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Global Big Day: Do you know the birds of the city of São Paulo?

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

Le bem-te-vi / Vincent Bosson

The bem-te-vi

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”.

The Sabia-laranjeira
The Sabiá-laranjeira / Vincent Bosson

The Sabia-laranjeira

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.

The periquito-rico / Vincent Bosson


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”.

sanhaço-cinzento / Vincent Bosson

The sanhaço-cinzento

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 / Vincent Bosson


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.

Neinei / Vincent Bosson

Nei Nei

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”.

Canario-da-terra / Vincent Bosson


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).

Cambacica / Vincent Bosson


Common bird of the Paulist gardens, its song is very distinct and measures a few centimeters.

Beija flor
Beija flor / Vincent Bosson

Beija flor

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

something easy

Something beautiful

something useful

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

Without moving…

Sometimes the bird comes fast

But it may as well take many years

Before deciding

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

sun dust

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

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