Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Earthwatch Team 2: Training Day

Earthwatch Team 2: Training Day

Today, we spent the morning at Academy Bay, our site at the research station. There, we showed them how to set-up the nets, and some of the knots we use that secure the nets so they won’t fall down.

Jeff showed how he uses his recording parabola to record bird songs, and heard a large ground finch singing, so we set off to find him, and indeed, we did find him. Unfortunately, he was not banded, but hopefully, he’ll be banded soon!
Large ground finch singing so Jeff could get recordings

Even Papa Pinzón practiced his knots later that day!
Jeff practising some knot typing
 We then processed a few birds, showing how we measure their beaks, take blood samples, photograph them, and then give them a sweet treat of sugar water.
Earthwatch team observing the researchers collect data
That afternoon, Luis explained to them the adaptive radiation of the finches on the Galápagos, and the influence humans can have on the process of evolution. This team was very inquisitive, asking many questions, and making parallels about adaptation in animal systems that they knew from where they came from in the US.

That evening, as though we had planned it, there was a parade with colourful costumes and traditional music and dancing through the streets of Puerto Ayora. This parade was organized by a cultural group in Galapágos, but we have seen other parades that are just as colourful, but had a more political nature. This weekend is elections, where all Ecuadorians are required to vote. It will be interesting to see the results!

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