Past Projects

In addition to the Club’s regular activities—leading twice-monthly bird walks at the Wilson Botanical Garden as well as other locations as opportunities arise, continued participation in the local Avian Monitoring Project (now under the auspices of the CRBO), organizing occasional day trips and overnight birding expeditions for members, participating in special events at the nearby Las Cruces Biological Station (OTS), and assisting conservation education in local schools—the Club has several ongoing active projects which area described on the Current Projects page. The Club has also been involved in several important Past Projects:

Las Cruces Canopy Tower Fundraising.

The SVBC was instrumental in conceiving and raising the funds for the dramatic Canopy Tower built at Las Cruces Biological Station/Wilson Botanical Garden near San Vito. The following article by Alison Olivieri in the July 2011 issue of the Club’s Newsletter celebrates the canopy tower inauguration.

Learning to Bird

Alison with Kate Allen Desvenain teaching

Alison and Kate Allen Desvenain teaching “Learning to Bird” course. (Photo: Alison Olivieri)

For beginners, we offer a unique educational experience that aims to teach the fundamentals of birding. One of our local birding hotspots, Finca Cántaros, is the site for the first three classes, one per week. Novices learn the history of bird watching in the US and Costa Rica and experience active, hands-on lessons in distinguishing bird families using field guides, finding birds, seeing field marks and learning songs and calls. Five common bird species are assigned as homework for each class. Participants learn the importance of moving quietly through the forest; and are introduced to locally common trees and shrubs the birds frequent.

In the fourth week, the final exam is a formal Bird Walk at the Wilson Botanical Garden where each student must find a bird, show it to the rest of the group, and identify it by sight or sound. We want to translate this class into Spanish and offer it to local people and are looking for volunteers, not only to to help with the translations but also to teach the class itself. Please contact us if you’re interested!


The SVBC has sponsored the attendance of several individuals at educational programs related to ornithological research. The most recent was supporting the participation of Kate Allen Desvenain, an international member, in a bird banding workshop in Peru.

Several years prior in 2008, the Club sponsored the attendance of Pablo Elizondo and Danny Ruiz at a birding symposium in El Salvador where they presented some of the data from the Club’s Avian Monitoring Project. The article below that appeared in an issue of the Club’s Newsletter was written by the two participants and reports on their experience.

International Migratory Bird Day.

In 2009, we produced the first International Migratory Bird Day (IMBD) celebration in this part of Costa Rica. The article below by Julie Girard that appeared in an issue of the Club’s Newsletter reports on the day-long event held at OTS’s Las Cruces Biological Station/Wilson Botanical Garden on April 4.

Eco-Cultural Festival.

Since 2009, the SVBC has been a supporter and major participant in annual Eco-Cultural Festivals held in June at the Wilson Botanical Garden. The following article by Lydia Vogt about this two-day event in 2010 appeared in the following issue of the Club’s Newsletter.

Other Costa Rican Causes Supported by the Club.

The Club and its members also support the San Vito community and other Costa Rican humanitarian causes in modest but meaningful ways. For example, the Club contributed to the Earthquake Disaster Fund following the strongest earthquake to hit Costa Rica in over 150 years, a quake that caused extensive damage and hardship in the Valle Central area in January 2009. The following Club Newsletter article by former Club treasurer, Dave Woolley, explains some of the other ways the Club gives back to the community.