Felicidades a Gail Hull: Campeon de comedor de aves!/Congratulations to Gail Hull: Bird Feeder Champion!

Nuestra buen amiga y la duena de Finca Cantaros Gail Hull es el campeon del Concurso de Comedor de aves por 2017.  Por la primera vez, en la historia del concurso tuvimos mas que 30 espeicas.  Gail tuve 31 especias de aves!

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Our good friend and owner of Finca Cantaros, Gail Hull is the 2017 Bird Feeder Contest Champion.  For the first time in the history of the contest more than 30 species were recorded.  Gail had 31 species.

Lesson’s Motmot

Cherrie’s Tanager

Yellow-throated Toucan

Golden-hooded Tanager

Silver-throated Tanager

 

Summer Tanager

Blue-grey Tanager

Speckled Tanager

Buff-throated Saltator

Palm Tanager

 

Clay-colored Thrush

Chachalaca

Gray-necked Woodrail

Orange-billed Sparrow

Costa Rican Brush-Finch

 

Bay-headed Tanager

Green Honeycreeper

Red-legged Honeycreeper

Thick-billed Euphonia

Gray-headed Tanager

 

Streaked Saltator

Black-striped Sparrow

Gray-chested Dove

Red-crowned Woodpecker

Yellow-crowned Euphonia

 

Yellow-faced Grassquit

Great Kiskadee

Orange-billed Nightingale Thrush

Ruddy Pigeon

Fiery-billed Aracari

Gray-tipped Dove

(photo courtesy of Jeff Worman)

Bay-headed Tanager (Photo by Jeff Worman)

Bay-headed Tanager (photo by Jeff Worman)

Santa Cecilia Students Apprentice with CRBO/Los Estudiantes de Santa Cecilia Aprenden con CRBO

Ever held a hummingbird in your hand and felt it’s heart beating at close to 1000 beats per minute? This week students from Santa Cecilia School had that very experience under the watchful and experienced eye of Pablo ‘Chespi’ Elizondo and his team of skilled mist netters from the Costa Rica Bird Observatory (CRBO).

Chespi Elizondo and CRBO conduct regular monitoring of bird species throughout the country using a technique known as mist netting. In mist netting, birds are humanely captured and collected after they become entangled in delicate and lightweight 10-meter long nets. The birds are gently removed from the nets and then taken back to a data collection station where they are weighed and measured. Santa Cecilia school students not only watched these scientific endeavors but also took part!

The young scholars also helped the CRBO crew in gathering more scientific data, such as each bird’s age, sex (if possible), breeding status and general health. The birds are also given a numbered band, which is attached to the leg. Not surprisingly, a significant number of the mist netted birds show up with a numbered band already in place! Collection of data from these previously tagged birds can provide great insight into bird migration patterns and longevity.

Earlier this year these same Santa Cecilia School students successfully completed the Detectives de Aves curriculum with instructor Eugenio Garcia and assistant Helen LeVasseur. But mist netting with CRBO has allowed the students that rare opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Costa Rica’s most beautiful and delicate bird species and to be a part of actual science in action.

A rare opportunity was also afforded the San Vito Bird Club, Pablo ‘Chespi’ Elizondo and his CRBO team of mist netters…the opportunity to observe that look of awe and wonder that shines in the eyes of a child.

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¿Alguna vez sostuvo un colibrí en sus manos y sintió que su corazón palpitaba a 1000 latidos por minuto? Esta semana, estudiantes de la Escuela de Santa Cecilia tuvieron esa misma experiencia bajo la mirada experta y vigilante de Pablo ‘Chespi’ Elizondo y su equipo de hábiles colocadores de redes del Costa Rica Bird Observatory (CRBO).

Chespi Elizondo y CRBO condujeron un monitoreo regular de las especies en el país utilizando una técnica conocida como “redes de niebla”. En las redes, los pájaros son capturados de manera humana y recolectados cuando quedan atrapados en la delicada y liviana red de 10 metros. Las aves son gentilmente liberadas de las redes y luego llevadas a una estación de recolección de datos, donde son medidas y pesadas. Los estudiantes de la Escuela de Santa Cecilia no solamente observaron estos esfuerzos, sino que ¡además tomaron parte en ellos!

Los jóvenes intelectuales ayudaron también al equipo de CRBO a recoger más datos científicos, como la edad de las aves, el sexo (cuando fue posible identificarlo), status reproductivo y salud general. Las aves fueron identificadas con un brazalete numerado, que se coloca en una de sus patas. Como era de esperar, ¡una cantidad significante de pájaros aparecían con un brazalete ya en su pata! La recolección de datos sobre estas aves previamente catalogadas puede aportar información sobre patrones de migración y longevidad.

Más temprano este año, estos mismos estudiantes de la Escuela de Santa Cecilia finalizaron exitosamente el currículo de Detectives de Aves con el instructor Eugenio García y su asistente Helen LeVasseur. Pero trabajar con las redes de niebla ayudó a los estudiantes a tener un acercamiento personal con algunas de las especies de aves más bellas y delicadas de Costa Rica, a la vez que toman parte de una empresa científica.

Una experiencia poco común fue también dada al San Vito Bird Club por Pablo ‘Chespi’ Elizondo y su equipo de CRBO, la oportunidad de observar esa mirada de sobrecogimiento y el brillo en los ojos de un niño.

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Photo Fun from Annual Meeting 2016/Fotos Divertidas del Reunion Anual 2016

New Officers for 2016, elected February 13, 2016: President Greg Homer, Vice President Peter Wendell, Secretary Lydia Vogt and Treasurer Fred Schroeder. The following were named to serve by President Homer: Alison Olivieri, President Emeritus, and Harry Hull, Communications Chair. To view all the photos, just scroll on down:

Helen LeVasseur with her new Prez, photo by Jo Davidson

Helen LeVasseur with her new Prez, photo by Jo Davidson.

Peter Wendell, new Vice-Prez, photo by Jo Davidson

Peter Wendell, new Vice-Prez, photo by Jo Davidson.

Pablo Elizonda, Director of Costa Rican Bird Observatories. Photo by Gail Hull

Pablo Elizonda, Director of Costa Rican Bird Observatories. Photo by Gail Hull.

Liz Allen: photographer, author and designer of the new book Pura Mariposa, 88 Butterflies of Southern Costa Rica, photo by Jo Davidson.

Liz Allen: photographer, author and designer of the new book Pura Mariposa, 88 Butterflies of Southern Costa Rica, photo by Jo Davidson.

Communications Chairman Harry Hull, photo by Alison Olivieri.

Communications Chairman Harry Hull, photo by Alison Olivieri.

President Emeritus Alison Olivieri, photo by Harry Hull.

President Emeritus Alison Olivieri, photo by Harry Hull.

George Alcock, Greg Homer and Fred Schroeder, photo by Jean Schroeder.

George Alcock, Greg Homer and Fred Schroeder, photo by Jean Schroeder.

Secretary Lydia Vogt, hard at work, photo by Alison Olivieri.

Secretary Lydia Vogt, hard at work, photo by Alison Olivieri.

Photographer Jo Davidson and VP Peter Wendell, photo by Alison Olivieri.

Photographer Jo Davidson and VP Peter Wendell, photo by Alison Olivieri.

Quiz Bird #3 Revealed/La Respuesta del Prueba!

The winner of Bird Quiz #3 is TERESA BUENO of Atenas, CR, who is fast on her feet, quick with her fingers and good at telling a tale! Congratulations, Teresa! We will find a way to send your binocular cleaning cloth to Quepos, if we have to deliver it ourselves: hmmm, that’s a thought.

The answer is Spotted Sandpiper, Actitis macularia. We had a total of five correct answers, of which Teresa’s was the first received, and one wrong response.

Spotted Sandpiper from Wikepedia.

Spotted Sandpiper from Wikipedia.

Mind you, this was an easy one. We could have tricked you with a photo of this species in non-breeding plumage like the one accompanying this post.

Thank you to all participants!

La respuesta es Spotted Sandpiper, Actitus macularia. Tuvimos seis respuestas este vez, solo uno era incorrecto!

Felicidades a TERESA BUENO de Alajuela de Atenas, Cosa Rica! Su respuesta estaba la primera recibido! Gracias a todos los participantes!

Special Guest Robert Dean at Annual Meeting 2015

Pepe Castiblanco, naturalist guide and co-owner of Casa Botania, with Robert Dean (photo by Harry Hull).

Pepe Castiblanco, naturalist guide and co-owner of Casa Botania, with Robert Dean (photo by Harry Hull).

Illustrator of The Birds of Costa Rica and The Birds of Panama, Robert Dean was the featured guest at the SVBC Annual Meeting 2015.

Robert led a Bird Walk at the Wilson Botanical Garden on the morning of the meeting, Saturday, Feb. 21, that ended with an all-time high species count of 65!

Following the walk, members adjourned to Cascata del Bosco for a mid-morning brunch. At the business meeting, President Alison Olivieri summed up club activities in 2014, Treasurer Fred Schroeder gave a financial report for fiscal year 2014, BirdSleuth-International Teacher Roni Chernin provided a detailed report on the Cornell University Lab of Ornithology Education Program in local schools and Communications Chairman Harry Hull reported statistics from our website.

Brunch dessert! (Photo by Jean Schroeder)

Brunch dessert! (Photo by Jean Schroeder)

Big Bird Feeder Competition

A Consolation Prize was given to Gail and Harry Hull of Finca Cantaros for the unhappy appearance of Species #27and #28 two days after the official closing date. Wendy Russell took Second Runner Up with 25 species. The feeders at El Tangaral made Greg Homer First Runner Up with 28 species but Roni Chernin swept First Place with her bananas from Finca Paz y Flor! Congratulations to all and let’s beat Roni’s 28 in 2016!

Additionally, members faced a challenging Bird ID Quiz created by Member Jo Davidson featuring her photos of 40 species commonly seen in and around San Vito. ONLY our guest, Mr. Dean, correctly identified 100% of the birds!

Robert then spoke about his role in creating a new field guide, The Birds of Costa Rica, with Richard Garrigues nine years ago. The newly revised edition published in January  was available for members so Robert finished the day by sharing his unpublished artwork and signing books, new and old!

A Bird Walk led by Robert Dean, top step with Julie Girard, kicked off the Annual Meeting 2015 (photo by Harry Hull).

A Bird Walk led by Robert Dean, top step with Julie Girard, kicked off the Annual Meeting 2015 (photo by Harry Hull).

Ernie Vogt 1942-2015

The Man Who Loved and Planted Trees

The SVBC Annual Meeting 2015 was dedicated to Member Ernie Vogt who never failed to encourage and generously support the Club’s activities during his and Lydia’s time here with us in San Vito.

ERNIE VOGT 1942-2015

ERNIE VOGT 1942-2015

While the rest of us were walking around, peering through our binoculars, oohing and aahing: “Oh, it’s a White-throated Spadebill” and “Ooooo, look, a Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant”, Ernie was busy planting trees. We understand, after talking with Lydia about this on several occasions, that Ernie was always fascinated by trees. Many of you know they had an avocado orchard in California. Many of you also know that Ernie started planting trees the year they arrived – 2009 – and that year managed to put 500 new trees into the forest at Finca Sofia. Eventually, the number of trees he planted grew to 2,000.

Ernie appreciated birds and even got excited about them. But Ernie knew that birds need trees – and he knew they’re not alone. We all need trees: insects, mammals, birds, reptiles and even rain forest fish need trees to survive. So, please raise your coffee cups to Ernie who understood the Big Picture in a way many of us do not. And let’s all plant trees this year and think of Ernie.

Lydia and Ernie birding at the Wilson Botanical Garden (photo by Alison Olivieri).

Lydia and Ernie birding at the Wilson Botanical Garden (photo by Alison Olivieri).

1st Annual Volunteer Thank You Lunch/Primer Almuerzo de Agradecimiento a los Voluntarios

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As the rainy season draws to a close we decided it was time to thank members who’ve volunteered time, energy and supplies over the past several years with a special Volunteer Thank You Lunch at OTS Las Cruces!

Whether it was painting faces at the Festival Eco-Cultural and the Feria Brunka Emprende, baking and selling for our fund-raiser bake sales, contributing expertise to the Detectives de Pajaros community projects or anything else, we are extremely lucky to have these members who consistently, year after year, help the SVBC participate in community-based special events.

Horticulturist Dave Janas leading the Garden Walk November 8, 2014. Photo by Liz Allen.

Horticulturist Dave Janas leading the Garden Walk November 8, 2014. Photo by Liz Allen.

We have bird walks all the time but just prior to our lunch on Saturday, November 8, Dave Janas led us on a Garden Walk to the Cactus Garden, Cycad Hill, the Economy Garden and the Hummingbird Garden, pointing out interesting plants and answering all kinds of questions along the way. A trained horticulturist, Dave is new to the Wilson Botanical Garden — we all hope he will be here for some time to come!

Many of the “lunchees” signed up to help Dave twice a month with gardening projects that will renovate and beauty-up the botanical grounds. With a garden of this immense size, projects and needs for equipment and supplies never end so if you have time and energy to contribute, please contact Dave at davetheplantguy@gmail.com or click here to contact us or just send an email to sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com.

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Attendees at the SVBC Volunteer Thank You Lunch in November 2014. Photo by Liz Allen

Attendees at the SVBC Volunteer Thank You Lunch in November 2014. Photo by Liz Allen

Conforme la estación lluviosa se acerca a su fin, decidimos que era tiempo de agradecer a aquellos miembros que han aportado tiempo, energía y suministros durante los últimos años con ¡Un Almuerzo de Agradecimiento especial en la OET Las Cruces!

Ya fuese pintando caritas en el Festival Eco-Cultural y la Feria Brunka Emprende, horneando y vendiendo para nuestra venta para recaudar fondos, aportando experiencia a proyectos comunales de los Detectives de Pajaros o cualquier otra cosa, tenemos muchísima suerte de tener a estos miembros que consistentemente, año tras año, ayudan al SVBC participar en eventos especiales enfocados en la comunidad.

Tenemos caminatas para pajarear todo el tiempo pero, justo antes de nuestro almuerzo el sábado 8 de noviembre, Dave Janas nos guió en una Caminata de Jardín por los Jardines de Cactus, la Colina de las Cícadas, el Jardín de la Economía y el Jardín de Colibríes, señalando plantas interesantes y respondiendo toda clase de preguntas durante el camino. Dave es un horticultor entrenado nuevo en el Jardín Botánico Wilson ¡Todos esperamos que esté aquí por un tiempo más todavía!

Muchos de los “almorzadores” se inscribieron para ayudar a Dave dos veces al mes con proyectos de jardinería que van a renovar y embellecer los terrenos botánicos. Con un jardín de este inmenso tamaño, los proyectos y las necesidades de equipo nunca terminan. Así que, si usted tiene tiempo y energía para contribuir, por favor contacte a David a la dirección davetheplantguy@gmail.com o haga click aquí para contactarnos o envíe un correo electrónico a la dirección sanvitobirdclub@gmail.com.

Quiz Bird #2 Revealed/La Respuesta del Prueba #2!

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Quiz Bird #2 had nine entries, two of which were correct: Lesser Goldfinch (Carduelis psaltria).

Lesser Goldfinch photographed by Jo Davidson.

Lesser Goldfinch photographed by Jo Davidson.

Our Official Winner is Suzanne Gross of Piedades, Santa Ana, who came on one of our walks at the Wilson Garden last December. Due to the difficulty of mailing cookies from San Vito, Suzanne has generously donated her one dozen Chocolate Chips to our next Bird Walk at the Wilson Garden.

Other entries included two orioles, two tanagers, a vireo, a warbler and a seedeater.

Thanks for a great job Photographer Jo Davidson on making sure the bill was hidden behind a leaf: we fooled everybody except Suzanne and member Jim Zook.

Gracias a nuestra miembre Jo Davidson para su foto de un Carduelis psaltria!

Tuvimos mas respuestas este vez, pero solo dos de nueve estaban correctos.

Felicidades a Suzanne Gross de Piedades, Santa Ana: su respuesta estaba correcto: Lesser Goldfinch!

Annual Meeting 2014/Reunión Anual 2014

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“Bird Walk and Breakfast” was the theme of this year’s Annual Meeting, celebrating 10 years of birding in San Vito!

'Bird Walk and Breakfast.' Photo by Harry Hull

‘Bird Walk and Breakfast.’ Photo by Harry Hull

President Alison Olivieri reviewed Club activities in 2013, including twice-monthly Bird Walks at the Wilson Garden, several day trips to locations such as Rio Negro and Las Alturas, and an overnight trip to Alexander Skutch’s farm Las Cusingas. The mist netting team completed the ninth year of its Avian Monitoring Project, with Principal Investigator Dr. Steve Latta of the National Aviary in Pittsburgh, PA, and his Connecticut collaborator Judy Richardson of the Connecticut Audubon Society. A new initiative, pilot programs of BirdSleuth-International – “Detectives de Pajaros” in San Vito – ran in five schools: Linda Vista, Canas Gordas, La Pintada, Las Brisas and Tres Rios.

The Grand Prize for the Big Bird Feeder Competition 2013 went to Pat Morgan with Gail and Harry Hull of Finca Cantaros as runners-up.

Executive Committee Members were elected as follows: Alison Olivieri, President; Harry Hull, Vice President; Fred Schroeder, Treasurer, and Lydia Vogt, Secretary-in-absentia.

Newly-elected Vice President Harry Hull. Photo by Gail Hull

Newly-elected Vice President Harry Hull. Photo by Gail Hull

We are pleased to have Harry join us on the EC, as his contributions to our Communications Committee in general and specifically the website have been enormous and are greatly appreciated.

Treasurer Fred Schroeder reported the Club as “financially healthy” for the Fiscal Year ending September 30, 2013. He also pointed out the Club’s biggest asset is our collection of donated binoculars!

Roni Chernin, “Detectives de Pajaros” teacher, gave a comprehensive report of our efforts in local schools in 2013 and the plans, now underway, for teaching this Cornell University education program in eight schools in the just-started academic year 2014. With Roni’s encouragement, meeting participants played “The Habitat Game” and another “Detectives de Pajaros” teacher, Kelley Rasch, was the victorious bird, gathering Water, Food, Air and Shelter faster than her competitors!

Newly-elected VP Harry Hull manned the audio-visual equipment to show one of Andrew England’s many classroom videos, ‘Migration Obstacles’ with a Question and Answer session fielded by Roni.

Undoubtedly the most exciting part of the morning was the announcement of an anonymous Matching Gift of up to $350 – the cost of running the program in one school. Thanks to our caring and generous members, the match was reached almost immediately so we can now fully fund the targeted eight schools for this year!

It was a hard row to hoe for VP Hull to follow this excitement but he gave an interesting and succinct report on our website (now two years old) that shows both visitor numbers and followers growing. Click here to see the document he showed to illustrate the past year’s website activity:

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“Caminata para Pajarear y Desayuno” fue el tema de este año de la Reunión anual, ¡Celebrando 10 años de pajarear en San Vito!

Making Breakfast: Chef George Alcock. Photo by Jean Schroeder

Making Breakfast: Chef George Alcock. Photo by Jean Schroeder

La Presidenta Alison Olivieri repasó las actividades del Club en el 2013, incluyendo caminatas bimensuales para ver pájaros en el Jardín Wilson, varias excursiones como la del Río Negro y Las Alturas, y una excursión nocturna a la granja Los Cusingos de Alexander Skutch. El equipo de redes de niebla completó el noveno año de su Proyecto de Monitoreo de Aves, con el Investigador Principal Dr. Steve Latta del National Aviary en Pittsburgh, PA, y su colaboradora de Connecticut, Judy Richardson del Connecticut Audubon Society. Una nueva iniciativa, programas piloto del BirdSleuth-International – “Detectives de Pajaros” en San Vito fueron ejecutados en cinco escuelas: Linda Vista, Cañas Gordas, La Pintada, Las Brisas y Tres Ríos.

El Gran Premio para la Competencia de Alimentadores de Pájaros fue para Pat Morgan con Gail and Harry Hull de Finca Cántaros como subcampeones.

Los miembros del Comité Ejecutivo fueron elegidos de la siguiente manera: Alison Olivieri, Presidenta; Harry Hull, Vicepresidente; Fred Schroeder, Tesorero y Lydia Vogt Secretaria-in-absentia. Estamos felices a tener Harry como vicepresidente asi como su trabajo sobre el Comité de Comunicaciones en general ha sido grandemente apreciado, específicamente, el sitio web.

Treasurer Fred Schroeder, Gail Hull, 'Detectives de Pajaros' Teacher Roni Chernin. Photo by Jean Schroeder

Treasurer Fred Schroeder, Gail Hull, ‘Detectives de Pajaros’ Teacher Roni Chernin. Photo by Jean Schroeder

El Tesorero Fred Schroeder reportó como “financieramente saludable” el Año Fiscal que terminó el 30 de Septiembre del 2013. El mencionó también que el acierto más grande del Club es ¡Nuestra colección de binoculares donados!

La profesora de “Detectives de Pájaros” Roni Chernin, dio un comprensivo reporte de nuestros esfuerzos en escuelas locales durante el 2013 y los planes, ahora en marcha, para enseñar este programa educativo de la Universidad de Cornell en ocho escuelas en el recién iniciado año académico 2014. Con el estímulo de Roni, se reunieron participantes para jugar “The Habitat Game” (“El Juego del Hábitad”).

Otra profesora de “Detectives de Pajaros”, Kelley Rasch resultó el ave ganadora, recogiendo Agua, Comida, Aire y Refugio ¡Más rápido que sus competidores!

'Detectives de Pajaros' Teacher Kelley Rasch: winner of 'The Habitat Game'! Photo by Jean Schroeder

‘Detectives de Pajaros’ Teacher Kelley Rasch: winner of ‘The Habitat Game’! Photo by Jean Schroeder

El recién electo vicepresidente, Harry Hull condujo el equipo audio visual para enseñar uno de los muchos videos de clase de Andrew England. “Migration Obstacles” (“Obstáculos Migratorios”) con una sesión de Preguntas y Respuestas por Roni Chernin.

Indudablemente la parte más emocionante de la mañana fue el anuncio de un Concurso

de Regalos de $350 – el costo de ejecutar el programa en una escuela. Gracias a nuestros

considerados y generosos miembros, la meta se alcanzó casi inmediatamente así que ¡Ahora podemos costear completamente las ocho escuelas meta para este año!

Fue un largo trecho por recorrer para el vicepresidente Harry Hull pero, siguiendo su emoción, el dio un interesante y preciso reporte de nuestro Sitio Web (de dos años ahora) que muestra un crecimiento en ambos, número de visitantes y seguidores. Aquí se ve el reporte.

Pat Morgan Wins the Big Birdfeeder Competition 2013

Pat Morgan's Golden-olive Woodpecker.

Pat Morgan’s Golden-olive Woodpecker.

SVBC member Pat Morgan is the Grand Prize Winner of the Birdfeeder Competition for 2013 with a total of 25 species! At the end of December, she spotted a Golden-Olive Woodpecker, took this photo and jumped into First Place ahead of six other entries.

Gail and Harry Hull of Finca Cantaros are the Runners-Up with a total of 24.

Because the counts were so close both competitors will be awarded a prize at the SVBC Annual Meeting in February (date to be announced shortly).

Now is the time to start your Feeder List for 2014! Have your binos, a notepad and a pencil at the ready so you can record all species in accordance with the rules: the bird must either land on the feeder (or hanging fruit) or be seen feeding on fallen pieces on the ground underneath.  Ready? Set? GO!

Northern Cardinal. Photo by

Northern Cardinal. Photo by Suzanne Dargie.

And just for a laugh, here is a species that probably won’t be seen on our lists any time soon.  Barb and Wally Barton’s niece sent it along to remind them of the frozen northland!