Birding the Depths

a guest bloggerField Work, General News and Info, Research, ScienceLeave a Comment

Guest post by Ian Gardner With one of the highest murder rates in the world, recently overrun by cartels, a history of violence against environmental activists, and hosting a plethora of tropical diseases, Honduras is not the first country you’d think to visit in Central America for birding. But it also contains 23 bio-reserves covering 20% of the country, 9 mountains … Read More

Winging their Way to a Forest Near You

Cameron RuttBanding, Field Work, Migration, Ranges and Distributions, Research, ScienceLeave a Comment

Amazingly, we’re already well into the second half of April, which probably means a lot more to the rest of you North American birders than it does to me right about now… See, I’ve been stationed here in Manaus, Brazil, for most of the past year, which means that there is vanishingly little seasonal turnover in the mature Amazon rainforest. (If … Read More

Field Life is for the Birds (and the termites, and the frogs…)

Cameron RuttField Work, Research, Science1 Comment

Living afield in the Amazon is a bit like journeying back in time. Yes, we have electricity, at least when the camp generator is running (or, for that matter, simply operational…I’ve now spent two weeks without). Much more importantly, though, these generators operate a pump that pulls water up from a stream to a large freshwater tank that sits elevated … Read More

Expectations vs. Reality: Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Cameron RuttField Work, Research, ScienceLeave a Comment

Most of us probably have some preconceived notions about what fieldwork in the Amazon rainforest entails. I certainly did. Who knows where these ideas originate or even if they were once rooted in fact at all. Oftentimes, I don’t even think we’re aware of these assumptions until we see something first-hand (like when we catch our first glimpse of a … Read More

The Bird with…*Spots*

Cameron RuttBanding, Field Work, General RantLeave a Comment

Fieldwork in a new locale necessarily brings with it a steep learning curve. Everything is foreign from the lay of the land to the host of simplicities that we all take for granted in a familiar location, like knowing where to find those mundane features of ordinary life: ATMs, groceries, and other various appliances (try finding a decent spatula around … Read More

Among Amazonian Royalty

Cameron RuttBanding, Behavior, Field Work, General News and Info, photo study, Science1 Comment

As a sluggish day of bird-banding drew wearily to a close, Osmaildo (one of my Brazilian mateiros) approached the station with a trio of once-white bird bags. The mateiros have literally spent years of their lives in the Amazon rainforest and, as such, not much seems to faze them anymore. Thus, their dispassionate expressions betray little and I am often … Read More

The dawn of my own Amazon Trails

Cameron RuttBanding, Field Work, Science1 Comment

My first trip into the Amazon Rainforest could be broken down like this. Day 2: Discover snake in camp toilet. Day 3: Spot first venomous snake. Day 6: Get soaked in drenching morning downpour while felling trees. Day 7: Get bit by an owl. Day 9: Finally dry off and begin to beat back the encroaching mold. Of course, this … Read More

Santa Rosa Island Raptor banding 2015

Anna FasoliBanding, Field Work, Science1 Comment

I’ve been working on Santa Rosa Island for the Institute for Wildlife Studies for nearly four months now, monitoring Peregrine Falcon and Bald Eagle nests. This week was banding week on SRI, the culmination of all of our hours of observation and hiking. I have lots of photos from the last few months and posts to write, but I figured I’d … Read More