Species of the Day: Emerald Glass Frog (again… we couldn’t resist)

Species of the day: Emerald Glass Frog! Miles (my son) and I were out collecting insects tonight for an experiment and ran into this guy again. About the size of your thumbnail, this might be one of the coolest amphibians around here. If you shine a flashlight under his body, you can see his internal organs (hence the ‘glass’ part). – MGB


Species of the Day – February 12th: Scale-crested pigmy tyrant

Species of the day: scale-crested pigmy tyrant! We caught this bird in one of the large cloud forest patches a few days ago. The ‘crest’ is perhaps used to make it seem bigger and more ferocious to enemies (hard to imagine this bird looking any MORE ferocious no?) Oh, and the chicks dig it too.

Scaly-crested pigmy tirant_low

On another note, our research seems to be going well. We are now testing experimentally whether flowers can tell the difference between green hermits, violet sabrewings and stripe-throated hermits. Here is a photo of Ava with a hermit we just banded (note bird’s right leg) as it was about to take off.


Species of the Day: White-throated Moutain Gem (Lampornis castaneoventris)

Species of the day: White-throated Mountain Gem! This is quite a small hummingbird that occurs in the higher elevations around our study site. Notice the short bill compared to Green Hermit and the Lancebill. One of the questions we are trying to answer is whether it is possible that some plants can actually distinguish among pollinators – that is, they can “tell” who is visiting them and turn their reproductive investment on or off depending on whether the species is a good pollinator. This species only moves short distances, so most likely spreads poor-quality pollen around. ‘Scuse the dirty thumbnail. My manicurist is on strike.Lampornis castaneoventris_low

Field workers large and small

Field workers large and small

This year our field crew ranges in size from Matt’s kids to our second REU student Tyler. Tyler has now been here for a week and we are glad to have him on our team. Tyler has now become the official carrier of “El Muerte”…a very large and heavy pack with equipment you need at the banding sites.


Ava didn’t seem to be too upset about trading jobs!




Resplendent Quetzal

Quetzal_best_lowSpecies of the Day: Resplendent Quetzal! This is the male – you can tell by its long tail feathers, which it uses to attract the female. Why such long feathers? Clearly useless for flying, the thinking goes that if a male can survive with such an apparent disadvantage, he must really be worth having as a ‘husband’. The Maya considered this bird “God of the Air”. Thanks for the encouragement with the photos everyone. We will continue to torture you with more photos.