OTS celebrates another year of Christmas Bird Counts in Costa Rica

For many people the arrival of the holidays is synonymous with walks, family visits, trips and vacations. But for some passionate about nature, the winter season is the perfect time to monitor migratory bird species in the northern hemisphere through the famous Christmas Bird Counts in which our Costa Rican stations participate. 

As in past years, Las Cruces, Palo Verde, and La Selva were meeting points for naturalists, neighbors of the stations, and OTS staff, among others, to gather to participate in this wonderful tradition.  

Las Cruces Research Station 

Las Cruces took part in the third Coto Brus Christmas Bird Count on December 14, 2023. About 50 people participated in the data collection. The San Vito Bird Club, Turibrus, and the Finca Cántaros Environmental Association also participated in the activity. 

In summary, the group of participants managed to count a total of 285 different species grouped into 54 families, for a total of 4,886 individuals. The most common families observed in the area include Tyrannidae (37 species), Parulidae (21 species), and Thraupidae (20 species).

Palo Verde Research Station

The fourth edition of the Christmas bird count in Palo Verde was held in collaboration with the National System of Conservation Areas of Costa Rica Arenal-Tempisque Conservation Area (SINAC-ACAT) and OTS. It took place on December 19, 2023, with the participation of about 50 people, including birders from the Bagaces area but also from other areas of the country. 

OTS is grateful for the support of Hacienda El Viejo for data collection and the farm El Pelón de la Bajura in Bagaces for facilitating routes and access. 

La Selva Research Station

La Selva held the 39th edition of its Christmas bird count on December 16, 2023 with a little over 120 people gathering to walk 26 routes (one more than last year) designated within the Station and surrounding areas in the canton of Sarapiqui, for an approximate coverage of 452 km2. 

With this edition, La Selva is approaching more than four decades of counts, which positions the Station as one of the longest-running counts with the largest number of participants in Latin America. La Selva is also one of the most biodiverse in the region, reporting over 300 species each year. 

Commitment to biological monitoring and citizen science 

OTS is proud to continue supporting events of such relevance for biological monitoring, such as these, which have become a tradition for the Costa Rican birding community. OTS also assures its commitment to continue strengthening these initiatives at all its stations and to continue contributing to the generation of data for the future of the tropics. 

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