Rally Rálidos-Colombia (Rallidae Rally- Colombia)

(La traducción al Español está por debajo de la sección en Inglés)

 

Rally flyer

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The Association Calidris group during the Rallidae Rally survey in LAGUNA DE SONSO- Colombia. 2014.

 

My first experience working in the field with Asociacion Calidris was during Colombia’s first Rallidae Rally. During the rally we dedicated a morning to surveying Sonso, about an hour north from Cali, Colombia.

Our team prepared for the surveys at the Calidris office, where Yanira gave a presentation on the study area, methods, and the rail species common to Colombia. During this training we learned how to ID the rails through visual and vocalization characteristics.

 

The objective of the survey:

  • Obtain information
  • Identify local pressures and threats toward rails
  • Determine the status and population tendencies over time
  • Awaken interest within the ornithological community

 

With a group of 13, we split up into 4 groups – 2 groups on land and 2 groups on canoe/kayak.

 

I was happy to have been able go on a kayak! During the survey, we paddled along the edge of Sonso’s lagoon. In my previous internship with EFTA, in Alaska, I did A LOT of kayaking so being able to get back in a kayak brought a little nostalgia.

 

During our survey we stopped near the edge to listen and watch carefully for 10 minutes every 100 meters. We noted the initial time and end of the survey, the species we observed, information about the habitat, and took GPS coordinates for each of our survey points.

 

From previous visits the team expected to see a lot of common gallinule (Gallenula galeata), but to our surprise we saw and heard a lot of American coots (Fulica americana), a species that I have previously observed in California.

 

We all had a lot of fun. I learned a lot in such a short time. I learned the Latin names, visual and vocalization identification characteristics for rails in Colombia, with a little more practice it becomes a little easier.

 

My next adventure with Calidris involves traveling to Colombia’s Caribbean to reunite with a group of birds that I am familiar with from my internship in Cordova, Alaska- SHOREBIRDS!

 


( Español )

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El grupo de Asociación Calidris durante la encuesta de Rally Rálidos en LAGUNA DE SONSO- Colombia. 2014.

Mi primera experiencia trabajando en el campo con la Asociación Calidris fue durante el primer Rally Rálidos de Colombia. Durante el rally nos dedicamos una mañana conduciendo una encuesta en Sonso, a una hora al norte de Cali, Colombia.

 

Nuestro equipo preparo para las encuestas en la oficina de Calidris, donde Yanira hizo una presentación sobre el área de estudio, los métodos y las especies comunes de rálidos de Colombia. Durante este entrenamiento, aprendimos a identificar a los rálidos a través de las características visuales y de vocalización.

 

Los objetivos de la encuesta:

  • Obtener información
  • Identificar presiones y amenazas locales a las que el grupo es sometido
  • Determinar con el tiempo el estatus y tendencias poblacionales
  • Despertar el interés de la comunidad ornitológica

 

Con un grupo de 13, nos dividimos en 4 grupos- 2 grupos en tierra y 2 grupos en canoa / kayak.

 

Yo estaba feliz en un kayak! Durante la encuesta, remamos por el borde de la laguna de Sonso. Desde mi pasantía previa con EFTA, en Alaska, estuve trabajando mucho en kayak así que la posibilidad de volver en un kayak me trajo un poco de nostalgia.

 

Durante nuestra encuesta nos detuvimos cerca del borde de la laguna para escuchar y observar cuidadosamente durante 10 minutos cada 100 metros. Tomando nota de el tiempo inicio y el final de la encuesta, las especies que observamos, información sobre el hábitat, y las coordenadas con GPS de cada uno de nuestros puntos de encuesta.

 

Desde visitas anteriores de el equipo anticipamos ver una gran cantidad de gallinula común (Gallenula galeata), pero para nuestra sorpresa vimos y escuchamos muchas fochas común (Fulica americana), una especie que he observado antes en California, EE.UU..

 

Todos nos divertimos mucho durante la encuesta. Aprendí mucho en tan poco tiempo. Aprendí los nombres en latín, las características visuales y de vocalización para identificar los rálidos en Colombia, y con mas practica se hace un poco mas fácil.

 

Mi próxima aventura con Calidris implica viajar al Caribe de Colombia para reunirme con un grupo de aves que estoy familiarizada desde mi pasantía en Córdova, Alaska -AVES PLAYERAS!

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Las Aves de Cali- Colombia (The birds of Cali- Colombia)


(La traducción al Español está por debajo de la sección en Inglés)

Living in Cali- Colombia is an opportunity that I am happy to have experienced in my life. As someone born and raised in Los Angeles Cali-fornia, the city life is something that I am very familiar with, but unlike Los Angeles, in the city of Cali you wake up to the sound of wild parrots flying overhead each morning! When I recently arrived I was puzzled to hear an unfamiliar call each night, I thought to myself that it was strange that a bird would be calling/singing at night. To my surprise, I was told it was not a bird- it was a non-native gecko (Lepididactylus lugubris)! Since then, I try to catch a glimpse of the little geckos, but they are very shy and my excitement for them is not appreciated.

 

The first bird that I identified from outside my host families living room window was the very noisy great kiskadee (Pitangus sulphuratus). The great kiskadee is a large flycatcher, a very beautiful and common bird here in Cali. Just like the varied thrushes’ songs bring my nostalgia for my time in Cordova- Alaska, I know the sound of the great kiskadee will be the bird that reminds me of my time here in the city of Cali. Aside from the great kisadee, there are numerous other species that I have never seen in my life that I frequently observe in the city, as I walk to work at the Calidris Associations office. The ruddy ground dove (Columbina talpacoti) is a small New World tropical dove that fascinates me every time I see it. Not only because it reminds me of the doves of my city, but due to its size! These little doves, just like the least sandpipers I saw in Cordova, trigger an amusement due to their size, measuring about 17 cm (~6.7 in) in length! Other common birds that I see in the city are blue-gray tanagers (Thraupis episcopus), saffron finchs (Sicalis flaveola), vermilion flycatchers (Pyrocephalus rubinus), and smooth-billed anis (Crotophaga ani)

 

It’s a whole new ball game when you step out of the city. I had the opportunity to do so this weekend and wow, I am speechless! The amount of diversity and beauty exceeds that of my childhood dreams. My dreams that were derived from books and documentaries based in Colombia- South America were now my reality. Accompanying me was Jeisson who works as a biological field technician with Calidris and is an amazing birder, and Jo Se a biologist and friend of Jeisson’s. Throughout our 7 hour birding adventure Jeisson made sure to document all of our bird encounters. We came to a total of 62 species, of which 61 of these species were new to me (lifers). I share with you a few photographs that I took of my lifers:

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Thank you for reading and stay tuned to hear about my adventure with Calidris during their first every Rail Rally in Colombia!

Rally flyer


 

 (Español)

Poder vivir en la ciudad de Cali – Colombia es una experiencia que me hace feliz. Como alguien nacida y criada en Los Angeles California, la vida de la ciudad es algo con que estoy muy familiarizada pero, a diferencia de Los Angeles, ¡en la ciudad de Cali me despierto con el grito de los loros silvestres volando sobre la casa cada mañana! Cuando recién llegué me quedé perpleja al escuchar una llamada extraña cada noche, me dije a mí misma ¿que será ese extraño pájaro que canta cada noche? Pero para mi sorpresa, me dijeron que no era un pájaro, ¡era una lagartija (Lepididactylus lugubris) que no son nativas a Colombia! Desde entonces, intento mirar a las pequeñas lagartijas, pero son muy tímidas y mi emoción no es apreciada por ellas.

 

La primer ave que identifique desde la ventana de la primera familia que me adoptó durante mi pasantía (Fernando y Diana) fue el muy ruidoso Pitangus sulphuratus. Pitangus sulphuratus es un gran atrapamoscas, muy hermoso y un ave común aquí en Cali. Al igual que la canción de Ixoreus naevius que me trae nostalgia de mi tiempo en Cordova, Alaska, sé que el llamado de Pitangus sulphuratus será el ave que me recordará de mi aventura aquí en Cali. Aparte de Pitangus sulphuratus, hay muchas otras especies que nunca he visto en mi vida que se observan con frecuencia en la ciudad y durante el camino a la oficina de la Asociación Calidris. Columbina talpacoti, es una pequeña paloma/tortolita del nuevo mundo tropical que me fascina cada vez que la veo. No sólo porque me recuerda a las palomas/tortolitas de mi ciudad, sino también por su tamaño. Estas pequeñas palomas/tortolitas al igual que Calidris minutilla que vi en Cordova, desencadenan una admiración debido a su tamaño de 17 cm (6.7 pulgadas) de longitud. Otras aves comunes que he visto en la ciudad son Thraupis episcopus, Sicalis flaveola, Pyrocephalus rubinus y Crotophaga ani.

 

Es completamente diferente al salir de la ciudad. Tuve la oportunidad de vivirlo este fin de semana, y ¡guau, no tengo palabras para explicarlo! La cantidad de diversidad y belleza supera a la de mis sueños de infancia. Mis sueños que derivan de los libros y documentales basados en Colombia – Sur de América son ahora mi realidad. Durante este viaje de aventura para observar aves me acompañó Jeisson, quien trabaja como biólogo con Calidris y es un increíble pajarero, también fue Jo Sé un biólogo que es amigo de Jeisson. Durante nuestra aventura de siete horas, Jeisson registró todas las aves que observamos. Llegando a un total de 62 especies, de las cuales ¡61 eran nuevas para mí (lifer)! Comparto con ustedes algunas fotografías que he tomado de mis “lifers”:

 

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¡Muchas gracias por leer y continúen atentos para aprender sobre mi aventura con Calidris durante el primer Rally de Rálidos en Colombia!
Rally flyer

 
 
 

Intercambio de Conocimientos en Colombia (Knowledge Exchange in Colombia)

(La traducción al Español está por debajo de la sección en Inglés) I have learned so much in just a week from living and working in Cali- Colombia with the Association Calidris (Asociación Calidris). On my first week of work … Continue reading

And it comes to an end…

Mianna Maestas:
Time is going by far too fast!

I live such a chaotic life that it doesn’t feel as though the festival was already a week ago!

Considering that our office will be moving to Monte Vista, the last two weeks of my journey will be spent helping pack up and getting the show on the road.

This week I spent my time cleaning things up from the festival and getting things organized so that everything is easier to find for next year. I also started a binder for the interns next year that give directions on games we used for outreach, our protocol, and other odds and ends that they may need. I know I will be around next year to help them out.

I am sad that Deisy’s time is over and that I have no one to pick on, laugh at, or spend time with. I am happy to see her be successful in Denver, but there are days that I just miss her presence.

I am not sure I like that summer is over because school is in full swing and I hardly get to see or spend time with my buddies from work. It makes me sad, yet excited because I know that I have the privilege to spend another summer with them and have even more good times together!

Until next time…..

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Alamosa’s First Shorebird Festival

Mianna Maestas-
WE DID IT!!

I am proud to say that September 13, 2014 marks the first ever shorebird festival in Alamosa Colorado. All of the hard work that Deisy and I performed on top of all of our day to day tasks has finally paid off. It was great to see all the families out having a great time and participating in all of the events. It was such a treat to see all the smiling faces as the kids were able to participate in STEM programs such as solar car races, estimation games, and making bird feeders and paper owls. I think it helped a lot with the fact that they could win all kinds of cool prizes. We were able to give them all tattoos, stickers, bubbles, duck lip whistles, bird whistles, butterfly seed growers, and so much more!

I first want to say thank you to all the volunteers, participants, donors, and all that believed in us.  I also want to thank my bosses, Jill and Sue, for giving us the opportunity to get out there and do it no matter what the outcome may be, and I also want to thank all those that came to see what was going on, and I have so many ideas for next year. It would have not been possible without all the support.

We raised a total of 2,800 dollars! The entire festival paid for itself! Prizes included! Our families took home prices such as wolf creek ski resort passes, 3 month passes to Hooper pool, individual passes to Hooper pool, Gift certificates to Kristi Mountain sports and El Vallecito, and visa gift cards starting at 50 dollars. All and all the event was amazing and I am excited to see what it can become I am proud to say, WE DID IT!! We created our first festival! It took a lot of hard work but that hard work was worth every second just to see families coming together to enjoy time learning and competing.