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ACG/GDFCF Bird Research Featured in New Film


Natalie Sánchez and Chespi Elizondo take measurements of a bird during ACG field research. Photo courtesy of Days Edge Productions.

A new short film from National Geographic, Feathers in Flight: The Bird Genoscape Project, highlights the Bird Genoscape Project, and features our bird conservation colleagues, Natalie Sánchez Ulate, who leads the GDFCF/ACG migratory bird project focused on Wood Thrush, and Pablo “Chespi” Elizondo, the executive director of Costa Rica Bird Observatories. The Bird Genoscape Project, based out of the University of California, Los Angeles, and Colorado State University, is using DNA from individual feathers to map bird migration with greater precision than ever before. In the film, the featured bird is the Willow Flycatcher, but could just as easily be the Wood Thrush, or the Ovenbird, or any of the many migratory birds that spend their non-breeding season in Costa Rica. In the film, Natalie and Chespi are seen working in Área de Conservación Guanacaste with other researchers and the parataxonomists, while mist netting birds, and extracting feathers and feces for DNA barcoding. The 15-minute film is here; the Costa Rica part begins at about 4.10, but the whole feature is informative and engaging, and well worth watching in its entirety!