Tuesday morning has again dawned grey, cloudy, foggy and misty – they call this garua, which refers to the fog or mist that hangs over the area during what is their dry season (July – Dec). No rain, just heavy mist/fog. Definitely not your image of sunny tropical paradise.
I finally met Francesca, the lead for the hawk mitigation team. She is just back from an exciting field trip to study Mangrove Finches. Her primary role for that project is to establish a second population area of the highly endangered Mangrove Finch. When they went back to their study area, they found a male. Not only was he established in the territory, but he was singing for a female (only happens during breeding season, which is beginning to get underway).
The team was very excited. I learned a lot about the challenges all of the finches are facing with an invasive botfly, Philornis downsi. The larvae of the botfly parasitizes nests, causing nestling mortality.
Still working on the plan for getting all of the parts to this project to interface. Our "hawk team" is planning to go to Rabida Island for four days to work with the hawks and see if we can make the capture component of the plan a bit easier.
I have included photos of a Palo Santo tree and Opuntia cactus, Galapagos Mockingbird, and Cactus Finch (different than the Mangrove Finch).