Friday, March 3, 2017

Getting creative and being opportunistic

Field work is one of the most enjoyable and fun aspects of science, yet it can also be incredibly difficult and wrought with challenges and unforeseen complications.We're only human, and we sometimes make mistakes, such as forgetting pieces of equipment that could be useful. For example, when we mistnet at the Barranco near the research station, we often bring a tarp because the sun rises in the east and the platform where we work is completely exposed. This is bad for us, but especially bad for the birds that are awaiting processing as the heat is not good for them. We always keep the birds in the shade. So, what do we do when we accidentally forget the tarp for shade? We move to a place that has shade. In our case, it happened to be the bathroom.
As with all field set-ups, you work with what you have. We're luck that our site at El Garrapatero has areas where we can setup a shade tarp and have a little station where we can measure the birds.
Of course, when working with wild animals, it's unpredictable how busy you will be. Given that we are up at 4:30am and on the road at 5:00am, we often take opportunities to relax a bit if we're not too busy. In some cases, we might read.
And in other cases, we just outright sleep. For some odd reason, Jaime and Isabela, the marine iguana, were dreaming about Andrew Hendry's book....

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