Category Archives: Birds

2018 Birds Team Methods

Wyatt Sherburne

Zachary Orio

Methods for the Bird Team

There are many different methods when it comes to catching birds in the rainforest.  The main thing that needs to be done is to know how to set up the net and how to catch the birds. Capturing the birds is called mist netting.  When a bird is caught, we have to hold the bird by the legs– this way the bird is either hurt nor capable of escaping.  We then need to take notes about the bird’s measurements, its sex, the species, amount of fat, whether it has feathers on its belly or not, and the kinds of feathers it has.  After recording the information, we release the bird back to the wild.

For the construction of mist netting, we need

  • two poles
  • the mist net
  • four stakes
  • Two steel rebars
  • hammer and a rope (three meters is fine)

We follow these steps to set up for mist netting:

  1. Take the steel rebars on opposite sides and hammer them down
  2. With the mist net all in order, put the panels on the poles and then put the poles on the steel rebars
  3. Take two stakes and hammer them into the ground on opposite sides of the pole at a 45° angle.
  4. With the rope, tie a knot on each of the stakes
  5. Go between the panels and tie a knot to tighten the mist net
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Birds Report 2016-2017

Neotropical Migrant Birds of Rava Avis and SelvaTica Reserves Heredia, Costa Rica

The Birds Team has been one of the longest teams in the rainforest project, this is it’s 20th year. The purpose of this years bird team is to keep track of the population of the birds in Costa Rica and the migratory tracks they take. These birds are commonly known as Neotropical Migrants. A Neotropical migratory bird, is a bird that breeds in Canada and the United States. The same birds that we catch in Costa Rica are on the red list, or list of concern. More than 3,000 species of birds make their home in the Neotropical Zone. This represents about one-third of the bird species in the world. It has more bird species than in any other region.

The Neotropical migratory bird they migrate from Rara Avis or El Plastico to Canada and United States. The Birds Team has been one of the longest teams in the rainforest project, this is it’s 20th year.The purpose of this years bird team is to keep track of the population of the birds in Costa Rica and the migratory tracks they take. Some expectations I had before going to Costa Rica were not catching birds that are already been banded by previous teams, not catching any of the birds that are on the IUCN red list and rain wouldn’t interfere with catching the birds.

This is a list of what I did before our research trip:

  • What species are on the IUCN Red list – computer
    • Birds of Costa Rica Field guide – researched the birds and marked who I am looking for
  • Learned what birds were caught last year and compared them to the IUCN red list
  • Sean Graesser from National Audubon taught us how to put up nets, poles

I how to write in a scientific journal , Learned about data sheet and how to fill out , Learned how to take birds out of net , Learned how to identify the age of a bird , Learned how to identify the sex of the bird. Learned how to identify the fatness of a bird , Learned the international laws of how to protect the species , Learned how to band , Learned how to read the bands if we caught any birds. Learned how to record the bands of the birds we caught ,Learned how to check nets carefully . Learned time management.

Can you imaging catching the same bird, in the same tree , within the same couple of days, year after years? This is new science , that they come back to the same location year after year.

El Plastico, used to be a prison for criminals that were accused for committing crimes of passions. The prisoners would be given machetes and tarps and then head their way to the forest and live there but come back to the “reserve” during dining times. After a few years leaving away from civilization, guards and prisoners became really close and build a friendship relationship among each other. One day the guards and the prisoners became friends and told each other “let’s get out of here”. And so they all walked together, forming the paths that are now used for research hikes, and eventually began building what it’s now the Town of Horquetas.

You will need: habitat, vegetation, rainfall  we had a total of 7in or 17.78cm of rain, location, elevation,

Rara Avis lodge and reserve, located deep into the jungle, 3 miles from El Plástico. Rara Avis has more biodiversity and a better location for data collection.

Using data and research collected from years past, I knew where to do my first observation. I used the GPS coordinates N 10 degrees 16’54.7, W 84 degrees 02’42.0. I did observations of the birds from the ground.  I noticed that the birds will fly from one tree to another.  That is where I setup my first set of nets. It was a quadruple set.  I would open the nets at 5:45 in the morning.  I would then check on the nets every 35 minutes. When I checked the nets, I had a bird bag and radio if I needed help.  When checking the nets, I go close to the nets to look.  If a bird is there, I would need to see which pocket the bird fell in. I would carefully take it out, trying not to hurt the bird.  If I needed help because a bird was stuck, I would get help from the base camp.  If I noticed that the bird was too exhausted, I would just release the bird back into the wild, without doing any measurements, etc. I put bird in bag and bring back to base camp.  Once at the camp I would identify the birds using the books brought with us.   The birds of Costa Rica, A Field Guide; ( Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean).  I would start filling in my data sheet.  I was writing down alpha code, age, how aged, sex, how sexed, fat, wing length, mass, date, time, location, what net it came from and most importantly what band number.  If it was a hummingbird or another little bird, I made sure to give him water. I would take a picture of the bird and then let it go from the base camp.  If there is no bird in the net I would go and check the other nets.  If there was more than one bird in a net, I would call base camp and they would come and help me take the birds out of the net. If it is raining out, I would still need to go outside to close the nets if they were open and also check to see if any birds were caught in the net. Throughout my time in Rava Avis, I was able to set up a total of 6 nets in a day.  

In the 9 days of capturing birds I caught a total of 99 birds.

Discussion:

The most species caught is the White-collared Manakin. One of the least species caught was  the Great Kiskadee. Many variables may have affected our catches this expedition like weather, location and time of day.  The Chested-sided Warbler is an example of a banded species caught in the same tree and same time as last year. This is exceptional data and unexpected data. This kind of data reinforces the need for conservation of certain spacial area within the forest. Many Species were CITES and Red listed like the Tyrant flycatchers.  This is important as teams like ours monitor their numbers. In table #1 you will see the banded birds we processed this year.

Monitoring birds whether banded, on the IUCN Red List or CITES is important for watching the health of the RainForest and gauging it’s inevitable change by global warming and species movement.

Results

Species name Alpha

Code

A

G

E

How aged S

E

x

How sexed CLP BP Fat Body MLT FF

MOLT

Wing

Measurements

Mass Date Time Station N

E

T

Band Number
Great Kiskadee PitSul 6 P U P 1 113mm 55g 2/317 6:45 am ELPL 3
White Collared Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 2/3/17 6:50 am ELPL 2
Rufous-tailed Hummingbird AmaTzac 1 P M P 2/3/17 10 am ELPL 2
Stripe-tailed Hermit PhaSti 2/3/17 12:25

pm

ELPL 1
OvenBird SeiAwr 5 L U 2 70mm 18g 2/3/17 1:00 pm ELPL 1 229163990
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P F P 4:00 pm ELPL 2
Red-legged Honeycreeper CyaCya 1 P M P 2 64mm 14g 2/3/17 4:45

pm

ELPL 2
Tawny-capped Euphonia EupAnn 6 P F P 3 61mm 15g 2/3/17 4:55

pm

ELPL 3
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher MioOle 5 P U 1 70mm 15g 2/3/17 5:05 pm ELPL 2
Oven bird Sei

Aur

5 P U 2 75mm 20g 2/3/17 5:45

pm

EPLP 1 229163991
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 1 55mm 20g 3/3/17 6:53

am

ELPL 2
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher MioOle 5 P U 1 65mm 15g 3/3/17 7:56

am

ELPL 2
Stripe-throated Hermit Pha

Str

1 P U 1 39mm 3/3/17 8:22

am

ELPL 1
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 1 55mm 20g 3/3/17 8:30

am

ELPL 2
White-necked Jacobin FloMel 6 P M P 1 71mm 3/3/17 8:35

am

ELPL 3
Red-legged Honeycreeper CyaCya 1 P M P 1 60mm 12g 3/3/17 9:40

am

ELPL 3
Variable Seedeater SpoCor 1 P M P 1 55mm 13g 3/3/17 9:49

am

ELPL 2
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P F P 1 50mm 18g 3/3/17 10:14am ELPL 2
Long-billed Hermit PhaLon 1 P U 1 60mm 3/3/17 10:20 am ELPL 3
Long-billed Hermit PhaLon 1 P U 1 60mm 3/3/17 11:00 am ELPL 6
Rufous- tailed Hummingbird Ama

Tza

P M P 2 45mm 3/3/17 1:10

pm

ELPL 1
Striped-throated Hermit Pha

Str

1 21mm 3/3/17 1:30

pm

ELPL 2
Chested-sided Warbler Set

Pen

6 P M P 3 53mm 9.5g 3/3/17 4:10

pm

ELPL 2 250058695

(from last year)

Red-Legged Honeycreeper CyaCya 6 P M P 2 50mm 14g 3/3/17 5:01

pm

ELPL 2
White-ruffed Manakin CorAlt 5 P F P 3 47mm 13g 3/3/17 5:29

pm

ELPL 2
Sooty Thrush TurNig 6 P U 1 75mm 36g 3/3/17 5:46

pm

ELPL 1
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner AutOch 1 P U 3/3/17 6:03

pm

ELPL 6
Blue-Chested Hummingbird AmaAma 6 P M P 1 40mm 3/3/17 6:22 pm ELPL 3
Summer Tanager Pir

Rub

6 P M P 1 2 75mm 27g 3/4/17 7:49

am

ELPL 3 22916392
Chestnut-sided Warbler Set

Pen

6 P U 1 60mm 11g 3/4/17 9:30

am

ELPL 8 250058632
Black-faced Solitaire MyaMel 6 P 3/4/17 10:02am ELPL 1
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 1 55mm 18g 3/4/17 10:10am ELPL 8
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher MioOle 1 P U 1 65mm 13g 4/3/17 1:40

pm

ELPL 1
White-ruffed Manakin CorAlt 1 P F P 4 60mm 14g 4/3/17 2:54

pm

ELPL 7
Passerini’s Tanager Ram

Pass

6 P M P 1 80mm 33g 4/3/17 3:44

pm

ELPL 8
White-bellied Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 1 55mm 21g 4/3/17 3:44

pm

ELPL 8
Ochre-bellied Flycatcher MioOle 1 P U 1 61mm 13g 4/3/17 4:07

pm

ELPL 1
Black-crowned Antshrike ThaAtr 1 P F P 1 62mm 23g 4/3/17 4:22

pm

ELPL 2
Golden-winged Warbler VerChr 6 P M P 3 63mm 9g 4/3/17 4:23

pm

ELPL 3 250058698
White-ruffed Manakin CorAlt 5 P M P 1 60mm 9g 4/3/17 4:37

pm

ELPL 8
Chestnut-sided Warbler Set

Pen

6 P U 1 60mm 11g 4/3/17 4:40

pm

ELPL 3 250058632
Green Kingfisher Chl

Ame

6 P F P 85mm 40g 4/3/17 5:00

pm

ELPL 6
Violet-crowned Woodnymph Tha

Col

1 P M P 1 55mm 4/3/17 5:23

pm

ELPL 3
Blue-chested Hummingbird Ama

Ama

6 P F P 1 56mm 4/3/17 5:53

pm

ELPL 3
Buff-throated foliage gleaner Aut

Och

1 P U 1 85mm 58g 4/3/17 6:14

pm

ELPL 7
Passerini’s Tanager RamPass 6 P F P 1 76mm 31g 4/3/17 6:14

pm

ELPL 7
Golden-hooded Tanager TanLar 6 P U 1 67mm 18g 5/3/17 6:20

am

ELPL 10
White-ruffed Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 3 60mm 14g 5/3/17 6:37

am

ELPL 3
White-ruffed Manakin ManCan 6 P F P 3 58mm 16g 5/3/17 6:53

am

ELPL 2
White-ruffed Manakin ManCan 6 P F P 2 60mm 13g 5/3/17 7:18

am

ELPL 7
Thick-billed Seed-Finch Ory

Fun

1 P F P 1 57mm 14g 5/3/17 8:38

am

ELPL 1
White-breasted Wood-wren Hen

Leu

5 P U 1 54mm 18g 5/3/17 9:00

am

ELPL 5
Red-throated Ant-tanager Hab

Fus

6 P F P 1 85mm 34g 5/3/17 9:05 am ELPL 5
Crowned Woodnymph Tha

Col

6 P F P 1 48mm 5/3/17 6:05

pm

RAVA 1
Long-Tailed Woodcreeper Dec

Lon

1 P U 1 100mm 47g 6/3/17 2:47

pm

RAVA 4
Tawny-faced Gnatwren MicCin 1 P U 3 55mm 12g 6/3/17 4:30

pm

RAVA 6
Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant Lop

Pil

6 P U 2 50mm 9g 6/3/17 4:30

pm

RAVA 6
Louisiana Waterthrush Par

Mot

5 P U 2 80mm 6/3/17 5:50

pm

RAVA 6 229163993
Chestnut-backed Antbird Myr

Exs

1 P M P 1 65mm 28g 6/3/17 5:55

pm

RAVA 3
Chestnut-sided Warbler Set

Pen

5 P F P 1 62mm 10g 6/3/17 6:00

pm

RAVA 1x 250058633
White-collared Manakin ManCan 1 P F P 1 60mm 14g 7/3/17 8:40

am

RAVA 5
Olive-striped Flycatcher MioOli 1 P U 1 70mm 15g 7/3/17 8:40

am

RAVA 6
Olive-striped Flycatcher Mio

Oli

1 P U 1 60mm 14g 7/3/17 9:30

am

RAVA 4
White-collared Manakin ManCan 6 P M P 1 54mm 20g 7/3/17 10:40

am

RAVA 3
Crowned Woodnymph Tha

Col

6 P M P 1 58mm 7/3/17 10:45

am

RAVA 5
Crowned Woodnymph Tha

Col

6 P M P 2:50

pm

RAVA 1x
Cocoa Woodcreeper Xip

Sus

1 P U 1 85mm 38g 7/3/17 4:07

pm

RAVA 6
Tawny-crested Tanager TacDel 1 P F P 1 70mm 18g 7/3/17 4:15

pm

RAVA 3
Carmiol’s Tanager ChlCar 1 P U 1 90mm 33g 7/3/17 4:20

pm

RAVA 3
Carmiol’s Tanager Chl

Car

1 P U 1 91mm 40g 7/3/17 4:25

pm

RAVA 3
Spotted Barbtail Pre

Bru

1 P U 1 65mm 18g 7/3/17 4:26

pm

RAVA 3
Black-faced Solitaire Mya

Mel

6 P U 1 95mm 28g 7/3/17 5:11

pm

RAVA 4
Black-and-yellow Tanager Chr

Chr

6 P M P 3 67mm 9g 7/3/17 5:11

pm

RAVA 2
Wood Thrush Hyl

Mus

6 P U 2 110mm 7/3/17 5:30

pm

RAVA 6
Dusky Antbird Cer

Tyr

1 P F P 3 53mm 10g 7/3/17 5:31

pm

RAVA 6
Dusky Antbird Cer

Tyr

1 P M P 3 55mm 10g 7/3/17 5:33

pm

RAVA 6
Crowned Woodnymph Hummings Tha

Col

5 P M P 2 55mm 7/3/17 6:00

pm

RAVA 3
White-ruffed Manakin ManCan 5 P M P 3 60mm 13g 8/3/17 7:10

am

RAVA 1x
Wedge-billed

Woodcreeper

Gly

Spi

1 P U 2 1 74mm 8/3/17 7:40

am

RAVA 4
White-crowned Manakin Man

Can

6 P F P 3 63mm 15g 8/3/17 7:40

am

RAVA 4
White-ruffed Manakin Man

Can

5 P M P 2 55mm 13g 8/3/17 7:40

am

RAVA 4
Chestnut-backed Antbird Myr

Exs

6 P M P 1 68mm 28g 8/3/17 9:00

am

RAVA 3
Emerald Tanager TanFlo 1 P U 4 64mm 19g 8/3/17 9:20

am

RAVA 1x
Spotted Barbtail Pre

Bru

1 P U 3 60mm 9g 8/3/17 10:41

am

RAVA 6
Streak-headed Woodcreeper Lep

Sou

1 P U 1 80mm 37g 8/3/17 10:47

am

RAVA 6
White-crowned Manakin ManCan 6 P F P 1 70mm 15g 8/3/17 1:48

pm

RAVA 5
Black-faced Solitaire Mya

Mel

6 P U 1 95mm 36g 8/3/17 4:45

pm

RAVA 4
White-crowned Manakin Man

Can

6 P F P 3 65mm 14g 9/3/17 7:25

am

RAVA 3
White-ruffed Manakin Man

Can

6 P F P 3 60mm 14g 9/3/17 9:30

am

RAVA 3 ❤ 1790

Resident

Bright-rumped Attila Att

Spa

6 P U 1 93mm 45g 9/3/17 12:27

pm

RAVA 4
Russet Antshrike Tha

Ana

1 P U 1 63mm 28g 9/3/17 1:30

pm

RAVA 3
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Aut

Och

1 P U 1 90mm 9/3/17 1:31

pm

RAVA 3
Buff-throated Foliage-gleaner Aut

Och

1 P U 1 85mm 40g 9/3/17 1:32

pm

RAVA 3
Green

Honeycreeper

Chl

Spi

6 P M P 2 71mm 18g 9/3/17 1:33

pm

RAVA 1
White-ruffed Manakin Man

Can

6 P F P 2 60mm 13g 9/3/17 3:37

pm

RAVA 6
White-ruffed Manakin Man

Can

6 P F P 2 63mm 14g 9/3/17 3:38

pm

RAVA 1x
Tawny-capped Euphonia EupAnn 6 P F P 2 59mm 18g 9/3/17 3:42

pm

RAVA 1x
Tawny-capped Euphonia Eup

Ann

6 P M P 1 69mm 16g 9/3/17 3:53

pm

RAVA 1x
Chestnut-sided Warbler Set

Pen

5 P U 4 60mm 14g 9/3/17 4:14

pm

RAVA 1x 250058634

Acknowledgments:

Wendy Welshans, Sean Graesser, Eli Del Castillo, Silvanna Najri Saladin.

Literature Cited:

The birds of Costa Rica, A Field Guide; ( Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean).

Training Manual for Field Biologists in Papua New Guinea; (Andrew L.Mack and Debra D.Wright).

Bioacoustics and Bird Team

Bioacoustics focuses in the recording of species, no matter whether it’s terrestrial or aerial.

The Bioacoustics and Birds Team uses a software called Raven Pro Software to check the highs and lows of the recordings. It keeps the awareness of the sound to be below 12 gain.

Materials:

In bioacoustics is important to have quality audio equipment to have an optimal sound recording of the animals.

  1. Parabolic Dish (Telinga Pro Universal ME)
  2. Long shotgun Microphone (Sennheiser ME67)/Windshield (Rycote Softie)
  3. Omnidirectional Microphone Capsule (Sennheiser ME62)
  4. Headphones (Sony MDR-7506)
  5. Digital Audio Recorder (Marantz PMD 661 MKII)

Setting Up:

 

  1. Set up the digital recorder by turning it on.
  2. Once it’s powered on, proceed to insert the headphones in the “phones”  plug of the recorder.
  3. Next, grab an omnidirectional microphone and insert it inside the parabolic dish. Check that the microphone is not fully inserted, thus there need to be a space between the surface and the microphone (quarter of finger)
  4. Proceed to connect the parabolic dish in the digital recorder in the mono setting.
  5. Press the “Rec” button for a test check.
  6. Once everything is settled, it is ready to record data!

 

Methods:

  1. Target a sound and listen for a bit to find the area where its sound is the strongest
  2. Recommended to take safety recordings.
  3. Begin approach while still recording
  4. Mind the gain. Make sure it’s not above 12 gain, if so, turn down.
  5. Once the recording is finished, begin closing statement by naming the species (if identified), date and time of day, location, habitat description, and the distance to the animal.

 

-Silvanna Najri and Kseniya Kotova

 

2016 Bird Team

Think of the lush rainforest. How high can you gaze? Can you see past the dense foliage? Can you see even a glimpse of blue? We know they are there, but we can’t always see them flitting about above the canopy. What are we talking about? Birds. When you think of birds in the Costa Rican rainforest, what is the first species that come to mind? Parrots? Toucans? Do you think of the Chestnut-sided Warbler or the Louisiana Warbler? These are some of the species captured and banded in Costa Rica to the previous bird team’s surprise. 

Anna Lees ’16 and Kammer Tyson ’16 are proud members of the 2016 Bird Team. We will be catching, cataloging, and tracking flight patterns of Neotropical and migratory birds. To do this, we will set up a study plot and multiple mist nets. Mist nets are commonly used by biologists and ornithologists to catch flying creatures. Unlike the years before, we will be attempting to obtain and record more data on hummingbird species. When trapping birds, we will do our best to ensure safe handling techniques are used and the birds are kept calm and returned to the location where they were caught. All specimens obtained will be cataloged and released. In addition, migratory birds will be banded to allow us to see migration patterns in future years. We hope, with our continuing partnership with Cornell University, we can positively impact avian research in Costa Rica and beyond.

Leaving in Three Days!

For the bird team to conduct the research properly and efficiently, we bring 18-20 poles and around 20 nets. Each net is attached to the poles the nets span a length of around 11 meters or 36 feet. The pole length is 2.43 meters or eight feet. The process for setting up the net takes two or three people; one person holds the net inside of a plastic bag, so that the net does not get human scent. This is so any birds flying through the area do not smell the nets and go around. Meanwhile another person is unraveling the net. This is a critical stage in the setup, if the net touches the ground; all of the debris has to be removed and is just time consuming. Once the net has been outstretched it is attached to the other pole via loops, the netting has to be taught so that birds do not get injured. There are four loops per each side of the net, three white and one black. The white loops have to go above the lock while the black loop goes below the lock. The locking mechanism is designed so that the pols won’t slide down once propped up; to collapse the poles, the lock has to be squeezed at the top of the pole. To extend the poles they have to be razed to the desired height or add another pole to the pre-existing pole. This is all to catch different types of flying birds i.e. low flying versus high flying birds. To actually catch the birds there has to be some excess netting at the bottom to create pocket for the birds to fall into. Once the poles and netting have been set up the Bird Team will use a small hammer to anchor the poles into place. The Bird Team expects to have technical difficulties, however have the means to fix and make most repairs to netting. To disassemble the net, the poles locks are compressed allowing the poles to be broken down. To put the nets away, each net must be spun to make them into more rope-like and manageable. To pack the net, hold onto the pole and grabbing an arms length of the net with the other, pull the net keeping it tight. It is important to not tangle the net during this process.

After the bird is caught, the Bird Team then takes them out of the net carefully, while making sure the bird remains calm. After the bird is taken out of the net, we carefully put them into bird bags. The bird bags are small and the bird will be able to breathe safely. The Bird Team then uses The Birds of Costa Rica: a Field Guide by Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean field guide to help identify what kind of bird it is. From there, the Bird Team will mark where on the map the bird was found. This may help to identify any patterns that may occur.

Next, the Bird Team examines the bird. Weight, height, gender, and wingspan, are all taken note of. The weight is measured using scales. There are many different kinds of scales that can be used to do this. Wing chord is measured using calipers. Once the wing chord is measured, the age can then be determined. If the bird is a migratory bird, it gets banded. If the bird already has been banded, the Ornithologist’s attempt to recover data on that bird.

Materials

-10-20 net poles

-1 net per 2 poles

-Net bags

-Bird bags

The Birds of Costa Rica by Richard Garrigues and Robert Dean and Training Manual for Field Biologist in Papua New Guinea by Andrew L. Mack and Debra D. Wright

– Records from previous year

– Scales

-Calipers

-Pen for markings

-Duct tape

Thank You Patagonia!

Thanks to you we have great gear!

From early mornings with the bird team to late nights with the Reptiles & Amphibians team, we will be trapping, recording, and doing research in the driest and warmest possible way.

We’re Getting Ready!

Recently the bird team has been working diligently to study and analyze the bird species of Costa Rica. We have also been studying conservation laws to educate and prepare us for our procedures and any conflicts we may encounter. In more exciting news, we got our gear from Patagonia and we also got new bird guides. The new bird books help us identify the bird as well as where they can be found in Costa Rica. In addition to learning about different bird species, we have been learning how to set up and take down bird nets. We are very excited to be going to Costa Rica in 26 Days!

Sincerely,
Tori Juster and Will Spangler (Bird Team 2015)

Bird Team of 2014-2015

The 2014-2015 Bird Team is Tori Juster and Will Spangler. We will be studying and cataloging the avian population as well as neotropical migration. Our purpose is to see what species are in the reserve as well as if the new migrant birds are having an impact on the already established bird population. We will set nets in the study area and all the trapped birds will be cataloged – all the nonnative species will be banded and set on their way. Since birds are such a huge part of any environment the study and cataloging is crucial to trying to maintain and continued conservation of the environment. Some of the species of birds that we will be interacting with are Hummingbirds Toucans and Scarlet Tanagers. We hope that our partnership with Cornell University will continue to be fruitful.

Bird Team Introduction

Recently we have been working on our paper, and learning to set up and take down the nets. It’s not as easy as it looks!!! We are also working hard to memorize the 25 most common birds that we usually catch while down in the Costa Rica. We are also working to memorize the Hummingbirds for the project that was created last year with them. In this project we set up about six bird feeders all with different percentages of sugar in the water. We then sit and watch for birds and calculate how many males and females go to which feeders to figure out which consistency of sugar the Hummingbirds like the best. We have meet with our team leader Frank Gallo, and he has been teaching us the methods we need to use while down in the rainforest. He says it get cold down there! Can you believe that! The rainforest in Costa Rica gets cold at night! We are hoping, because it is dry season, that we won’t be rained out like last year. Wendy Welshans has also been working hard to get us prepared for the big trip, meeting every other day in class and also on tuesday nights. In some of the lectures we are learning about some of the tropical plants and arthropods and their secondary defense, so if you touch them or eat them, they could really harm you. It’s really scary, but it helps us be alert down there, so we are more careful about what we touch. We will keep keep our blog updated so don’t forget to keep checking in, and feel free to leave us comments about questions you have and to wish us luck!
Jenny, Melissa, and Allie!
2014 Bird Team

The 2013- 2014 Bird Team

This year’s Bird Team, Melissa, Allie, and Jenny, have been working diligently to help further the research that has already been done on the Bird Team in previous years. Birds are an essential part of the ecosystem. We focus on three main types of birds: migratory, local, and hummingbirds. We look at the population size of the migratory birds in Costa Rica because the consequences of deforestation not only affect the birds in Costa Rica, but also in the United States. By banding birds, we are able to see the migration patterns over the years. The local birds in Costa Rica are heavily affected by deforestation. Since they are not migratory, if their habitats are destroyed, they will have no place to live. The 2014 Bird Team will also be continuing on with the research from the Hummingbird Project that was started last year. This year we will be working alongside the Bioacoustics Team to help identify and record new bird calls that will be added into the Macaulay Library that is produced by Cornell University, with whom we have a partnership.

2013-2014 Bird Team (Jenny Marcus, Melissa Lipset, Allie Meeker)

2013-2014 Bird Team (Jenny Marcus, Melissa Lipset, Allie Meeker)