Peru Expedition in the Amazon!

I have recently returned from my trip to Peru for bird banding! It was a phenomenal life experience, one that I could definitely tell my grand kids about. I went on with CECCOT program which took in 12 students from the USA including a couple students from Peru and Chile. There were the spanish speakers group and the english speakers as well. Our adventure guide had to switch back and forward for each explanation. I learned how to safely extract birds from the mist nests and properly set them up, as well as how to process the birds -wing, brood patch, refeathering, weight, cloacal info, species ID, molting. The weather was very humid, now that I moved to one of the coldest places in the US, I have now switched to being an ice-lady. I was eaten alive by mosquitoes the entire time, even when I applied insect repellent. The bites were massive! Three people ended up with chiggers and had to take antibiotics, yikes! We also went to different ecological parks where we saw a handful of wildlife such as, red howler monkeys (they sound exactly like King Kong the movie, not kidding!! it was really scary but they are actually not aggressive), Capuchin monkeys, spider monkeys, black and pygmy caimans, giant river otters (so adorable!!!! and threatened species in S.A 🙁  three-toed sloths, fishing bats, amazonian red squirrel, tree frogs, tarantulas (found one right by my bed), macroinvertebrates, coral snakes, small mammals, porcupines, tons and tons of songbirds, water birds, lores, blue headed macaws- you can only find it in S.A and it’s threatened too.

We almost got to see a jaguar during our night hike, and of course my mom was not pleased to hear this story… Amazing experience overall, however the only horrible things were that critters would crawl around my bed and stick to my body. Hence the crawling would wake me up once or twice every night. Lovely! Give or take I guess.

Tifany Rubalcaba
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