The End of an Era

After over 6 years of intensive research and community development work in and around the Yachana Reserve, GVI Amazon is coming to a close. We have finished our final research project (look forward to our Road Effects paper, coming soon!) and are handing over the project to our partner, The Yachana Foundation. They will continue to maintain and monitor the reserve, using it as an hands-on science education center for students -- we're very excited to see what fabulous things this next generation of scientists find! For more detail on GVI Amazon's closure, and our accomplishments over the years, please read on...
GVI Amazon Closure Statement

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Ornate Hawk Eagle – A rare treat!

One magnificent bird of prey that can be seen in Ecuador is the Ornate Hawk Eagle (Spizaetus ornatus). However, this bird is quite a rare sight and when observed is usually seen circling low over the rainforest but rarely ever seen perching.

At about 58-64 cm (23-25 in) in length it has a prominent pointed crest, raised when excited, a black bill, broad wings and a long rounded tail. The typical adult has blackish upperparts and crown, bright chestnut sides to the neck and breast and a black-edged white throat and central breast. The rest of the underparts and feathered legs are white barred with black, and the tail has broad black bars. The underwings are white, with barred flight feathers. Sexes are similar, but young birds have a white head and underparts, with a grey crest, brown upperparts, and barring only on the flanks and legs.

When recently returning from vegetation mapping session last week as part of the GVI Amazon ird mist netting project Avel, our Ecuadorian pasantia (work placement student from Yachana High School), pointed to a rather large bird sat close by to the road in a dead tree. Our jaws nearly dropped open as we saw the crest of the Ornate Hawk Eagle........ Sat perching! New to our species list after four years based in the Yachana Reserve and we even managed to get a half decent photo. Enjoy...

Andy Whitworth - GVI Amazon Base Manager