Please join us in congratulating Alex Mesquita of Pindamonhangaba, São Paulo, Brazil, winner of the November 2017 eBird Challenge, sponsored by Carl Zeiss Sports Optics. Our November winner was drawn from eBirders who submitted 3 or more eligible checklists in a single day. Alex’s name was drawn randomly from the 8,995 eligible eBirders who achieved the November challenge threshold. Alex will receive new ZEISS Conquest HD 8×42 binoculars for his eBirding efforts. Read more to see Alex’s full story!
I’m a biologist and for many years my work is to monitor mammal wildlife all over Brazil. Although mammals are my specialty, I’ve always been curious about the birds and worship them. In the past few years this feeling has grown bigger and now I’m a true fanatic birder.
eBird was presented to me this year by my friend Carlos Gussoni and my wife Olivia Suzuki, to which I’m so grateful. Now, since January, I’ve been using my eBird account constantly, taking advantage of my work travels to report as many checklists as I can. Beyond using the app during my work time, I also enjoy it through my spare time with my friends and family as my favorite hobby. This way I can share different types of checklists, from those in the hotspots I visit on vacation to those in the places unknown by the birders, where I can also suggest new hotspots.
Not mattering if is inside the forest or in my backyard, I like to think that my contribution is to generate answers about the birds, I love the idea of taking action on citizen science, that’s why I try to contribute wherever I am.
In November I was working with the mammal wildlife at central Brazil. As I knew the potential of the areas and also the lack of bird information for the places, I decided to suggest three new hotspots: Faz. Vale dos Picos, Faz. N.S. de Fátima, and Fazenda Itajá and then report as many checklists as I could, during my free time or when moving from one area to the next. Although it was the beginning of the rainy season, I ended by having about five checklists per day, raising 42 new species of birds in 2017, including four lifers: Ochre-cheeked Spinetail (Synallaxis scutata), Chestnut-capped Foliage-gleaner (Clibanornis rectirostris ), Pearly-breasted Cuckoo (Coccyzus euleri) and Least Nighthawk (Chordeiles pusillus). Besides, I had the opportunity to gaze again one of the most beautiful woodpecker of Brazil, the endangered Kaempfer’s Woodpecker (Celeus obrieni) [Team eBird note: Alex has 3 of the 7 photos of this species in all of eBird! Amazing!).
I’d like to thank eBird’s team that makes me happier in my work and in my hobby, and also thank Zeiss that soon will do the same thing.