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

Sunday, November 28, 2010

A Beautiful Bird – The blue, no, black, no, Blue-Black Grosbeak.

With only the slight twinge in my left butt cheek from an anti-sickness jab, 5 am in the morning I was raring to go. My favourite bird we caught that mist-netting session was the Blue-Black Grosbeak (Cyanocompsa cyaanoides).

These 16 cm birds are widespread in lowland humid forests in both East and West Ecuador. Our bird was from the east. Instead of the uniform dark blue plumage of the west, our bird had pale and bright blue plumage on its forehead, brow, malar area and shoulders. As their name suggests these birds have a heavy dark bill. The Blue-Black Grosbeak is dimorphic so the females appear a uniform deep chocolate colour. I was very excited to see this bird as they are usually heard, with their variety of rich whistled notes, but are not normally seen. They are shy, non-social birds and they generally remain in pairs inside forests.

Lucy Coals – GVI Amazon volunteer, Nov-Dec 2010