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

“Birders’ Exchange must have studied the art of wizardry. With nothing more than donated birding equipment, books, and a bit if cash, they turn local communities and school kids into committed conservationists, struggling NGOs into recognized players on the international scene, and “paper parks” into real protected areas. And in the process they remind us how rewarding it is to lend a hand when none is expected.”
— Charles D. Duncan, Director of the Shorebird Recovery Project, and Director of the Executive Office of The Western Hemisphere Shorebird Reserve Network, Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences

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.

Read more »

Betty Petersen receives World Environment Day Award for “Ideas That Change The World”

Betty Petersen and the American Birding Association’s Birders’ Exchange Program received The World Environment Day Award for “Ideas that change the World”, in recognition of her numerous and ongoing contributions to education, conservation and research of birds, especially shorebirds, in the Americas.  Read more »

BEX supports research in Soata, Colombia

Read more »

Remembering Betty Peterson

The ABA family and the entire birding community lost one of its leading lights on the morning of June 4th when Betty Petersen of Hanson, Massachusetts, passed away.

La familia de ABA y toda la comunidad de observación de aves perdimos una de las grandes luminarias en la mañana del 4 de junio, al fallecer Betty Petersen de Hanson, Massachusetts.

Please click HERE for a remembrance of Betty at the ABA Blog…


During the last year a story about “B95” an individual Red Knot, a migratory shorebird the size of a Robin, spread around the world catching the attention of the media such as the BBC of London, The New York Times, Mongabay, as well as national TV and newspapers in Argentina, Brazil and other countries. This special bird became famous because it is a survivor of the big decline the population of Red Knots that migrate between their breeding grounds in the Arctic and their non-breeding areas in Tierra del Fuego have suffered. After 2000 the number of these long distance migrants decreased from 52,000 birds to 14,000 in 2012. However “B95″  still survives. Read more »

Hooded Grebes by David Sibley

The Hooded Grebe is a species that is endemic to Argentina, and one that is listed as “Endangered” by BirdLife International.

David Sibley generously donated this original painting of Hooded Grebes to Birders’ Exchange to help raise funds to save Hooded Grebes. Read more »

BEX helps La Milpa Field Station in Belize

Vladimir Rodriguez is the Manager of the La Milpa Field Station in the Rio Bravo Conservation and Management Area in northwestern Belize.  This reserve, which covers 230,875 acres, is owned and managed by the Programme for Belize.  As Vladimir says, “birdwatching is natural for me.”   Read more »

Eco Huellas (Argentina) uses BEX equipment

The Ecohuellas teen group in the field with their teacher, Professor Gustavo Garcia, using the BEX-donated scope on a field trip with primary school children.

Read more »