Pacific Southwest Research Station
800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
Research TopicsWildlife & Fish: Bird Monitoring
Costa Rica Bird Communities: Neotropical Migrants and Resident Birds
Since 1994, we have conducted research at Tortuguero, Costa Rica, in association
with the Costa Rica
Bird Observatories, Sea
Turtle Conservancy (formerly Caribbean Conservation Corporation), Instituto
Nacional de Biodiversidad Costa Rica (InBIO), Partners in Flight-Costa Rica,
and other cooperators. Our primary objective is to conduct long-term
monitoring for the study of neotropical migrant and resident
landbirds with the collaboration of Costa Ricans to further the knowledge
and understanding of Costa Rican birds through bird banding and census. When
the station was begun, it was the only operation to our knowledge regularly
monitoring the landbirds of the country on a consistent basis. Costa
Rica Bird Observatories has expanded these operations to five monitoring
sites in varied habitats across Costa Rica.
Internships available: If you are
interested in being an intern for our project, please read our
information for interns.
Costa Rican Birds
Costa Rica has a wealth of resident birds, along with seasonal migrants from
North America that either migrate through or stay the winter in Tortuguero.
"Checklist to the birds of Tortuguero"
is a compiled listing of birds seen or banded at our station. One intern wrote
about his experiences at the banding station in "A
season of bird monitoring in Costa Rica."
In November 2008, Jared Wolfe and the interns participated in a Bird-a-Thon
in and around the Tortuguero station, including a trip to the Tortuguero National
Park. His account, "Tortuguero
Integrated Bird Monitoring Project Bird-a-Thon", also contains a list
of the species observed during the trip.
- Wolfe, J.D., M.D. Johnson and C.J. Ralph. 2013. Greater
mass increases annual survival of Prothonotary Warblers (Protonotaria
citrea) wintering in northeastern Costa Rica. The Condor 115(1):163-167.
- Elizondo, P. and C.J. Ralph. 2012. Contributions
of two decades of bird banding and monitoring to the science and conservation
of birds in Costa Rica (abstract). North American Bird Bander 37(3):126.
- Elizondo, P., C.J. Ralph, and J.D. Wolfe. 2011. Out of the mists comes knowledge
of little-known endemics, as researchers band together to predict a no-analog
future. The All-Bird Bulletin Fall/Winter 2011: 6-7, 22. Available in http://www.nabci-us.org/aboutnabci/Bulletin-winter12.pdf
- Wolfe, J.D., T.B. Ryder, and P. Pyle. 2010. Using
molt cycles to categorize the age of tropical birds: an integrative new system.
J. Field Ornithol. 81(2):186–194.
- Wolfe, J.D. 2009. Diet
of some spring migrant landbirds on the Caribbean coast of Costa Rica.
Journal of Caribbean Ornithology 22:37-40.
- Wolfe, J.D., Chandler, R.B., and D.I. King. 2009. Molt
Patterns, age, and sex criteria for selected highland Costa Rican resident
landbirds. Ornitologia Neotropical 20: 451-459.
- Wolfe, J.D., Pyle, P. and C.J. Ralph. 2009. Breeding
seasons, molt patterns, and gender and age criteria for selected northeastern
Costa Rican resident landbirds. The Wilson Journal of Ornithology 121(3):556–567.
- Wolfe, J.D. and C.J. Ralph. 2009. Correlations
between El Niño-Southern Oscillation and changes in nearctic-neotropic
migrant condition in Central America. The Auk 126(4):809-814.
- Wolfe, J.D. and C.J. Ralph. 2008. Catorce años de anillamiento de
aves en Costa Rica: una visión general del Proyecto Integral de Monitoreo
de Aves de Tortuguero. Mesoamericana 12(3):171.
- Maglianesi, M. A. 2007. Aves y características de hábitat
en un bosque tropical muy húmedo en el Caribe costarricense. Amientales
33: 2-12. Available at: http://www.ambientico.una.ac.cr/A33.pdf.
- Ralph, C.J., M.J. Widowson, R.I. Frey, P.A. Herrera, and B.P. O'Donnell.
Overview of a Landbird Monitoring Program at Tortuguero, on the Caribbean
Coast of Costa Rica. pp. 831-838 in C. John Ralph and Terrell D. Rich,
editors. Bird Conservation Implementation and Integration in the Americas:
Proceedings of the Third International Partners in Flight Conference. 2002
March 20-24; Asilomar, California; Volume 2. Gen. Tech. Rep. PSW-GTR-191.
Albany, CA: Pacific Southwest Research Station, Forest Service, U.S. Department
- C. John Ralph, Geoffrey Geupel, Peter Pyle, Thomas Martin, and David DeSante.
of Field Methods for Monitoring Landbirds. PSW-GTR-144.
- Ralph, C.J., M. Widdowson, B. Widdowson, B. O’Donnell, and R.I. Frey.
Bird Monitoring Station Protocol for the Tortuguero Integrated Bird Monitoring
Program. U.S. Forest Service, Redwood Sciences Laboratory, Arcata, California.
"And the turtles of course...all the turtles
As turtles and, maybe, all creatures should
be." - Dr. Seuss