Are you used to pay attention on birds around you? Have you ever seen a free bird with something like a colored ring in the legs? If yes, we believe you can be a right citizen scientist for our project.
The project “Did I see a banded bird!?” (original name in portuguese is “Eu vi uma ave usando pulseiras!?”) was created to promote the participation of Brazilian citizens in banded bird monitoring. Although the number of Brazilian bird enthusiasts are increasing since early-century, and many Brazilian ornithologists are marking bird individuals in many locations, ecological/ornithological projects involving public participation on a high quality bird monitoring (such as focused on bird individuals) are still scarce. When someone find such bird and do a report of this encounter to the ornithologist who banded that bird, this professional will have the chance to use this information in his scientific investigation, which may have different objectives. It is a simple and low budget monitoring approach for bird individuals.
We first applied this approach in 2016, in an agricultural landscape in southeastern Brazil. In that occasion, we aimed to follow banded forest birds movements inside and outside small forest patches with the help of birdwatchers. You may find some results of this step here:
• Alexandrino, et al. (2019). Challenges in Engaging Birdwatchers in Bird Monitoring in a Forest Patch: Lessons for Future Citizen Science Projects in Agricultural Landscapes. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice, 4(1), p.4. doi.org/10.5334/cstp.198
In 2018, we used this approach to monitor a family of Red-legged Seriema (large-sized terrestrial bird) in an urbanized area. Our objective was identify why these individuals (one adult and two fledglings) were living in the urban ecosystem, an atypical environment for the species. Because citizens provided several pictures and movies of each monitored bird, we also described bird’s behaviors, which helped us to go further in our investigation. You can check our results here:
• Alexandrino, et al. (2019). Large Terrestrial Bird Adapting Behavior in an Urbanized Zone. Animals, 9(6): 351. doi.org/10.3390/ani9060351
In 2019, we implemented this project in other localities in Brazil mainly within the domain of the Atlantic Forest. Now we are focusing spots that are widely visited by tourists and birdwatchers, from urban parks to large forest reserves. We aim to provide knowledge of which environments and through which species this scientific approach works better.
Please, check in the map all places where we are currently working. If you are coming to Brazil, take a time to pass by one of the project´s spot.
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