SanBIRDrano Birding Group participates in annual bird-a-thon
Friday, April 19th, 2019
It was a day for the birds when five enthusiasts met up in San Pedro on Saturday, April 13th to participate in the sixth annual Belize Bird Conservancy’s Bird-a-thon and fundraiser. Held during April, the bird-a-thon is a fun way to support bird conservation while collecting important data about birds found in Belize during that time. Eco-lodges and tourism establishments sponsor the local groups who participate, and this year, according to organizer Roni Martinez, 17 groups were organized across the country. In San Pedro, the group was sponsored by Grand Caribe Resort, and within a radius of five miles and over eight hours, the birders identified 71 different species.
Careful to follow the protocol set by the Belize Bird Conservancy, the SanBIRDrano group recorded their sightings on eBird, the world’s largest biodiversity-related citizen science project, with more than 100 million bird sightings contributed each year by eBirders around the world. Starting at 6AM at the Mahogany Bay area, the group was delighted to identify 40 species of birds in just one hour, including reddish egrets, roseate spoonbills, black-necked stilts, white ibis, a willet and a variety of warblers, orioles, herons, terns, doves, and sandpipers to name a few. The group then worked their way north, stopping at select areas along the way and identifying more birds. Ending at Grand Caribe Resort, their list totaled 71 different birds, with the rare Caribbean Elaenia on the top of their cool list, followed by the Bronzed Cowbird in full courtship display, and a migrating Eastern Kingbird. Other treats included Bananaquit, Black Catbird, Black-bellied Plover, Eastern Wood-Pewee, Morelet’s Seedeater, Northern Parula Orange Oriole, Olive-throated Parakeet (Aztec), Summer Tanager and many others.
Proceeds from the annual Belize Bird Conservancy Bird-a-thon go to community outreach about the benefits of birds, the Belize Raptor Certification Program, supporting internships, Belize Raptor Watch Program, protection of Scarlet Macaw nesting sites and learning about the endangered Yellow-headed Parrot.
For more information about the Belize Bird Conservancy and how you can donate, please visit their website at www.belizebirdconservancy.org. If you are interested in joining the SanBIRDrano group, please email [email protected]
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