Which birds are Brazilians seeing on urban and non-urban feeders? An analysis based on a collective online birding

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Many studies have shown the positive and negative impacts of feeding wild birds using feeders; however, none of them considered case studies in Brazil. In 2020, social isolation measures imposed by COVID-19 boosted Brazilians’ interest in bird feeders, encouraging a group of birders to create an event (called JaneLives) to broadcast simultaneous live images of feeders across the country. Using the structure of JaneLives and relying on volunteers, we investigated which species visit Brazilian bird feeders, and discussed the effectiveness of our opportune citizen science initiative implemented during this event. Forty-eight feeders (19 urban and 29 non-urban) included in six biomes were sampled during nine JaneLives sessions (May–November 2020). The audience watched 133 species, 104 of which were visiting feeders. Non-urban feeders (n = 94) had higher richness than urban feeders (n = 68), but there were shared and unique species in both strata. Thraupidae, Turdidae, small, and medium birds (< 90 g) were the most common at the feeders. Owners of 23 feeders did data sampling at least once, while the other 25 feeders were sampled by 25 online birders (94.8% of their bird records were reliable). The narration that accompanied each JaneLives session enabled the audience to learn about Brazilian birds and increased environmental awareness. Audience numbers declined over the events, but the number of online birders was not affected. Ecolodges and parks that broadcasted their feeders received new clients afterwards. The events generated social interaction and pragmatic discussions about the usage of feeders, indicating that our citizen science initiative has potential for future research.




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Ornithology Research, v. 30, n. 2, p. 104-117, 2022.

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