Birds and People

A special issue of Birds (ISSN 2673-6004).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 April 2024) | Viewed by 7862

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Biosciences, Federal Rural University of the Semi-Arid, Mossoró, Brazil
Interests: avian ecology; biodiversity; conservation; birds; birding; citizen science; natural history

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The relation between birds and people occurs through a range of manners. Among them, citizen science refers to the participation of citizens in scientific research, and the knowledge regarding several aspects of birds found on all continents has been substantially increased through this field. This has been due, in part, to the participation of dozens, hundreds or thousands of citizens in data acquisition, which usually leads to the obtention of samples much larger than those produced by the relatively smaller numbers of scientists and students afield. This approach allows the study of several aspects of birds such as geographic distribution, migration, population monitoring and breeding. As birds are charismatic elements of biodiversity, they often lead to the involvement of people with nature and can be used in educational projects focusing on biodiversity conservation. Thus, the prevalence of studies that examine the relations between birds and people and their contribution to biodiversity conservation is also increasing.

This Special Issue will consider original articles or reviews that substantially contribute to our knowledge regarding the role of people (citizens) in the study and conservation of wild birds in protected and/or modified landscapes. Studies can focus on particular bird species or communities and involve from small to large spatial scales. We welcome studies about (1) how birds and birding connect people with nature; (2) the role of local and regional communities in the study and conservation of birds; (3) the involvement of people with professional ornithologists; (4) the participation of people in citizen science projects, especially those that organize databases; (5) comparisons of the data produced by scientists and citizens; (6) educational projects devoted to the knowledge, study and conservation of birds; and (7) citizens’ perception and knowledge of birds. Thus, this Special Issue will welcome studies that examine the role of non-professional ornithologists for the advancement of scientific research, knowledge and the conservation of birds, as well as education.

Dr. Darius Pukenis Tubelis
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • citizen science
  • biodiversity
  • monitoring

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

15 pages, 3798 KiB  
Article
Human Perception of Birds in Two Brazilian Cities
by Gabriela Rosa Graviola, Milton Cezar Ribeiro and João Carlos Pena
Birds 2024, 5(2), 202-216; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds5020014 - 19 Apr 2024
Viewed by 622
Abstract
Understanding how humans perceive animals is important for biodiversity conservation, however, only a few studies about this issue have been carried out in South America. We selected two Brazilian cities to assess people’s perceptions of birds: Bauru (São Paulo, Brazil) and Belo Horizonte [...] Read more.
Understanding how humans perceive animals is important for biodiversity conservation, however, only a few studies about this issue have been carried out in South America. We selected two Brazilian cities to assess people’s perceptions of birds: Bauru (São Paulo, Brazil) and Belo Horizonte (Minas Gerais, Brazil). From the available bird data for each city, we developed a questionnaire and applied it between September 2020 and June 2021. The data obtained were analyzed by simple counts, a Likert scale, and percentages. Also, human feelings related to birds were placed on the Free Word Cloud Generator website. Our study confirmed that most respondents were aware of the importance of birds to ecological balance and that respondents had a generally positive attitude towards most of the bird species. However, they disliked exotic species such as the Domestic Dove and the House Sparrow, which are associated with disease, dirt, and disgust. Respondents also underestimated the number of birds that can live in urban areas and the song of birds is still a sense less experienced and perceived by people. Understanding these human–biodiversity relationships can help guide public policies and environmental education activities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Birds and People)
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14 pages, 1372 KiB  
Article
A Bird in the Hand Is Worth Two in the Bush: Bird Visibility as a Predictor of the Perception of Birds by Humans
by Christoph Randler, Talia Härtel, Nadine Kalb and Janina Vanhöfen
Birds 2024, 5(1), 24-37; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds5010002 - 28 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
Human dimensions of birds are becoming increasingly popular. One aspect is charismatic species and their impact on nature conservation, and the other is the positive impact of birds on human well-being. Studies exploring these relationships are mostly based on species richness, but specific [...] Read more.
Human dimensions of birds are becoming increasingly popular. One aspect is charismatic species and their impact on nature conservation, and the other is the positive impact of birds on human well-being. Studies exploring these relationships are mostly based on species richness, but specific species traits are usually not studied. Here, we propose two new variables, visibility duration, and obstruction, being relevant to human–bird encounters. Visibility measures if and for how long a bird is visible. Obstruction measures to what extent the bird is concealed by vegetation. We collected behavioral data using focal animal sampling (3 min with blocks of 15 s, one-zero sampling). Additionally, species identity, sex, flocking (yes/no) and observation distance were collected. This was combined with an assessment where three experts scored the visibility of the different species on a scale from 1 to 5. The most significant predictor of visibility duration was species identity with an explained variance of 44%. Concerning obstruction, 34% of the variance was explained by species identity. Sex and flocking were not significant. A cluster analysis on the species level led to a three-cluster solution. The mean expert assessment correlated positively with visibility duration (r = 0.803) and negatively with obstruction (r = −0.422). The behavioral trait of visibility may be an important aspect in the analysis of human–bird encounters but also ecological bird studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Birds and People)
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12 pages, 2369 KiB  
Article
200 Years of Caprimulgid Records in Southern Brazil: A Comparison between the Literature and Citizen Science Data
by Vagner Cavarzere
Birds 2023, 4(4), 303-314; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4040026 - 30 Oct 2023
Viewed by 953
Abstract
Although the ornithological history of southern Brazil has been amassed over the last 200 years, few attempts have been made to describe how species have accumulated. Furthermore, the collaboration of citizen scientists has considerably changed the way researchers analyze empirical data. Caprimulgidae (Nightjars [...] Read more.
Although the ornithological history of southern Brazil has been amassed over the last 200 years, few attempts have been made to describe how species have accumulated. Furthermore, the collaboration of citizen scientists has considerably changed the way researchers analyze empirical data. Caprimulgidae (Nightjars and Nighthawks) species were used to illustrate how species have been recorded since the 1800s in Paraná State by comparing traditional and citizen science data. In addition, reports from both researchers and citizen scientists on the breeding biology of these caprimulgids have been verified. A literature review was conducted searching for the Caprimulgid species within the territory of Paraná. Regarding citizen science, records were obtained from four ornithological platforms. Overall, 14 species were detected within the state, 13 of which have been described in the literature, including 1 endemic to the Atlantic Forest and 3 threatened species. Citizen scientists detected all 13 taxa, in addition to one undocumented species that has never been recorded by researchers. There were 12 times more records on ornithological platforms in half of the sampling effort accumulated in studies, but most of them date from the last five years. Citizen scientists also visited 4.5 times more locations than researchers. Citizen scientists accumulated more records around September and November, and most (59%) records were from 2020–2022. Researchers mentioned species as early as 1820, while continuous studies only began during the 1980s; they concentrated their fieldwork mostly in September. Only one (2%) study sought to describe the breeding biology of a caprimulgid species, but there were 84 observations on ornithological platforms between 2004–2022 on their reproduction. Because of the evident mismatch between traditional and citizen science data due to a lack of congruence between their actions, it is suggested that ornithology in Paraná, as well as other Brazilian regions, would benefit the most if traditional and citizen scientists improved their networking communication to focus on common purposes instead of acting independently. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Birds and People)
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15 pages, 1960 KiB  
Article
Perceptions of Birds by Urban Residents in an Australian Regional City and Implications for Conservation
by Brendan S. Champness, James A. Fitzsimons, Dave Kendal and Grant C. Palmer
Birds 2023, 4(3), 262-276; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4030022 - 13 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2182
Abstract
Given the prevalence of common and threatened bird species within cities, more research is necessary to determine human attitudes to urban birds and how this may affect conservation in urban areas In Australia, few studies have considered the impact of human attitudes on [...] Read more.
Given the prevalence of common and threatened bird species within cities, more research is necessary to determine human attitudes to urban birds and how this may affect conservation in urban areas In Australia, few studies have considered the impact of human attitudes on birds; those that have focused primarily on particular species. In this study, we aim to understand the perceptions of urban residents of an Australian city (Ballarat) by examining the ways they categorise birds (using the multiple sorting technique). We found that people were particularly enamored by large, exotic species, but if familiar to them, native species were positively perceived by people. People tended to view aggressive species negatively, but only where this aggression was directed at humans. This approach gained important insight into the attitudes of these urban residents to local birds and their conservation. We used this insight to suggest how attitudes to avian species conservation may inform conservation initiatives and methods for maintaining biological diversity in urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Birds and People)
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18 pages, 2759 KiB  
Article
Spatiotemporal Distribution of Photographic Records of Brazilian Birds Available in the WikiAves Citizen Science Database
by Dárius Pukenis Tubelis
Birds 2023, 4(1), 28-45; https://doi.org/10.3390/birds4010003 - 22 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1964
Abstract
About four million photographic records of Brazilian birds are deposited in the WikiAves database. The objective of this study was to examine the spatiotemporal distribution of photographic records available in this database. Searches were performed in the database in 2022. Record numbers produced [...] Read more.
About four million photographic records of Brazilian birds are deposited in the WikiAves database. The objective of this study was to examine the spatiotemporal distribution of photographic records available in this database. Searches were performed in the database in 2022. Record numbers produced by citizens were obtained by selecting states and municipalities in different periods. The annual record production in Brazil has increased substantially since 2009, reaching about 400,000 records per year in 2020–2021. Most records were obtained in the Sudeste and Sul geopolitical regions. Seasonal variations in record production in the Cerrado and the Atlantic Forest are comparable, with more records obtained in July–October. In Amazonia, a more substantial decrease in record production occurred between November and April. The monthly record production was more uniform in the Caatinga. When municipalities were compared, similar seasonal variation in record production was observed for four ecosystems (Amazonia, Atlantic Forest, Cerrado and Pampa). However, substantial differences were observed for municipalities in the Pantanal and the Caatinga. The results indicate that high human density, high individual income and the breeding season of birds are potential factors leading to high record production. On the other hand, heavy rainfall, flooding, remoteness and environmental harshness are pointed out as factors potentially leading to relatively fewer records. Further, this article discusses the implications of record availability for ornithological studies that use photographic records deposited in the WikiAves database. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Birds and People)
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