Expanded data base keeps track of the bird species of Central America

Bird watchers have a new Web site and an extensive data base that gives detailed information on nearly every species.

The Ornithology Laboratory at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, has expanded the system to include Central America, bird scientists announced Tuesday.

The system is called eBird, and it is designed for the citizen scientist, said Chris Wood of Cornell. Also making the announcement was Oliver Komar of the Universidad de Zamorano in Honduras.

Central America is a hot spot for bird diversity, and the data base has about two million listings for bird sightings in the seven countries, said the announcement. There are about 1,1600 bird species. Reports of sightings are encouarged.

The data base was was created in 2002, and has a total of 138 million registrations or sightings, including some from the 19th century, Wood said in a release. The system also is bilingual.

The Central American link is HERE!

The Web setup also includes news about birds and announcements of new discoveries, said the release.  Jim Zook, an ornithologist who has been in Costa Rica since 1988, also is part of the team.

In a demonstration online, the Web site shows the range of the scarlet macaw, Ara macao, through last Friday.

The Web site received thousands of updates daily, the site said, and there are historical maps of the macaw’s range, including where they are most prevalent today.

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