Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Going to the llanos

Sunset on the llanos in Guarico, Venezuela (Source)
I depart at the end of the month for my first field job out of college. I'm heading south, way south, to Los Llanos of Venezuela to assist a grad student in studying the nestling vocalizations of a parrot. Los Llanos are the immense, flat, seasonally flooded grasslands in the Orinoco River plain. They're teeming with all sorts of bird life - seven species of ibis, many herons and waterfowl, hoatzins, and more. I'm also looking forward to the herps I could potentially see, including several species of boa, anaconda, and caiman, although I'm working now to construct my own keys to the region because no good guide covers it. The focus of my work down there (and I expect it will keep me extremely busy) will be to monitor nestboxes containing Forpus passerinus, the Green-rumped Parrotlet, one of the smallest parrots in the world. I don't know what the situation will be concerning internet access but once I leave I probably won't be posting regularly until I return in December. I will do my best to keep a detailed notebook and take lots of pictures so I can document my trip when I return. For pictures of the sort of things I expect to see on my field site, check out these photos from one of last year's field crew.

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