First off, we've been extremely delinquent in responding to the people's will: you told us to get ourselves to Brazil, and to Brazil we go. In June, we're heading back to the Pantanal with our friend/guide extraordinaire Ailton Lara to the Pantanal Jaguar Camp. Ailton's so sought-after that we're competing with the crew of National Geographic for his time. We should clarify, since we've gotten a lot of questions, that we're not extending our six-month time away from home. This will be a side-trip, after which we return to Costa Rica before coming home as planned in mid-July.
In the meantime, we're very content with the hordes of birds we've been getting in our nets at Kekoldi. Today, we were stunned to get half a flock of chestnut-headed oropendolas. These are fairly large birds that don't usually come low enough to get caught in the nets, but we were on a ridgeline today that they kept crossing while foraging. We banded a total of seven, but a bunch more escaped from the nets as we approached. One of the nets actually collapsed under the combined weight.
|Check out the enormous beak. It hurts, but not as much as the claws.|
|Above, Duaro has a laugh while Mike attempts not to get speared,|
using a bag as protection from the claws.
|Adult and hatching-year females (younger at right).|