February 2021

This male Resplendent Quetzal was seen on the Montaña Trail.

Quetzal season is here!  We have been lucky enough to view multiple pairs over the last month, including near the nesting boxes that we have placed around the reserve.  Over the last three years we have placed nesting boxes in strategic locations throughout the reserve, and though pairs have come to inspect them and spend time cleaning them out, we have yet to observe a full nesting in these boxes. 

Our female Quetzal, Margarita, inspects the nest box near Tom and Linda´s home.
Her partner, Chico, also has to check it out,
Here they are together, what a lovely couple! Photo credit: Haydn West.
The Trogon family has not only the Resplendent Quetzal, but also other lovely birds such as this Collared trogon, who can also be seen around the reserve.
Los Crestones, one of the emblems of Chirripó National Park and the Talamanca mountain range.

This month we have begun collaborations with the National Park Service and another researcher to support their camera trap monitoring programs within Chirripó National Park. This exciting development also led to our being able to participate in a bird monitoring activity put together by the National Park Service on February 27th. Our brigade surveyed bird point counts between kilometers 10 and 11 on the main trail up to Chirripó. Because we spent the previous night in the lodge at the base of Los Crestones, we were also able to enjoy a spectacular sunset from a lookout on the way to Sabana de los Leones.

This high-altitude sunset view was captured from the lookout on the way to Sabana de los Leones, Chirripó National Park
The full moon was captivating from the lodge at Los Crestones, though the cold wind did not lend itself to much outdoor nighttime activity.
A Collared Redstart flashes a smile during our bird count activity
In the Páramo the cold-blooded reptiles enjoy basking in the afternoon sun before the frigid nights.

This month the staff and interns were able to enjoy two “tree tours” with Edgar Madrigal, who is very knowledgeable about the local tree species. We have greatly enjoyed learning more about our friends the trees.

Paula did a great job with this group selfie at the base of a spectacular Tirrá tree (Ulmus mexicana) on the Don Victor Trail. Photo credit: Paula Pebsworth.
The beautiful, delicate leaves of the Tirrá, Ulmus mexicana, belie just how large and impressice these amazing trees can become!

Volunteers and interns

Haydn West – former press photographer for the Press Association in the UK and Ireland – cinematographer for the past 7 years with Substantial Films., with 5 low budget feature films. Likes wildlife, conservation, travel, yoga and history.

Matt has come back to cloudbridge for his 6th visit now. Matt loves his birds and herps and as been surveying for such. It is Matt’s goal to add herps to cloudbridge’s species list. High on his list are species that are critically endangered or haven’t been documented in this part of the country yet. As he continues to try to find interesting species for our species list he continues to provide day and night tours including to cloudbridge interns and volunteers. Matt is always taking photos and trying to outdo his best images of essentially all species here.

Hello, my name is Michael and I have come from Tampa, Florida. I possess a master’s in Ecological Restoration and studied at University of Florida’s School of Forest Resources and Conservation. My interests include wildlife conservation, habitat restoration, and ecology. I came to Cloudbridge to learn and develop skills in field research, analysis, and scientific reporting. In my first month here, I have taken over the camera trap project and am now doing owl surveys. It’s a pleasure to be here, and I look forward to initiating new projects, exploring the cloud forest, and collaborating with other researchers. 

Unfortunately the time always comes at some point for our interns to leave, and we always try to send them off with a potluck dinner and some fun activities. Bella Marshall had been with us for over three months, and when she left we all had some fun with fire poi. Photo credit: Laura Picado

Around the Reserve

This Silver-throated Tanager has been making a nest just outside the Welcome Center. He loves to show off his beautiful colors.
The glass-wing butterfly is always a lovely attraction for visitors of the reserve.
This adorable glass frog was quite cozy inside his leaf.
The bridges at Cloudbridge Nature Reserve are a pleasure to walk on, and the whole Don Victor loop is now accesible and connected with bridges, even one up near the Don Victo waterfall. Come check it out!
The sooty robin was one of the more common and friendly birds during our survey
A beautiful morning rainbow was part of the joy of our early morning bird surveys in Chirripó National Park
The collared redstart, a lovely little fellow

Suggested Reading

  • Those who have contributed least to the climate crisis are already feeling outsized effects of the changes that have been set in motion. This article analyzes how climate disruption can lead to social disruption and conflict, in this case in West Africa.
  • This groundbreaking study from the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Science has found that deaths and negative health outcomes due to fossil fuel pollution are much higher than previous thought.
  • Many of you may have heard about the flash flood in India earlier this month, caused by a melting glacier impacting a dam. As more glaciers become destabilized due to climate change, this will continue to be an issue.
  • It is important to acknowledge the role that art can play in raising awareness about the climate crisis and the critical states that many of our natural systems are in. This article highlights a beautiful homage to the Murray-Darling river system, which has been severely impacted by climate change and human use.
  • In the same vein of raising awareness through art, we are looking forward to submitting footage and otherwise support the notable effort for this movie about trees
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