The morning was cool and clear with stunning lighting on the clouds, forest, and reflections on the water. The entire forest seemed to be celebrating the new day with songs, trills, car alarms, Star Wars laser fights, and all sorts of other amazing vocalizations. It was hard to believe the sounds were all coming from birds. Amongst the cacophony of sound was a scream of color when we sighted the orange-backed troupial. Other notable sightings included a blue-crowned motmot and a violaceous trogon. All more beautiful than their names could begin to describe. We continued to spot mammals, including the requisite common squirrel monkeys, Isabel’s monk saki monkeys, and a special sighting of a tamandu up in the tree branches. Our week in the Peruvian Amazon may be near to closing, but we continue to have new and amazing sightings every day on every outing!
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.