2019 Global Big Day in Ensenada

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By Jonathan Vargas/ Bird Conservation Projects Associate of Terra Peninsular and Part of Coastal Solutions Fellows Program

This article was translated by Amairani Márquez and Manuel Eduardo Mendoza

On May 4, 2019 the Ensenada Urban Birds Program (PAU in Spanish) participated in one of the largest citizen science contests of the year. The Global Big Day is an initiative created by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology with the purpose of promoting conservation and generating information about the current status of bird populations, thus creating the largest ornithological database in the world.

Last year, more than 30, 000 people from around the world heed the Global Big Day call, recording more than 7,000 species of birds in a 24-hour lapse, and this year was no exception. A total of 33,131 eBird user participants from 171 countries uploaded 87,077 lists to the platform, recording a total of 6,836 species and 1.85 million birds. However, another interesting fact was that there were 83 countries that were not represented and where no lists were shared or species recorded.

Colombia was the country with the highest number of species for the third time recording 1,591 species; it was thanks to the great organization of a national team of coordinators who led the 1,217 routes and submitted 6,569 lists, which is much less than the 48,511 lists shared in the United States, highlighting the great diversity of birds that Colombia has regarding other countries.

Photo: Terra Peninsular.

In Mexico we were able to record 763 species in 1,246 lists, exceeding our record of 759 in 2017. Veracruz is crowned with the first place in Mexico recording 409 species, exceeding the previous record of 403 in the state of Chiapas. Although Baja California was well represented with 121 species, we could not exceed the previous record of 175 species from last year.

Meanwhile, in Ensenada, each route was led by a member of the Ensenada PAU: Liliana Ortiz (Pro Esteros), Ernesto Salmerón (Contacto Salvaje), Oscar Jiménez (Investigación Aplicada a Socioecosistemas) and Jonathan Vargas (Coastal Solutions- Terra Peninsular). Twenty-two volunteers from the Los Correcaminos Club participated in the event and went through several sites of interest in the city (Cañon Doña Petra, Arroyo San Miguel, Estero Punta Banda, El Ciprés-La Lagunita beach, and Llanos de Maneadero).

The event was characterized by great harmony among all the participants, who with great encouragement went through the assigned routes recording all the birds that were in their way.

Thanks to this joint effort, it was possible to record 106 of the 121 species recorded in the state during the contest, positioning Baja California in 16th place in Mexico this year.

I want to make special thanks to all the participants and organizations that joined this challenge. We hope that next year we can exceed our record.

Some birds watched are:

  • Snowy plover
  • Semipalmated plover
  • Marbled godwit
  • Wandering tattler
  • American avocet
  • Yellow-breasted chat
  • California quail
  • Burrowing owl
  • Golden eagle
  • Red-tailed hawk
  • California towhee
  • California scrub-jay
  • Western meadowlark
  • Horned grebe
  • Blue-winged teal
  • Cinnamon teal
  • Ruddy duck
  • Brown pelican
  • Red.winged blackbird
  • Bell’s vireo
  • Wrentit
Snowy plover. Photo: Jonathan Vargas.