Do you ever stop to marvel at the birds flying around your neighborhood or sitting on a tree branch in your local park? You’re not alone.

Millions of birdwatchers around the globe have collectively been working for over a decade to create one of the world’s largest repositories of conservation data.

Launched in 2002 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the initiative, known as eBird, tracks bird sightings on every continent except Antarctica. According to the project website, the goal is to share the information that’s collected “with a global community of educators, land managers, ornithologists, and conservation biologists” in hopes the data “will become the foundation for a better understanding of bird distribution across the western hemisphere and beyond.”

On May 14, 2017, avian enthusiasts from 145 countries participated in eBird’s second annual Global Big Day — an all-day “coming together of the global birding community.” All told, 15,953 participants identified 6,263 species of birds.

One of those participants was Diego Patiño, a carpenter in the small Ecuadorian village of Mindo. With nearly 600 bird species in the surrounding forests and hillsides, Mindo is an ideal location for birdwatching.

Rain or shine, Patiño ventures out to identify and count both common and rare birds as part of the eBird project, while also sharing his love of nature with friends and family.

As he says toward the end of the video, his goal is to pass on a love of birdwatching to future generations.

This video was filmed and produced by Julia Muldavin, a multimedia journalist based in Latin America who focuses on human rights, social resistance, and environmental and cultural conservation. She currently spends most of her time in Ecuador, working on a variety of stories in the Amazon and the Andes. Her work has been published by Fusion, AJ+, CNN, The New York Times, Vox Media and numerous other media organizations. You can see more on Instagram @juliamuldavin. View Ensia homepage