Friday, January 17, 2014

Earthwatch Team MAGnificent: Day 2

In the spirit of today’s hyper-connected world, I have managed to convince Luis that Team Pinzón should have its own twitter feed, which we thought was appropriate since we study the world’s original tweeters. So, through the eyes of the finches, the Earthwatch volunteers, and the researchers, we are proud to announce that Team Pinzón has a Twitter account. Follow us @PinzonTeam!

 Even ground finches find cactus blossoms yummy/

 I mentioned this to the volunteers, and they will be helping with upcoming tweets. They also decided they need a team name: Team MAGnificient. The MAG- comes from the Latin name of the large ground finch, Geospiza magnirostris. Not only is it Team Mag-nificent, the team has also named themselves the MAGnificent Seven + One as there are eight volunteers.

At EG, we caught a tree finch that had an odd protrusion on its beak. At first, we thought we had discovered the first ever hybrid finch/ani in the world, but Luis quickly realize it was likely tree sap that had gotten onto the beak and then hardened. Luis detached it, and we think the finch will be much happier without the protrusion!

Tree finch with protrusion on its beak

This morning the observation team said farewell to Caroline, while the other group headed out to the field site for the first time. The birds were hopping at EG and the group caught 12 birds, which provoked some ribbing between the two teams. However, that afternoon, the team caught four birds at Academy Bay, but were quick to point out the nets were open for about an hour less than the previous day...

Working hard at Academy Bay

The volunteers have decided that for their day off on the 20th, they would take a day cruise to North Seymour Island where you get to walk on the island and see all sorts of birds including blue- and red-footed boobies, frigates, and of course, finches. We’re looking forward to hearing about their adventures!

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