Meeting.

Good luck all!

(photo courtesy of Helen LeVasseur)


SVBC Bird Feeder Contest: 2019!

As soon as you read this you may begin the 2019 San Vito Bird Club Bird Feeder Contest!

Here are the ridiculously simple rules for this year’s contest:

  1. Count the number of species of birds that come to your bird feeder from…NOW…until 8am Sunday, March 3rd.
  2. Your feeder(s) must be viewable from one single location.  In other words, you cannot count species from feeder #1 near your house and feeder #2 which is out in the pasture.
  3. All bird species may be counted that eat directly from the feeder or directly below the feeder.
  4. What food items you put on the feeder is up to you!
  5. Bring a paper copy of your bird feeder list to the SVBC Annual Meeting no later than 8:30 am on Sunday, March 3rd.  Meeting to be held, as usual, at Cascata del Bosco.
  6. Your list is subject to review.  For example, if you claim to have seen an Emperor Penguin, Chilean Flamingo or Archaeopteryx on your feeder we will probably need to have a talk.

There will be three winners this year:

  1. Greatest number of bird species.
  2. Second greatest number of bird species.
  3. And a new category; best bird feeder photograph.  To win this category you MUST send a digital copy of your best photograph to me (Greg Homer) NO LATER than midnight, Feb. 28th of this year.  Please do not send more than one photo; only your first photo will be judged.  Judging and selecting the winning photograph will be done by three of our premier Pajareros del Sur.  Send your photo to:

Good luck all.  More to come about the annual meeting very soon.


(photo courtesy of Helen LeVasseur)

A correction: that last notice you just received had an incorrect date, so here we go again:

Please join us this Friday, September 21 at the Inauguration of the new Environmental Education Room at Las Cruces. Several members of the SVBC contributed time, talent and energy to this project under the guidance of Carla Azofeifa, one of our Detectives de Aves/BirdSleuth-International teachers. Club Secretary Lydia Vogt painted the oropendolas; local artist Kathy Bauer created the agouti family and Helen LeVasseur produced about 100 leaves: wait ’til you see! Starting at 9:30 a.m., we look forward to seeing you there!

Watch this video of Detectives de Aves in Guatemala! Mira el video de Detectives de Aves en Guatemala!

Espanol abajo

Because Detectives de Aves is THE most exciting program sponsored by the SVBC, we decided to re-post this 7 minute video from the Cornell University Laboratory of Ornithology — they hit it out of the park with this short film!

In April, two of our teachers — Carla Azofeifa and Paula Mesen — went with SVBC President Peter Wendell to the highlands of Guatemala to share teaching experiences and learn from indigenous teachers Vilma, Gilda and Norma.

That visit was reciprocated in May when Tara and Rob Cahill came to San Vito in May with Vilma and Norma — all from the Cloud Forest Conservation Society — to participate with us in local schools. These travels were funded by a grant to Dr. Lilly Briggs from National Geographic. (See a report here.)

It’s just a GREAT program and we are proud to play a part. In this presentation, those of you who don’t live here will meet Carla Azofeifa and Paula Mesen, two of our wonderful teachers! Please consider sending a donation to continue this program in local schools by visiting our Support the Club page.

Ya que Detectives de Aves el EL programa más emocionante patrocinado por el SVBC, decidimos volver a postear este video, de 7 minutos, del Laboratorio de Ornitología de la Universidad de Cornell. ¡Realmente se lucieron con este corto video!

En abril, dos de nuestras maestras Carla Azofeifa y Paula Mesén, fueron junto al Presidente del SVBC, Peter Wendell, a las tierras altas de Guatemala para compartir sus experiencias de enseñanza y aprender de las maestras indígenas Vilma, Gilda y  Norma.

Vilma y Norma nos devolveron la visita en mayo, cuando vinieron junto a Tara y Rob Cahill, de la Cloud Forest Conservation Society, para participar en nuestras escuelas locales en San Vito. Estos viajes fueron financiados mediante una donación del Dr. Lilly Briggs de National Geographic (vea el reporte aquí).

Este es un GRAN programa y estamos orgullosos de tomar parte. En esta presentación, aquellos de ustedes que no vivien aquí, ¡conocerán a Carla Azofeifa y Paula Mesén, dos de nuestras maravillosas maestras! Por favor considere enviar una donación para continuar con este programa en nuestras escuelas locales, visitando nuestra página Apoye el Club