Global Big Day 2019: May 04 —- Nature enthusiasts look forward to the annual Global Big Day, where birders around the world document the bird species in their area. Cornel Lab/Ebird hosts this event, and the bird-sighting information helps scientists track changes in the birds’ habits and numbers.
I’ve noted a great change in the most-common birds near my house since last year’s bird census. The carambolas, plantains and oranges – favorite fruits for the Barbets, Motmots and Caciques – often go untouched until they eventually drop to the ground.
At times the fruit feeder remains untouched, and the ripe plantains rot. After last year’s abundance of birds at the feeder, this year brings a sobering concern about the changes.
The butterflies, however, enjoy their now-private fruit feasts.
While marveling at the beauty in front of our eyes, we often forget the ones that are absent. This happened when I was searching for Seedeaters and Grassquits, but I overlooked the absence of the Scarlet-rumped Caciques, the Orange-fronted Barbets and the Whooping Motmots. The Snail Kites no longer dotted the treetops. Are their numbers dwindling, or have they moved – and if so, why? Devoting one day to study the local birds might help decipher these mysteries, especially when scientists compare data from around the globe.
Below are a few birds that have recently dropped in for a photo op:
Take a timeout on Saturday May 4 and spend time with your feathered neighbors. If possible, share your sightings with eBird.