Partners & Affiliates

Organization for Tropical Studies logo

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The Organization for Tropical Studies
Las Cruces Biological Station/Wilson Botanical Garden

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) is a non-profit consortium that includes 63 universities and research institutions from the United States, Latin America and Australia. It was founded to provide leadership in education, research and the responsible use of natural resources in the tropics. To address this mission, OTS provides graduate and undergraduate education, facilitates research, participates in tropical forest conservation, maintains three biological stations in Costa Rica and conducts environmental education programs.

The San Vito Bird Club leads twice-monthly bird walks at the OTS facility Las Cruces Biological Station/Wilson Botanical Garden in San Vito, famous for its extensive collection of palms, bromeliads and endangered plants. Despite a physical separation of more than 25 km., Las Cruces is part of the La Amistad Biosphere Reserve and has a bird list of more than 400 species.

Our members volunteer at the annual Festival Eco-Cultural in June and as docents for Wilson Garden tours, participate in environmental education programs, and assist with fund-raising and development. OTS supports the ongoing Avian Monitoring Project  through a grant to provide lodging and meals at Las Cruces for researchers and students.

For more information about the Las Cruces Biological Station/Wilson Botanical Garden, contact Zak Zahawi, Director:

Connecticut Audubon Society logo

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Connecticut Audubon Society

Founded in 1898, this non-profit has a mission of conserving the state’s environment through science-based education and advocacy focused on Connecticut’s bird populations and habitats. It operates nature facilities in Fairfield, Milford, Glastonbury and Pomfret, an EcoTravel office in Essex and an Environmental Advocacy program in Hartford.

Managing 19 wildlife sanctuaries across the state, CT Audubon preserves more than 2,600 acres of open space and educates more than 200,000 children and adults annually. Working exclusively in Connecticut for more than 100 years, it is an independent organization, not affiliated with any national or government group.

One of the two facilities in the town of Fairfield, Connecticut Audubon Birdcraft Museum is the oldest, continually-run bird banding station in the state. Judy Richardson, Birdcraft’s board chair and master bander permit holder, helped the SVBC set up the Avian Monitoring Project. She supports the project by attending sessions at least twice a year and by bringing members of her banding crew from CT to encourage and participate in our efforts.

National Aviary logo

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The National Aviary

Through decades of focus on wildlife conservation and captive breeding of rare and endangered birds, the Pittsburgh Aviary received honorary national status by the US Congress in 1992 and became the National Aviary.

Since then, the organization has received numerous prestigious education awards and engaged in internationally recognized field research and conservation programs. The Aviary has achieved world-first avian breeding successes and is breaking new ground in preventative care with its world-class veterinary program. The organization has grown from simply presenting its collection in attractive settings to realizing its responsibility to celebrate, protect and preserve birds for the perpetuation of the web of life.

Dr. Steven Latta, the Aviary’s Director of Conservation and Field Research, is the Principal Investigator of the SVBC Avian Monitoring Project.


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The Costa Rican Bird Observatories

The Costa Rica Bird Observatories (CRBO) is a nationwide partnership that promotes bird conservation, monitoring and education in Costa Rica.  Through a series of partnerships across the country the organization gathers, preserves, analyzes bird monitoring data and generates tools to enhance and promote bird conservation, serving as a model to be implemented across the Americas.

The operations of this organization are some of the longest running in Latin America. The CRBO works in collaboration with the National Institute of Biodiversity (INBio), the US Forest Service, and the Klamath Bird Observatory.

CRBO Executive Director, Pablo Elizondo, is now managing the Avian Monitoring Project, imparting these objectives to our project as well as the accumulated knowledge from all these collaborations, years of experience and local, hands-on expertise.

Asociacion Ornitologica de Costa Rica logo

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The Ornithological Association of Costa Rica

Founded in 1993 to celebrate the First Congress of Ornithology in Costa Rica, the Ornithological Association of Costa Rica (AOCR) is a nonprofit organization whose primary objective is to contribute to the study, research and conservation of wild birds and their habitats, helping to guide public and private policies in this field.

Its mission is summed up in three words: education, research and conservation. In 1999 the Association was declared an organization of “Public Interest” by the Government of Costa Rica.

The AOCR, based in the capitol city of San Jose, focuses on disseminating knowledge about the more than 900 species of birds in this country. To accomplish this, it publishes an ornithological journal, Zeledonia, twice a year. Expert birders lead monthly Bird Walks to places of interest in and around San Jose, as well as overnight trips to birding locations all over the country. Additionally, the AOCR conducts monthly evening meetings for members and guests. Membership is open to any and all interested parties.

The SVBC is affiliated with the AOCR as an Institutional Member.

Partners in Flight logo

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Partners in Flight Mesoamerica: Compañeros en Vuelo

Partners in Flight (PIF) was launched in 1990 in response to growing concerns about declines in the populations of many land bird species and to emphasize the conservation of birds not covered by existing conservation initiatives. The initial focus was on neotropical migrants, species that breed in the Nearctic (North America) and winter in the Neotropics (Central and South America), but the focus has spread to include most landbirds and other species requiring terrestrial habitats. The central premise of Partners in Flight  has been that the resources of public and private organizations in North and South America must be combined, coordinated, and increased in order to achieve success in conserving bird populations in this hemisphere.

The SVBC is an Institutional Member of this collaboration, a cooperative effort involving partnerships among federal, state and local government agencies, philanthropic foundations, professional organizations, conservation groups, industry, the academic community, and private individuals. All Partners in Flight meetings at all levels are open to anyone interested in bird conservation.

All data from the SVBC Avian Monitoring Project is reported to Pablo Elizondo, PIF Costa Rica National Coordinator, who works with us in a training capacity as well as connecting our project to the Costa Rican Banders’ Network that includes permanent banding stations in Tortuguero National Park, on the Osa Peninsula and at the Costa Rican Bird Observatory in the highlands of Selva Madre.

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Optics for the Tropics

Optics for the Tropics, Inc. is a non-profit organization providing quality optical equipment for ornithologists in the Caribbean and Latin America. In 2008, this organization provided the San Vito Bird Club with four pairs of binoculars from Eagle Optics and four copies of Stiles and Skutch’s A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica for our local volunteer assistants who help  with our Avian Monitoring Project four times a year.

It’s vision is “To increase the resources needed to improve monitoring, inventory, research, management and education regarding birds and their habitats in the Caribbean and Latin America and to strengthen partnerships that work toward a comprehensive bird conservation effort.”

The Audubon Shop logo

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The Audubon Shop

Connecticut’s original birders’ store, The Audubon Shop in Madison, is the place to go for optics, bird books, feeders, gifts, advice, day trips and excursions to international birding hotspots like Costa Rica, Botswana and Ecuador.

Jan and Jerry Connolly have been SVBC supporters for a long time and have led many trips to Costa Rica, often including our area in their itinerary.

With their help, we will be able to obtain good quality binoculars at a reasonable cost to lend out on our twice-monthly Bird Walks at the Wilson Garden, in addition to bird books, A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica by Stiles and Skutch and the newer, Garrigues and Dean book, The Birds of Costa Rica, both of which cost more in Costa Rica than they do in the US and are therefore often out of reach for local people, especially students.

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The Birding Club of Costa Rica

Located in the capitol city, San Jose, the BCCR is an active birding group offering monthly bird walks at location in and around the Central Valley as well as overnight trips to stellar birding locations throughout the country.

The club sends out a monthly newsletter, The Tico Tweeter, with timely trip and walk announcements, bird lists from recent activities, general information on birding here and photographs.

At least once a year, the SVBC and BCCR offer joint trips to interesting and “birdy” places in Costa Rica.

To join this organization or request information, send an email to:

Boquete Birders Group logo

The Boquete Birders Group
Boquete, Panama

In the nearby, picturesque Panamanian town of Boquete, a “flock” of like-minded bird and nature enthusiasts have formed The Boquete Birders Group.

The Group runs two planned activities each month.  On the second Friday of each month, they lead a Bird Walk for group members. On the third Friday, they host the Boquete Backyard Birders Bird Walk.  This walk is open to everyone including novice birders, tourists and newcomers to the area.

The group also plans special trips for group members that may include overnight stays and multiple birding days and they participate in the annual Chiriquí Christmas Bird Count held in Volcán, Panamá in December. The SVBC has hosted TBBG on a weekend birding trip.

For more information about TBBG, contact the Group Coodinator Sandra Cripe: