Friday, February 7, 2014

Chasing bird songs

Today, Andrew went diving, Sofia remembered her boots, Luis worked on exclosures, and Jeff and I chased birds. Jeff was after singing birds, preferably banded, so I tagged along with my camera to double check band colours.

 I think that hardest part was trying to not ruin the bird songs with shutter noises from my camera. The best times for photos seemed to be right after they sang, so the birds would sing, and then I'd attempt some photos. All in all, the strategy seemed to work as Jeff got songs from several banded birds. I did manage to get some birds singing, however, so I suppose that meant not so great recordings

The season had been quite dry, as we arrived right at the start of the traditional wet season. In just the past few days, the islands received a decent amount of rain, and it appears to have been enough to trigger the breeding season at EG. Last year, I saw lots of paired finches building nests, nestlings, and fledglings. This year, I caught the beginnings of the mating season, which also involve nest building, but also territorial and courtship displays. Typically, I didn't get any good photos of the these displays, but managed to find get some nice nest material gathering photos.

The only bee on the island, the carpenter bee, reproduces by making burrows in wood (thus it's name). There were old holes by the dorms, but I'd never seen a bee actually fit into one of these holes. While we were waiting for some banded birds to start singing, I spotted this bee tucking into it's burrow. Unfortunately, all you see is its bum
Since I wasn't recording songs, I got distracted by the tree finch and the nest that was being put together, so Jeff went off in pursuit of songs on his own and kindly let me stay and photograph the tree finches.

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