Camp Galletas

My first two weeks in the jungle have been unreal. I’ve been staying at “Camp Galletas” way up the Las Piedras River, named for the the circular slices of logs that form our wood floors. The jungle is unlike anything else, with so many insects, snakes, frogs, birds, mammals and more. The first week was spent macheteing trails and areas for the new camp that is being built, but I’ve been able to have some great adventures along the way. Now there are around 30 workers, volunteers, and interns at the camp so it’s a busy place. I’m working as an intern for Fauna Forever, a nonprofit organization that seeks to survey and research the wildlife of the Amazon Rainforest to help preserve important areas and create sustainable ways to harvest resources. I have begun work with Alexis, the bird coordinator, doing mist netting and bird banding. I’m learning so much about this process and gaining a lot of experience. In the first three days of mist netting we captured 38 birds of about 30 species. I’ll let the photos do the rest of the talking. Expect another update in a few weeks!

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Camp Galletas! Tucked into a small open patch in the jungle. It grows every day, with more beds and longer tables.
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The galletas, or cookies that allow us to walk around in bare feet or sandals, which is a great relief from rubber boots!
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Harry took me out on a night walk the first day and we found some incredible insects!
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The Las Piedras River at sunset.
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The boat ride upriver offered some great opportunities to find birds, like this Capped Heron
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On my first morning I woke early and found this amazing view into the canopy.
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A cooperative Vine Snake that the Herp Team caught on a night walk.
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Even the trees are out to get you in the rainforest.
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Black-fronted Nunbirds are a common site near camp
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We hiked up a giant clay cliff one day and had this spectacular view across the untouched jungle.
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More snakes!
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Lucerna, a tiny village along the river is our launching point for getting to camp.
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The Lucerna locals invited us to play a game of soccer. It was dreadfully hot but we only lost 3-2.
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Holding a tamed Yellow-crowned Parrot in Lucerna!
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Scarlet Macaws and other species fly over the clay lick along the river.

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Alexis and I prepare the mist nets for a good day of banding!
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One of 3 Pectoral Sparrow (Arremon taciturnus) that were captured
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We caught a couple of the tiny Golden-crowned Spadebill (Platyrinchus coronatus)
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We caught many birds that follow army ant colonies around such as this Stipple-throated Antbird
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We are only visitors to this wild jungle.