A couple of weeks ago I wrote about my experience working as a volunteer in the Tambopata Research Centre. In this article I tell you all about a typical day a volunteer has to 'encounter'. It isn't bad at all!
It all started when I was searching on the internet looking for some additional information about capybara's. That is where I stumble upon the site of 'perunature.com' and from there I came across the Tambopata Macaw project.
It was exactly what I was looking for; the Tambopata Macaw project was the perfect opportunity for me to learn more about the Macaws and parrots. As I am also working as a bird guide in Kabalebo, this was a win-win situation as it would improve my skills too.
After arriving in Puerto Maldonado, I had to wait for a couple of days before heading off to the Tambopata Research Centre. An adventure in the making as I didn't know what to expect even though I mentally prepared myself for the trip, but I was so looking forward to this opportunity.
It may look really basic, but they had all the right tools: from books, computers … till climbing gear. As the lodge was really close to the rainforest, we experienced humidity to the fullest, according to my opinion. That is why I could not bring along my 500 mm lens and my own laptop, but instead used my phone and pocket camera.
This is how a typical day looked like for me: 5 AM - 5 PM, visiting the colpa to monitor the arrivals of the macaws and parrots. The telescope came in handy very well as I also took some nice pictures with my iPhone.
Sometimes when I couldn't leave the headquarters, due to heavy rainfall, some Scarlet Macaws came by to pay us a visit instead. They were actually looking for a treat and were all patiently waiting. A closer look reveals that the Scarlet Macaws all were wearing a ring. They were all born near the Tambopata Research Centre and while growing up the researchers and their assistants kept track of them. They all got banded right before they flew out of the nest.
Since the nesting season was over, it was sometimes pretty quiet at the colpa. But at times it was such a traffic that you didn't know where to look at. While looking at a Red-brocket Deer passing by the colpa, Mealy Amazons and Blue-and-Yellow Macaws were preening in the morning sun. And right next to them there were a bunch of Red-bellied Macaws.
In the afternoon Ruddy Pigeons were the main event at the colpa, I once counted at least 55 of them at the same time. A lonesome Capybara was also near the colpa, but more close to the water. On my way back to the Research Centre I met a Three-striped poison frog, right before rain hit me.
Besides working so close with the Macaws and parrots it was also a great to share your experience, working as a volunteer, with tourists visiting the Research centre.
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