Field work

Before coming onto Judit's project I had been banding birds for three years, and this was my fourth trip to the tropics. The field conditions for this project were more difficult than any other on which I had previously worked. We dealt with torrential downpours, hour + hikes through forest to reach banding sites before dawn, food that started rotting before we could eat it, leaf cutter ants attacking tents and rain gear, clouds of mosquitoes and sweat bees, botflies (I had a total of 5), obnoxious roosters, almost hitting bushmasters while clearing net lanes, and our equipment sinking in the Rio Nanay.

It was absolutely worth it.

Field work

You'll get yelled at by tamarins on your way home from work most days, see fantastic neon-colored poison dart frogs, play barefoot football on muddy fields against guys from the villages, go to sleep to the sounds of Tropical Screech-Owls and potoos, and catch and see some of the most amazing birds anywhere (including Glyphorynchus spirurus, which are amazing at tangling themselves in mist nets). The Amazon is like no other place on earth, and every day you'll see something you've never seen before, some species or behavior or jaw-dropping sunset behind the storm.

Be prepared for Peru Time does not work here in the US (Our ride back to Iquitos "Oh, today is the 9th?"), Places to eat in Iquitos will not actually have what's on the menu and will fail at basic math, Iquitos traffic

If you're enthusiastic about birds, incredibly hard work, and doing things that will. make your friends and family think you're some crazy adventurer, then you'll find this experience very rewarding.

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  • Adam Floyd