Nature lovers from all over the world have the opportunity to come together for bird watching every year on “Global Big Day”. The event invites the flâneur to observe and list the species observed during a day. Several “passarinhadas” are planned in the Paulist region this Saturday, May 14; to prepare, we suggest you collaborate with science and test your knowledge of the birds of São Paulo.
A day to promote citizen science
With 497 species of birds, according to the 2021 wildlife inventory of the city of São Paulo, the São Paulo region is home to almost as many birds as in metropolitan France, which has 587. exotic feathers. Furthermore, the event not only invites contact with nature, but also supports science. The lists sent by observers allow researchers to study the distribution and number of birds all over the planet.
To participate in the event, all you have to do is pay attention to the surrounding nature (look, listen, note), even in urban centers, and record your observations on the eBird application, developed by the Cornell Lab team, in the United States.
Free registration and registrations can be done on the website or by downloading the Merlin app on a smart phone.
Test your knowledge of the popular birds of São Paulo
The tyrant quivivi in French, whose popular name is an onomatopoeia, is one of the most talkative birds in the city of São Paulo. Impossible not to notice his verb. According to popular stories, the bem-te-vi is the bird hated by God, because when Jesus was hiding from the soldiers, the bem-te-vi saw Jesus and began to sing: “I saw you, I saw you, I saw you”.
Symbol of the state of São Paulo, the Sabiá-laranjeira – red-bellied blackbird in English – is a very popular bird in Brazil, inspiring various musicians, including Luiz Gonzaga e Zé Dantas, with the title sabiá.
In Tupi, sabiá means “one who prays a lot”, alluding to the song of this bird. According to an Indian legend, when a child hears, at dawn, at the beginning of spring, the song of the sabiá, he will be blessed with peace, love and happiness.
Another famous happy bird of the Paulist city that flies over it in a group, in a real din, is the periquito-rico, commonly called the maritaca; the toui tirica, in French. Its scientific name “Brotogeris tirica” highlights the animal’s behavior, derived from the (Greek) brotogërus which means “with the human voice” and from the Tupi language “tirica” which means “tinkling”.
It is also one of the most common birds in Brazil and in São Paulo, the sanhaço-cinzento, Tangara Sayaca in English, is known for its acrobatics when competing for fruit with other birds.
João-de-barro, the red hornbill in French, very popular in Brazil, is the architect bird. It is known for its oven-shaped clay nest, building it in the opposite direction of the rain. The bird is also part of Brazilian legends. The story goes that if the male is “betrayed” by the female, he can lock her in the nest forever as a punishment. Ornithologists have never witnessed such behavior in birds.
At first glance, it is very similar to the bem-te-vi, but it differs from it by its much larger beak and above all by its distinctly different voice, which gives it its onomatopoeic name. His name in French is “Tyrant pitangua”.
The Sicale buttercup, in French, has a vigorous song, a series of notes and well-voiced short phrases, “tsip, tsi-tit, tsi, tsiti, tsi, tsiti”. Because of its elegant songs, it is often imprisoned as a captive bird (it is among the 10 most captured birds, according to IBAMA).
Common bird of the Paulist gardens, its song is very distinct and measures a few centimeters.
The hummingbird, the star bird of young and old alike, can be attracted to slightly sweet water drinkers. Its scientific name “Thalurania glaucopis” comes from the Greek “thalos” which means “child, descendant of”, from the word “ouranos” which designates the sky and from the term “glaukos” which means “grey-blue”.
To do a bird’s portrait
First paint a cage
With an open door
Then paint something pretty
For the bird
Then place the canvas against a tree
In a garden
In a forest
Or in a forest
Hide behind the tree without saying anything
Sometimes the bird comes fast
But it may as well take many years
Do not be discouraged
Wait if necessary for years
The speed or slowness of arrival
Of the unrelated bird
With the success of the table
When the bird comes
If it happens
observe the deepest silence
Wait for the bird to enter the cage
And when he walked in
Gently close the door with the brush
Then erase all the bars one by one
Taking care not to touch any of the bird’s feathers
Then make the portrait of the tree
By choosing the most beautiful of its branches
For the bird
Also paint the green foliage and the freshness of the wind
And the sound of grass beasts in the summer heat
And then wait for the bird to decide to sing
If the bird does not sing
It’s a bad sign
Sign that the table is bad
But if he sings, it’s a good sign
sign you can sign
So you slowly tear
One of the bird’s feathers
And you write your name in a corner of the board.
Poems by Jacques Prévert, Lyrics, 1945