Annual Christmas Bird Count in Galapagos

28 Nov 18 /
Vermilion Flycatcher, Galapagos. Photo by: David Anchundia, CDF.

For the third consecutive year, the Charles Darwin Foundation and the Galapagos National Park Directorate, are organizing an annual Christmas Bird Count in Galapagos. The goal of this campaign is to involve the community in the scientific research and monitoring that is being carried out to evaluate the status of Galapagos landbirds. It will take place throughout the month of December.

Conteo Navideño de Aves en Galápagos
Christmas Bird Count in Galapagos. Photo by: Liza Díaz, FCD.

The "Christmas Bird Count" began in 1900 in the USA and Canada as an initiative to replace traditional Christmas “side hunts.” The count will help determine the population status of different bird species through a census that involves the community and is considered the oldest citizen science initiative in the world. It is currently carried out in several countries and since 2016, in Galapagos.

Birgit Fessl, leader of the Landbird Conservation Program at the Charles Darwin Research Station, comments: ""We want to give the opportunity to people who live in Galapagos or who visit the islands to collaborate in the activities we are doing to conserve Galapagos birds, for this reason we started the Christmas Bird Count. The participation of the community in this scientific project is important and will help us enormously with the collection of data."

This year, the focus bird species are: the Vermilion Flycatcher, the Galapagos Dove and the owls. But reports of sightings of any species of land bird are welcomed. Sightings can be reported via social networks (Facebook, Instagram), Whastapp (+593 993 031 330) or email birds@fcdarwin.org.ec.

Paloma de Galápagos
Galapagos Dove. Photo by: Liza Díaz, CDF.

This year Ecology Project International (EPI) will invite students from local schools and colleges to help us count birds. We will also have the help of members of the Club Mola Mola and CDF’s Shark Ambassadors. The objective will not only be to count birds, but also to make the Galapagos community aware of the importance of protecting these iconic and important species of the Galapagos Islands.

Owl, Galapagos. Photo by: Sam Rowley, CDF.

This year we will have special surprises for the participants!

To be part of our initiative, download the Bird Count Form.

Andres Cruz

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