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

Friday, July 30, 2010

Wait, Watch, Listen...

Here on the Yachana Reserve GVI Amazon have been running a point count survey for the last four months now. This involves heading out into forest at the crack of dawn and spending fifteen minutes at a time, at several different sites, to record as many bird species as we can see or hear. Volunteers are keen to record as many of these tuneful forest denizens as they can, be it the ‘orgasm bird’, Bright-rumped Attila (Attila spadiceus), ‘french pervert’, Broad-billed Motmot (Electron platyrhynchum) or ‘violated jay’, Violaceous Jay (Cyanocorax violaceus), and have come up with their own ingenious ways of remembering the calls!

The first point count of the morning is often a subdued one. It’s only just after 6am and most folks are still bleary-eyed having woken up shortly after 5am. Some mornings the excitement levels pick up much more quickly....

One particular morning this week, we sat listening quietly and intently when an unexpected visitor joined out (audio?!) vigil. An exquisite Black-faced Hawk (Leucopternis melanops) glided in on silent wings and landed on an exposed perch only a few metres away. We managed to contain our excitement enough to stay quiet enough not to scare it off. Photos were snapped, gasps drawn and celebratory whoops muffled to avoid disturbing our guest (admittedly the latter was mainly me).

After a few minutes we soon realised the hawk’s aims conflicted slightly with our own, when he swooped down and tried to grab one of the Dusky-throated Antshrikes (Thamnomanes ardesiacus) we were listening to! Despite our different purposes we all agreed such spectacular raptors would always be welcome to disrupt our point counts in future!

Simon Mitchell - GVI Amazon Field Staff