There are researchers, educators, and conservationists in Latin America and the Caribbean striving to protect birds and their habitats, but many are working without the most basic equipment, such as binoculars and field guides.

The American Birding Association’s Birders’ Exchange program collects donated new and used equipment and distributes it to our colleagues working to conserve birds and their habitats throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

“Birders’ Exchange is an inspired idea and a highly effective reality. It’s making a big difference throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. Anyone who cares about the future of birds and wildlife should support this program.”
— Kenn Kaufman, author of Birds of North America

“With Birders’ Exchange, the need for a good pair of binoculars won’t stand in the way of developing first-class ornithologists all over the world, and can only lead to increased information and appreciation of the birds and their habitats at the local level.”
— David Allen Sibley, author of The Sibley Guide to Birds

A Neotropical Companion in Spanish

A Neotropical Companion CoverJohn Kricher’s essential guide to the tropics, in its second edition from Princeton University Press, is now available in this long-awaited Spanish translation, Un Compañero Neotropical.

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Birders’ Exchange Super Heroes!

Eldon Ziegler on the left and Peter Bono on the right of Peter R. Bono Associates, Inc. ( are Birders’ Exchange Super Heroes! They spent many volunteer hours to build a new and long-awaited database for Birders’ Exchange (BEX). The original BEX database was built in 1996, which is now in the dark ages of technology compared to our new, technologically fantastic database.

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Managing the land for Eagles in the Darien

BEX Sinai Darien Alexander Sarco local guide

There has been lots of excitement by birders circling around Alexander and the community of Sinai, located along the Membrillo River in the Comarca of Embera-Wounaan. Alexander took a keen interest in learning the birds in his community and especially since a Harpy Eagle nest was found on his land in 2016. Alexander has always been very helpful in the logistics of organizing visits for us and is our local guide for visits to the nest, he is learning and already familiar with many of the local species in the area. Unfortunately the Harpy Eagle nest was predated in January of this year, but just weeks later, Alexander contacted us about another large eagle nest near the community, this time a Crested Eagle nest. He has been monitoring the Crested Eagle nest on a regular basis (the chick just fledged) and if there are any concerns or reports, he is prompt to inform us. He is a wonderful local guide and is very keen to learn more and learn English to be able to speak to the guests we bring.

The Birders’ Exchange binoculars were presented to Alexander on Wednesday August 2 by Canopy Family guide Eliecer Rodriguez Madrid during a visit to the nest. Upon receiving the binoculars, he gave a very heartfelt thank you and said that he will use the binoculars to keep finding special birds so that they (the birders) could come visit again. These binoculars will help him focus on conserving his land and keeping it healthy for birds.

New Binocualrs for the Youngest of the Guides Trained

Youngest of the Guides Trained

Youngest of the Guides Trained

One of the youngest participants (and one of few females) in National Audubon’s basic bird guide training course in the community of Uaxactún, Petén, Guatemala last year, Fabiola Ramos is a quiet but confident 9th grader with hawk-like eyes and a great memory. In addition to the monthly 3-day sessions on bird ID, guiding and English for birders over the course of 5 months, she had support from her father (who worked for the Peregrine Fund) to learn the birds in the trees around her house and in the family’s fields. He would tell her the scientific names and she would research the names in English. After the course ended and despite having no binoculars, she kept motivated. She even stood up to her friends when they made fun of her bird knowledge. With dedication and perseverance comes reward, and Audubon working with the American Birding Association was happy to deliver a pair of 8×42 Pentax to Fabiola on April 22nd thanks to ABA’s Birders’ Exchange Program.

Uaxactun is a remote but promising birding destination about 45 minutes drive north of the world renown Tikal ruins.

Anibal Rodriguez — Owl Protector

New Eyes for Owls

Anibal Rodriguez works as a groundskeeper in Panama. He has a secret superpower.  See how Birders’ Exchange helped him and how in his daily routine of keeping trees trimmed and sidewalks swept he helps birders from far way lands.

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Cuban Birds Benefit from Your Donations of Cash and Equipment

CAsh helps us provide much better equipment and helps to pay for shipping of the equipent and time to operate the program.

Arturo Kirkconnell test drives his new Birders’ Exchange Zeiss Binoculars with a beautiful new ABA strap made possible with the cash donations given to Birders’ Exchange. Arturo wrote A Field Guide to the Birds of Cuba a using quality binoculars donated by ABA members to Birders’ Exchange.

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BEX supports research in Soata, Colombia

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