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, May 9, 2011

The Attack of the Birds

The volunteers were out in their weekend in Hector’s Island, and in GVI Amazon base camp it was just Fraser, Jas, Jo, Abdon (the forest ranger of the reserve) and me. Apart from changing the diet of beans and rice to something more tasty, we also did some mistnetting in one of the farthest points of the reserve, which meant we woke up at 4:30 am and walked like zombies to our banding station.

It was a nice sunny morning and Fraser and I caught a few cool birds: hummingbirds, furnariids, antbirds, manikins, etc. But also there were a couple of nasty aggressive birds: a female of Fulvous-crested Tanager (Tachyphonus surinamus) and a Buff-throated Woodcreeper (Xyphorhynchus guttatus). Taking them out of the nets was tough because from the beginning they were screaming, trying to move , and biting. If you think that a bird bite it is not painful, try to have a woodcreeper biting you dozens of times in your fingers.

We managed to get them out of the nets, we took them to the banding station and we processed them there: taking measures of them, banding them and identifying them. This wasn’t peaceful either; these two terrible birds kept trying bite us, and too many times they were successful. When finally we release the two birds, Fraser and I were feeling sour in our hands, but happy about seeing these two “dangerous” birds far away from us.

Jaime Villacampa Ortega – GVI Amazon Expedition Scholar, Jan – June 2011