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: eltangaral@gmail.com

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

Teacher Exchange: What Fun–What Success!

A Detectives de Aves (BirdSleuth-International) teacher exchange program between San Vito Bird Club (San Vito, Costa Rica) and Community Cloud Forest Conservation in the highlands of Guatemala recently concluded, with bilateral reports of great success, good fellowship and a promise for the future of Detectives de Aves.

Our San Vito Bird Club education team–Paula Mesen, Carla Azofeifa and SVBC President Peter Wendell–returned from the beautiful highlands of Guatemala in April after spending a week observing and learning from their Guatemalan counterparts. Also attending the visit was Dr. Lilly Briggs from Cornell University, coordinator and leader of  this very special project.

In early May, the Guatemalan education team reciprocated by visiting us and participating in our local classes.  Again, many, many thanks to Dr. Briggs for her guidance and vision.

Based on reports from the Detectives de Aves teachers from both San Vito and Guatemala, this exchange of teaching techniques and styles proved very valuable to all involved and we hope that more of these international visits will become available in the future.

As always, your generous donations to the SVB and the Detectives de Aves classes are much appreciated.



SVBC Bird Feeder Contest: Rules Reminder

Are you competing in this year’s San Vito Bird Club Bird Feeder Contest?  If so, here are the rules and regulations once again:

Rules—1. Your bird feeder(s) must be viewable by you, and if you have more than one, all must be viewable from a single spot.  In other words, you can’t have one here and one way out on the other side of the barn.  2. The birds must consume food from your bird feeder or around the bottom of your bird feeder.  3. Whatever food you put on the feeder(s) is up to you.  4. We use the honor system.  If you say you had a Laughing Kookaburra on your feeder, we’ll accept it.  But PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE…be sure you are correctly identifying your birds.  5.  Submit your list to Greg Homer on or before our Annual Meeting on Feb. 25th.  6. First, second and third place submissions receive a prize!

To be eligible for the Bird Feeder Contest:

  1. You must be a member of the San Vito Bird Club with your 2018 dues paid in full. You may pay at the door.
  2. You must bring a paper copy of your list to the Annual Meeting at Cascata del Bosco no later than 8:45am on Sunday, Feb. 25th; hand it to me (Greg Homer).


(Photo courtesy of Helen LeVasseur)

SVBC Members: Annual Meeting on Sunday, Feb. 25th/Miembros de Club de Aves: Reunion anual a 25 de febrero

SVBC members; please join the San Vito Bird Club for our Annual Meeting on Sunday, Feb. 25th at Cascata del Bosco.  Coffee and social time begins at 8:30am.  Meeting begins at 9am.  Following the meeting, another delicious full brunch from Cascata is offered for c6000 (including BLUEBERRY MUFFINS!) and begins at 10:30am.

To attend the Annual Meeting you MUST have your 2018 dues paid in full.  You may do so, if necessary, at the door when you arrive for the meeting.

Aside from regular SVBC business and reports, we will have an excellent and local Keynote speaker, a silent auction of original artwork from SVBC members and an awards ceremony for the Bird Feeder Contest!

Please join us for a fun and informative morning.

Greg Homer–President of the San Vito Bird Club


Photo by Jo Davidson