Saturday, March 2, 2013

Training Day III

            This morning was our first early morning, but not what will be our earliest days. We were up at 5.45 when Owen brought some coffee over to our room (thank you!). We have different sites, and the past two training sessions have been at the site on the Charles Darwin Research Station. 

                                                         A mockingbird stakes its claim

This morning, we continued at the same site to complete our training. Jaime was with us today to help with the blood sampling, offer tip and tricks, complete training, and help us out. He joins us again in two weeks.

                                                                Jaime tells Col what to do

                                                        Col does what Jaime tells him to do

                                                Jaime checks the buffer for the blood samples

            We opened the mist nets and caught so many birds in the first 45 minutes, we had to close them because we would not be able to process all the birds as quickly as they were coming in. Things started to come together as we all learned how collect all the necessary data for each bird which includes banding the birds with a permanent band with an ID tag on it, and then plastic colour codes for remote identification. The birds really do not like the plastic bands and it is rare to recapture a bird the following year that still has all of its plastic bands on it. However, the silver band usually stays on so we can use our historic database to identify the bird.

                                                         Col with a finch and his samples

   Joost takes measurements on a finch

 Owen and Joost working together

            The path to our field site on the Charles Darwin Station leads us past a giant tortoise sanctuary and a yellow land iguana sanctuary. I have yet to capture the tortoises in their glory, but the land iguanas were a bit cooperative today, so I took some photos of them. 

            That afternoon, after work and siesta, we headed back to our field site for some more finch sampling. After a long afternoon of work, we had some cerveza and got cleaned up to head into town for dinner. While we were getting ready, we watched a documentary on the Galápagos that had some spectacular video footage. The best part was we got to see the real Galápagos after watching video of the Galápagos!

            What I didn’t mention was that this morning, I lost a bird while retrieving it from the mist net. I was confused about which side it had gone through, so Jaime explained how it was ‘double bagged’ where the bird flew into the mist net, but then had gotten into another layer of the net. This was why I was confused on what side to extract the bird from. While I was working on it, the bird managed to get loose and fly away. So much for not losing any birds anytime soon. And so, I bought the whole team ice cream, and is also our first team Pinzon photo for this season. Cheers!

 Team Pinzon with their ice cream

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