Meet Daniela Ventura del Puerto | Cuban Bird Ecology

Hi, Daniela! Thanks so much for sitting down with the Rewildology community today. Tell us, what do you do?

I work at the Bird Ecology Group of the University of Havana. My teaching duties include planning and delivering lectures, seminars and labs in Ecology and Vertebrate Zoology. My research interests encompass mostly all bird-related ecology work, especially the subjects of bird movement and migration. The two main projects I am working on now are the movement ecology of resident Turkey Vulture populations and the monitoring of bird migration in the National Botanical Garden in Havana. My favorite field work activity is bird banding, because I am a molt nerd 🙂

Wow, bird ecology in Cuba! How fascinating. How did you get into this field?

Since I can remember I was fascinated by science and biology, but birds became my passion unexpectedly and effortlessly. During the holidays before I started my major at the University, I met a birdwatcher in a summer course at the Natural History Museum. He taught me to ID local birds and I became fascinated by the diversity I was able to find in an urban habitat. So when I began university, I approached the Bird Ecology Group and started collaborating with their environmental education and outreach festivals, and during my third year I got involved in their Reddish Egret’s foraging ecology research. I was also very fortunate to attend the BirdsCaribbean International Conference in 2017, when I only was a sophomore student, an opportunity that allowed me to experience how bird science was made and dreamed in Cuba and the Caribbean, and to meet many people who have become critical in my professional development. This conference introduced me to one of my passions: bird banding, and the chance to learn banding skills in probably the most important stopover site in Cuba, the Guanahacabibes peninsula. Beside my experience in avian ecology, I had the privilege to be a volunteer at the Sea Turtle Conservation Project of the University shaped my student and professional life as a wildlife biologist. As a volunteer I visited the turtle´s nesting sites and monitored reproductive success.

That’s an amazing story, thank you for sharing. What piece of advice would you like to share with other Rewildologists?

Find something that you are passionate about, and try to make it a part of your everyday life as much as you can. Remain curious, never let your inner child die!!!

Thank you so much for your time, Daniela!

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