Save the Date!

Please go find a 2022 calendar and mark February 27 as the date for the SVBC Annual Meeting.

You’ll not want to miss this one as we plan to have the famous Tico Breakfast at Las Cruces/Wilson Botanical Garden PLUS speakers, birdy games and prizes.

This event is for members only so please remember to pay your dues! Any executive committee member will be happy to accept them. The dues will entitle you to a Membership Card that you can use to receive entrance to Las Cruces at the lower price for nationals and residents, $3 or 1,800 colones per person.

Membership Dues are as follows:

Local individual = $25 or 18,000 colones

Local family, defined as two adults and two children = $50 or 35,000 colones

International Individual = $20

International family = $40

Contest Winners! February 2021

Congratulations to our San Vito Bird Club contest winners for 2021. As you may recall, this year we changed the contest from a Bird Feeder Contest (since Costa Rica frowns on feeding wildlife) to a three-pronged contest:

  1. Bird Feeder Contest for members who DO NOT live in Costa Rica during the month of February.
  2. Photos taken in February, in three categories; a. Birds having a meal b. Birds in action c. Still life
  3. Original Bird Act created during the month of February.

Here we go! First, second and third place in the Not-in-Costa Rica Bird Feeder Contest

First place with 17 species: Charles and Sara Beeson-Jones from Fen Ditton, United Kingdom.

  1. Blackbird (male and female) – Turdus merula
  2. Greenfinch – Carduelis chloris
  3. Goldfinch – Carduelis carduelis
  4. Long Tailed Tit – Aegithalos caudatus
  5. Blue Tit – Parus caeruleus
  6. Great Tit – Parus major
  7. Woodpigeon – Columba palumbus
  8. Collared Dove – Streptopelia decaocto
  9. Robin – Erithacus rubecula
  10. Pheasant (male and female) – Phasianus colchicus
  11. Hedge Accentor (also called Dunnock) – Prunella modularis
  12. Carrion Crow – Corvus corone
  13. Blackcap – Sylvia atricapilla
  14. Magpie – Pica pica
  15. Great Spotted Woodpecker – Dendrocopos major
  16. Chaffinch (male) – Fringilla coelebs
  17. Jay – Garrulus glandarius

Second place with 16 species, Judy Richardson from Connecticut, U.S.A.

1.  Northern Cardinal
2.  American Goldfinch
3.  White throated Sparrow
4.  Dark eyed Junco
5.  Song Sparrow
6.  Mourning Dove
7.  Black capped Chickadee
8.  Carolina wren
9.  House Finch
10. Eastern Tufted Titmouse
11.  Blue Jay
12. Red bellied Woodpecker
13. White roasted Nuthatch
14. House Sparrow
15. Chipping Sparrow
16. European Starling

Third place with 11 species, Peter and Petra Heck from the Netherlands,.

  1. House Sparrow
  2. Hedge Sparrow / Dunnock
  3. Blue Tit
  4. Great Tit
  5. Robin
  6. Jackdaw
  7. Blackbird
  8. Chaffinch
  9. Greenfinch
  10. Turkish turtle dove
  11. Wood Pigeon

Next, our Photo Contest Winners.

Winner of the Birds Having a Meal photo Jo Davidson.

(Swallow-tailed Kite dining)

Winner of the Birds in Action photo; Peter/Petra Heck.

(Little Red Robin in snow)

Winner of Still Life photo; Jo Davidson.

(Yard plants resembling a Post-Impressionist painting)

Lastly, our Bird Art Winners.

Four bird paintings created during the month of February were entered. All four are equally deserving of First Place! Here they are, in no particular order.

Lydia Vogt’s Three Wood Storks

Helen LeVasseur’s Gray-cowled Wood-rail.

Julie Gerard’s Fiery-billed Aracari.

Lydia Vogt’s Golden-browed Chlorophonia.

We hope you enjoyed this posting. And thank you for your continued support of the San Vito Bird Club.

Feb. 2021: A Modified Contest!

February is the traditional month for our long-standing ‘Bird Feeder Contest’. This year, 2021, we must break with tradition. Why? The country of Costa Rica has a nationwide policy against the feeding of wildlife. And while the focus of this policy seems to be on eliminating people feeding terrestrial and marine mammals and reptiles, the policy does not exclude the feeding of Costa Rican birdlife.

***We cannot in good conscience promote a contest that flies (if you will) in the face of this policy.***

Life is full of paradoxes, as you all know. Just look at the photo below. Actually this is more of a ‘pair of ducks’ than a ‘paradox’; but the intent of our Bird Feeder Contest has always been to promote an appreciation of birds…to get folks to spend more time observing and identifying our avifauna; not to in any way do them harm.

I truly believe we were extremely successful in that intent of promoting bird appreciation. And so…this year we must go in a different direction to achieve that goal.

Here is how YOU can participate!

  1. If you are a San Vito Bird Club member living in a country other than Costa Rica (and we know there are many of you), send us a list of the birds you see on your feeder during the month of February, 2021.
  2. If you are a San Vito Bird Club member living in Costa Rica, send me a few (no more than five) of your best bird photographs TAKEN DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, 2021. Photo categories are: a. Rarities b. Birds in action c. Birds having a meal d. Baby birds e. Still life Send to:
  3. If you are a San Vito Bird Club member living anywhere in the known (or even the unknown) universe, send a photo of any bird-related artwork you CREATED DURING THE MONTH OF FEBRUARY, 2021. Again, send to:

Some time during early March, 2021 we will post your efforts from the three categories above on this website and on Facebook.

Thanks for your understanding and participation and please continue to support the San Vito Bird Club with your generous donations.

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)