Amazon parrot (Amazonas auropalliata)
El Jobo hosts a unique population of yellow-naped amazon parrots that use a specific corridor during their daily migrations between their feeding and sleeping places. With the aim to know more about their population size, reproductive periods and social behavior, ETC conducts daily bird counts between 3:30pm – 6:30pm.
Counting the parrots
Volunteers are expected to perform these bird counts by themselves after receiving a detailed set of instructions and protocol on data collection.
There are 6 true parrots in Costa Rica, with the yellow-naped amazon having the smallest population and range of distribution in Central America. This species only exists in the dry tropical forest, which is present in parts of Nicaragua and Costa Rica; and like the parrot, the forest is in danger of extinction. The biggest threat to the parrot is the illegal extraction of their chicks, and of all the parrots, the yellow-naped amazon is one the best at imitating man.
The objective of this population survey is to educate and raise awareness about the existence of these parrots in Costa Rica.
Not much is known about this species, making these surveys crucial to understanding population size, variation in behavior with respect to environmental conditions, and breeding seasons. The survey consists of counting the parrots from a fixed point during a specific time with the hopes of eventually gaining a better understanding of the various aspects of their biology. This year has been the first year in which no chick has been stolen.
Steps to follow:
- Organize your lab notebook (note the following categories):
- Time of entry
- Number of individuals (1-5 +)
- Total number of individuals
- Wind speed (knots)
- Time of first parrot seen
- Departure time
- Once you have written all the previous categories, draw a timeline of the two hours you will be there; this is the second protocol, this timeline will allow us to see the peak time in which these parrots fly back home.
- Record the wind in knots, and the weather.
- Sit on the white board facing the sea and wait for the first parrot(s) to pass.
- Only count the parrots that fly towards the sea (the ones that pass through the corridor, towards the sea) – do not count the parrots that fly to the sides.
- Count the parrots for two hours; write the number of each on the corresponding number of individuals and the exact time they flew by on the timeline.
- Take notes of any other observations (if you changed your position, if the wind / weather changed during the count, if you notice any behaviors that seem important to note).
- Once the two hours pass, count the total number of parrots and write this number down.
- Finally, write down your departure time.