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Central America

Binoculars and Birders' Exchange

Across Central and South America, conservationists, teachers, and researchers are benefiting from groups like Birder’s Exchange, a program of the American Birding Association. The program collects new and used binoculars, scopes, books, and tripods, and passes them on to people working to... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  birding, birdwatching

How Toucans Stay Cool

The Toco Toucan of South America has evolved to stay cool in the sweltering heat of the tropics. Relative to its body size, the Toco Toucan has the largest bill of any bird in the world, accounting for a third of the body’s entire surface area. It’s also laced with blood vessels and wholly... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

Travel to Panama – With BirdNote

It was a great trip in September, 2016 - BirdNote teamed up with Victor Emanuel Nature Tours to escape to paradise in Panama – one of the premier destinations for birding and adventure in the Neotropics.Experience….    The dawn chorus from the Canopy Tower above the treetops in the... read more »

Costa Rica Winter Sunrise

Explore the magical sounds and sights of Costa Rica with BirdNote in March 2018.Learn more and register here. And experience this:On a winter morning in Costa Rica, a colorful choir welcomes the day. A pair of Bay Wrens sings a brisk duet just before sunrise. Perched in the upper canopy of the... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  sound, vocalization

Thick-billed Euphonia - Deceitful Mimic

Northern Mockingbirds can learn to mimic the sounds of just about any bird. They mimic to show off, not to deceive. But this Thick-billed Euphonia, a tiny songbird in South America, employs what scientists call “deceitful mimicry.” When frightened by a predator near its nest, a Thick-billed... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  ecology, ornithology

Sungrebe: Baby on Board

Birds have developed many strategies for protecting their young. But only one species can tuck its chicks into pouches under its wings, then fly the young to safety. It’s the Sungrebe of Central and South America. Despite the name, they are not closely related to grebes. Sungrebes swim and dive... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  nesting, ornithology

Jacana - Lily-trotter

The strange wading birds known as jacanas are nick-named "lily-trotters" for their ability to walk on lilypads. In Jamaica, they're known as "Jesus birds," because they appear to be walking on water — a feat made possible by their long toes. But that's not all that's cool about jacanas.... read more »

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Cats and the Christmas Bird Count - With Roger Melendez

While many in the US are out counting birds for the annual Christmas Bird Count, our friends in Latin America are doing the same. At Costa Rica’s La Selva Research Station, they’re counting resident tropical birds and those that have migrated south for the winter, like this Baltimore Oriole.... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  citizen science

Costa Rica - The Land Is Pulsing with Life

It’s early morning in Costa Rica. Tiny bats nestle in a tree after a night on the wing. A Great Kiskadee calls. Gray-capped Flycatchers sally forth from willow-like shrubs to catch insects in mid-air. White Ibis forage at the water's edge. Deep in a thicket, Black-hooded Antshrikes call. By noon,... read more »

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OTS Facilitates Research

The Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS) operates three field research stations in Costa Rica: one in a very wet forest on the Atlantic coastal plain; another near the Pacific Ocean where there’s a long dry season; and the third, near Panama at mid-elevation. Dr. Gordon Orians, a past... read more »

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Topics & Themes:  science

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