Sunday, February 26, 2017

Galapagos 5.0

Here we go Galapagos 5.0! Special thanks to Newnham College who awarded me a Gibbs Travelling Fellowship so I could have this field season. Thank you to Clare Hall and Christ's College as well for providing financial assistance for this season!

This year will be a mix of mistnetting to continue our long term data set on Darwin's Finches, as well as my continuing to study behavioural adaptations in Darwin's Finches. This year, we got started right away as Jaime had brought our equipment over from San Cristobal. Carlos, Angela, and I had arrived and were excited to stay in some new apartments that Jaime had kindly found for us. We headed to El Garrapatero for our first day of mistnetting this season.

The EG parking lot

We had a good first day, getting some mockingbirds that Angela had studied the previous year, and getting a nice assortment of finches as well.

For several years, we've always warned volunteers and assistants the perils of opuntia cactus. For the first time (at least it took five years), I managed to get my first major opuntia encounter. I tripped on a rock, mildly sprained my ankle, and managed to fall/sit on the only opuntia in a 10m radius. Thankfully, Angela (a) knew me from the previous year, (b) had experience pulling out opuntia spines, and (c) had some tweezers. So, our first day in the field, and Angela and I bonded over opuntia cactus needles being pulled out of my bum. #overlyhonestmethods #fieldworkfail.

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