Maartje, our dutch ex-intern, who now lives and works in Quito recently visited with a group of students from the Instituto Tecnológico ITHI. As her students are in their 3rd semester of Environmental Studies she is currently teaching them field techniques. Maartje thought it is a good idea to show them how mistnetting studies and bird banding are used for scientific research. Therefore we planned out a short weekend excursion with her class to visit Un poco del Chocó.
The group arrived on a Saturday afternoon and after assigning everybody to their rooms for the night, Maartje took them on a short bird watching tour around the reserve. Later on we prepared the mistnets for the next day and I showed them how to set up the nets in the vicinity of the station. Wilo prepared a delicious dinner for everybody and afterwards Maartje took her students on a night hike.
The next morning we started early as usual when we are banding birds. Most of the students were still quite sleepy. They had enjoyed their field excursion with a few drinks the night before…..
The morning was really good though. We worked for only two hours but we caught a nice variety of birds. We had a tiny Scale-crested Pygmy-Tyrant, as well as a White-throated Quail-Dove. The students were very excited. I showed them the banding process: I banded and measured birds and pointed out interesting features like brood patches, parasites or wing molts. Afterwards the students took turns in releasing the birds.
Despite their little hang-over the students showed a lot of interest in the birds and I am pretty sure they learned something on their field trip.