Strengthening Our Birding With Citizen Science

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Team Belize finished with 242 species. From left: Roni Martinez, Andrew Farnsworth, Steve Kelling, Brian Sullivan.

Seth, since his time working for the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, and even after his time in Ithaca, has helped me to see how important the Lab’s work is to what our company has been doing since he was an infant. Citizen science is an essential component, and at Chan Chich Lodge guests have responded to the passion the guides have for eBird, which is why we put so much attention into this year’s Global Big Day. And it is why we are already planning the next collaboration with the Lab, a collaboration Seth will lead on our side. For now, a final roundup of stories from last weekend, starting with our favorite team:

…After pooling their lists, the teams ended the day with a whopping 327 species combined—reflecting not just great birding but the region’s importance to an immense diversity of birds. Team Belize topped the friendly group competition with 242 species (including 40 species the other teams didn’t find); Team Mexico found 224 species (with 43 unique to their list); and Team Guatemala tallied 213 (with 23 unique)…

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Flame Robin by John Cantwell/Macaulay Library, taken on Global Big Day

Also, the final numbers are in and news published late yesterday confirmed what I suspected as day was breaking in Belize, titled Global Big Day 2017: birding’s biggest day ever:

…On 13 May 2017, almost 20,000 birders from 150 countries around the world joined together as a global team, contributing more than 50,000 checklists containing 6,564 species—more than 60% of the world’s birds. This is a new record for the number of bird species reported in a single day,and it’s thanks to you. From Antarctica to Zimbabwe, your contributions make this possible.

For us, Global Big Day is a celebration of birds. By bringing people together, Global Big Day showcases the great birds from each region—helping bring awareness to birding and conservation regionally and globally. This year (as in previous Global Big Days), the friendly competition in South America continued to evolve as an inspiring story, with four countries topping 1,000 for the single-day tally: Brazil, Ecuador, Peru, and Colombia. In past years Brazil and Peru had always vied for the #1 slot for species totals, and in 2017 we have a new champion: Colombia…

…For the Cornell Lab’s Team Sapsucker, the focus this year was on the Maya Forest of the Yucatán Peninsula. The teams split into three, covering ground in Mexico, Belize, and Guatemala—highlighting the critical importance of this region to migrant songbirds of the Americas, as well as the local resident and endemic species. Team Sapsucker would like to offer a sincere thanks to CONABIO, the Petén Birders Club, Belize Bird Conservancy, LOWA boots, the Mayan Jays, Chan Chich Lodge, the Yucatan Jays, and Black Rock Lodge—as well as all of the local birders and people that made this possible…

Read the whole story here.

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