Uti vår hage

/ 2013-02-06 / 00:00:43

Yesterday we caught the first breeding-group and finally I got pictures of the parakeets! The whole group usually sleeps in the nestbox, including chicks, parents and all the helpers. This first group is the largest one with 9 adults and 6 chicks, so that's one crowded nest! The day before we catch a group we put up trap doors, so that we can close the entrances to the nest. The first group is really close to the house so after dark Michael went there and closed the doors.
At dawn the next morning we could just pick them all out of box one by one. I was about to write easily, but I think you all can understand that the parakeets are quite difficult to handle, they bite through the skin without even trying. Gloves are needed but make you kind of clumsy, Michael uses silvertape on the fingers that he holds around the head. Fortunately we are three, so one can hold the bird while a second person takes the samples and meassurements, and the third writes everything down. All the adult birds in the group we caught yesterday have been ringed already previous years, and several of them has already left DNA-samples. But for the ones who hadn't we took a small blood sample from the vein in the wing, and some feathers. Then we took all the morphometrical data (like length of wings, breadth of the bill and so on) and pictures of head, wings and belly. Before being released again all the adult birds got individual markings on the bill, with nailpolish, and cut markings in the tail feathers. This is so that we can see on the camera footage which bird feeds which chick the most. All the chicks got individual markings as well, with tipex on the head. All of these markings will only last for a few days, but hopefully we'll get enough data for a good analysis.
All the nestboxes are placed in pastures, some quite deep in the forest and some more out in the open. The cows combined with the rain is the reason for all the mud, they create paths everywhere, even in the most steep places. But they are really cute, and today very curious of us and all our equipment. According to Lena and Michael a cable to one of the cameras has "mysteriously" disappeared from one nest, which is why we now put the boxes with the batteries and DVRs high enough for the cows not to reach them.

Tomorrow we're going to catch the second group, which is one of the worst to reach. This means that today we had to go there to put up the trap doors and camera system. So much for that free day! But tomorrow, fortunately, we don't have that much else to do :)

And so, for the promised update about the food. When we got to the restaurant they actually offered something more than the usual: corn tortillas with meat! We thought that it was going to be similar to the ordinary dish but with tortillas instead of rice. Needless to say we got a bit disappointed when we got two tiny things each, apparently with the meat inside. Hungry fieldworkers like ourselves need a lot more than that, so we ordered two of the normal meat dishes to share between us. Something special that they cook a lot of here though is bananas. One my way here with the bus i barely saw more than banana plantations. The bananas that is used for cooking are really hard and needs to be cooked for a long time, then they are fried. I quite like it, the taste isn't at all the same as in normal bananas, which they also have here ofc.

Unfortunately there's no adress to where you can send me stuff here, so I'll just have to learn spanish and german so that I can read the other's stuff. Or stare into the wall ;)

Kisses to all my friends and family. I love you.

Moster Marie
2013-02-06 / 22:21:41

Hej gumman!

Vilka fina bilder! Du verkar ha kommit igång med jobbet ordentligt nu. Såg just ett program om en papegoja som är så tjock att den inte kan flyga...på Nya Zeeland...känner du till den? Det som var det sorgliga var att hans mat fanns i träden...men eftersom han inte kunde flyga fick han klättra upp för trädet för att få sin mat! Naturen är lite mysko ibland!
Anna har kommit hem och saknar dej här!...och det gör vi andra med!
Puss o kram på dej!

2013-02-10 / 11:04:18

Va vackra dom är! Låter som ett riktigt intressant jobb.. Inte alls avundsjuk eller så ;) saknar dej Josse, hade jag bara haft pengar så hade jag tagit ett flyg dit ner till våren, men jag får väl helt enkelt vänta till du kommer hem igen. Njut nu av värmen och tänk på oss stackare som har 10-15 cm snö just nu! Älskar dej pussar <3

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