Since 2004, BPBO has committed to funding research of with migratory and resident songbirds in Nicaragua, providing $1000+ annually for the next several years. The money is raised primarily through the sale of fair trade, “bird friendly” organic coffee and hot chocolate at BPBO events, or by request to BPBO . In 2005, a formal agreement was entered into with ALAS, a non-profit organization that operates 7 bird-monitoring stations in Nicaragua. In 2007, BPBO linked-up with Flora & Fauna International, who are involved with bird projects in Nicaragua.
In the Spring of 2009, past president, Ted Cheskey, and current President, Rod Steinacher, took 11 birders on a birding and culture tour of Nicaragua. Beside seeing almost 200 new birds and experiencing authentic Nicaraguan culture, the trip’s participants also raised over $2,000 for avian research there. Another trip is being organized for December 2015.
In an effort to provide a valuable learning experience for emerging ornithologists in Nicaragua, and with the assistance of a generous anonymous donation, BPBO was able to bring a Nicaraguan intern to the Cabot Head Research Station for a six week placement. During that time, Luis Valerio worked with Station Scientist, Dr. Stéphane Menu, to expand his knowledge of migration monitoring techniques. Since returning to Nicaragua, Luis has been applying many of his new skills. Plans are already underway to bring another Nicaraguan intern to Canada for valuable experience.