It’s so nice to get up with the birds. The temperatures are cooler, the sun is low, and the water in the black lakes is still and covered with mirror-like reflections. Chatter, songs, and territorial calls from dozens and dozens of bird species fill the morning air. Today we had three outings, all of them productive and all of them different. From the trio of black-capped donacobious this morning…to the small flock of paradise tanagers keeping company with a scarlet-crowned barbet…to the evening sighting of hundreds of sand-colored nighthawks purring in a tree. The effort to get up early and head out is always richly rewarded. Next, day two!
We are at the end of our week together exploring the Upper Peruvian Amazon. When we go home, will we hear car alarms in parking lots? Or will we hear black-fronted nunbirds, which could easily be the sound that was copied? We have investigated the big and the small, from towering fig trees poking their leafy tops through the forest canopy, to frogs small enough to fit on your thumbnail. Our trio of hardworking, informative, and enthusiastic naturalists–Jorge, Javier, and Ricardo–brought everything we saw to life. We have them to thank for making sense of this massive and diverse batch of biology. During the week, we took piles of pictures. We won’t have Jorge in our living room to remind us that a certain photo features a long-billed woodcreeper, but we can now feed our images into the application called “SEEK.” This application will remind us not only of what we saw, but it will also tell us some of the most interesting facts about that organism. I’m thinking we’ll hear the text play in our minds in Jorge’s voice.