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Sunday, November 19, 2006

Attention Birders

Birds are ready and waiting to be counted for Christmas census
Special to A.M. Costa Rica

A Costa Rican bird count next month looks to add to a list of 493 species already discovered.

Christmas bird counts are a traditional year-end activity begun by the National Audubon Society in the United States more than 100 years ago. The Audubon's mission is to conserve biodiversity and restore natural ecosystems, focusing of course on birds, but also other wildlife and habitats.

The bird count is a competition between teams. A circle 15 miles in diameter is marked and the area divided among teams of birders. All individual birds seen and heard are counted over the course of a 24-hour day

In Costa Rica, the longest running bird count is centered around Finca La Selva, the Organization for Tropical Studies' field station reserve near Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí.
This will be its 22nd year. Last year alone 325 species and 6,372 individual birds were counted by 67 persons in 17 separate parties. The richest region for bird diversity has been around the reserve itself and also on the slopes of Volcan Barva.

Event organizers welcome both experienced and unexperienced birders to participate. The locations, dates and organizers for the bird counts are:

-Aerial Tram: Dec. 14. Daniel Torres, 711-0018, danieltorrescr@yahoo.com
-Cartago: Dec. 17. Julio Sánchez juliosanchez@yahoo.com
-Grecia: To be announced. Rafa Campos ticornis@yahoo.com
-Monteverde: To be announced.
-La Selva: Dec. 30. Rodolfo Alvarado ralva@sloth.ots.ac.cr 766-6565 ext 139
-Fila Costera (Pérez Zeledón): Jan. 3. Noel Ureña
filacostera@costaricabirdingtours.com 771-9686 or 354-9074

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I live on the Pacific slopes of the Talamanca mountain range in southern Costa Rica. My adult children live in the United States. I have a Masters Degree in Gerontology but have worked as a migrant laborer, chicken egg collector, radio broadcaster, secretary, social worker, research director, bureaucrat, writer, editor, political organizer, publicist, telephone operator, and more. My hobby of photography has garnered some awards.

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