We had a very long day today, and we were able to see and do some pretty incredible things. We started out by going to Rio on the Pools where we cooled off for a while, and then we headed to Caracol, an abandoned Mayan ruin which once held a prominent position in Mayan society. There we climbed Mayan ruins and learned a lot about Mayan history and culture. After Caracol, we headed to Las Cuevas and we’re now in the Chiquibul Forest!
We saw some incredibly interesting birds today such as the Montezuma Oropendola and even a Scarlet Macaw!! (Except I didn’t actually see the Scarlet Macaw as I may have been trying to take a nap so now I know that sleep is for the weak) We spotted the Montezuma Oropendola at Caracol. The Oropendola create woven nests which hang from the branches of trees like pendulums, hence the name. They also have an especially unique call which I won’t soon forget. The Oropendolas seemed to be trying to ward off blackbirds which were getting too close to their nests, and our guide Leo told us that the blackbirds will eat the Oropendolas’ eggs.
While at Caracol we also spotted a few Howler Monkeys, which was incredibly cool. Our guide Leo told us not to get too close or they would “bless” us and luckily no one did.
Once we arrived at Las Cuevas and after we were settled in, we began to discuss what our first research question/project would be. We decided that we would explore how species diversity and richness changes as the distance from the field station increases, and our hypothesis is that as distance increases, diversity and richness should increase as well. Tomorrow we are going to put up camera traps in numerous places to facilitate our project. Hopefully, everything goes well!