November 2017




Research and Volunteers:

Tim, Timo and Feite setting up butterfly traps on 11/27/17

Annika and Jordan wrapped up their study on warbler interactions this month. They looked at how migratory and resident warblers interacted with other birds (whether they were displaying cooperative, neutral, aggressive, or submissive behaviours), and who they were interacting with. They found:

  1. Both migratory and resident warblers showed no significant difference in the amounts of cooperative, neutral, aggressive, or submissive behaviours when compared to each other.
  2. Both kinds of warblers displayed primarily cooperative or neutral behaviours and minimal amounts of aggressive or submissive behaviours.
  3. Both types of warblers interact much more with other warblers (Parulidae) than with birds from other families.
  4. Migrant warblers interact much more with other migrants than resident warblers, and vice versa for the resident warblers.
  5. Both migrant and resident warblers used young naturally regenerating areas less than expected, older naturally regenerating areas more than expected, and old growth areas exactly as expected. Migrant warblers used planted areas more than expected, while resident warblers used them less than expected.


Jordon and Annika giving their presentation



Momme Feldkam

«I am 21 years old and from Germany. I finished my education as a industrial assistant manager  in June 2017 and then I started my volunteer program with a German company.
First I was two months in South Africa then two months in México and now I am six weeks in Costa Rica. I had an amazing experience in these countries. I will always remember this beautiful time! Now I am in Cloudbridge because I am really interested in the nature from Costa Rica. You can find here so many different animals and plants. It’s really a paradise!
My work here as a volunteer is very diversified and the best thing is, that you work most of the time in the forest.


Laurie Allnatt

«Hi, my name is Laurie, I’m 23, and I am an ecologist from Devon, England. I have recently completed a masters in environmental consultancy, following on from a degree in biology. I have had a life long passion for birds and have been birding regularly for as long as I can remember, leading me to undertake a variety of voluntary surveys/conservation roles. I have therefore come to Cloudbridge for 3 months to research birds, specifically, how important the reforestation taking place here is for bird diversity and abundance. I am loving being out in the ecological diversity of the cloud forests, and have already seen over 120 bird species here in my first week!»

While Laurie is here he has put together his own blog.  You might want to check it out as he is an amazing photographer and has some fun stories about his adventures at Cloudbridge.





Joey Müller

«My name is Joey. I am 19 years old and from the south of Germany. I finished my A-Levels this year and decided to go travelling afterwards. After being in Spain for a few weeks I decided that the next station on my travels should be Costa Rica. I had heard lots of great things about the nature here and I also wanted to visit another spanish speaking country. Thats why I decided to book on to a volunteer program in Costa Rica with a German company. After a week in Puerto Viejo I got to Cloudbridge where I am working as one of the volunteers for a month. I live together with great people from different countries that either work on different projects or are also volunteers. During the day the other volunteers and I are either working on the trails where we for example build steps or we work close to our living area. Sometimes we also help the others work on their projects. The nature at Cloudbridge is truly beautiful which makes it a great experience to work here everyday. You can always find new places and experience nature that is very different from what we all know.
I would recommend the volunteering program at Cloudbridge to everyone who is interested in working in a unique place and wants to meet cool new people from different places around the globe!»








«Hey, I’m Fiete and I’m currently a volunteer at Cloudbridge. I’m here for 6 weeks in total.

My hometown is Kiel, which is located in the north of Germany. I’m 19 years old and I like working out, biking, running, swimming and hiking. I just finished school in Germany and I’m doing a gap year now, so that basically means I am travelling and working etc.
I already did a lot of things, because volunteering here includes doing many different things.»

Fiete setting up a butterfly net.




Abi Stefanelli

«I’m Abi Stefanelli from Dickerson, Maryland. I studied Psychology at the University of Central Florida and have since been working in the non-profit mental health field back in Maryland. In need of my own «mental health break,» I quit my job and decided to travel. Cloudbridge has been the perfect opportunity to explore beautiful Costa Rica and learn about the area’s history and ecology. Im very grateful to be here.»




Roopak Bhatt

«My name is Roopak and I am 27. I graduated from UCLA in 2012 with a degree in biology. I have been working as a biological science technician the last few years and aspire to eventually become a wildlife biologist. This is my first time in Costa Rica and I am very excited for this opportunity. I will be a part of the bird monitoring study at Cloudbridge and look forward to seeing all of the birds here.»


Brian Milne

«My full name is Brian Milne and I’m from a town in Ireland called Drogheda. I’m 47 years old. I was an electronic technician for about 20 years working in different areas. I’m now a physical therapist qualifying in 2013.
I came to cloudbridge to help with the reforestation. I love hill walking, reading and playing golf.





Rachele Larson
«I’m from the States in Northern Wisconsin (Rice Lake to be exact). Some interests of mine include running, Ultimate Frisbee, & hiking! I just graduated from the University of Wisconsin La Crosse with my Bachelors degree in Biology & a minor in Spanish. I am an aspiring Conservation Biologist who is working on the Soil Moisture Project & will be at Cloudbridge until April.»



Katharina Wolfenstetter

«Hi! My name is Kathi and I am from a little village in the Alps in Germany. I am about to finish my bachelor’s degree in biology at the University of Innsbruck, Austria. I love spending time outside in the nature and I think it is important to maintain it. I want to support the efforts of environmental protection, like it is done here in Cloudbridge, so I decided to come to Costa Rica to volunteer. I am very happy that I landed here. The work is very diverse and interesting and there is also enough time to explore the beautiful reserve. I’ve really enjoyed my time so far and it is great to have the opportunity to experience the Costa Rican cloudforest first-hand.»

Katharina, on her way up to Chirripo



Astrid Kartes – Germany

«I came to Costa Rica to explore the nature of this beautiful country. Apart from the coast with its amazing beaches I also wanted to experience the Costa Rican forests. This brought me to Cloudbridge.
My time here was amazing. I helped different researchers with their studies and learn’t a lot about this cloudforest while doing it. This place is beautiful and I met great people.»





Jeff and Andrew

Jeff Boone was found standing outside the store in San Gerardo in the pouring rain when Linda and Tom pulled up to buy a few supplies.  It was quite the surprise because Jeff and Linda  used to work together for the City of Saskatoon, Urban Forestry dept.  Jeff still does work there as the entomologist.  He and Andrew (Toronto) are on a vacation in Costa Rica and they came to this area to climb Chirripo.  They decided to stay a couple of days at Cloudbridge after their hike up the mountain.  They ended up extending their stay for a few more days and joined in on some of the research hikes and other activities.  They helped Tom look for a new passage across the river since our bridge was destroyed in the storm last month.  The group including Laurie came back wet, dirty and a little bruised but excited about the adventure of crossing raging rivers, navigating their way around landslides and exploring the steep and slippery river banks for possible sites to cross safely.

Andrew and Jeff




Other things:

At the end of October the volunteers had a Halloween get together.  It is a challenge to come up with costumes when you only have leaves from the forest, clothes found in the lost and found box, and ordinary household items.




Frank Spooner was in the UK (his home country) this month.  He gave a presentation to Exeter University about Cloudbridge and also discussed conservation careers.


Jenn, Alice and Linda did a virtual education class with Horsendale Primary School in the UK.  The age 8 and 9 year olds are studying classification and wanted to learn about the inhabitants of a tropical forest.  They were very interested in the monkeys and also asked questions about the spots on a jaguar.  We discussed the importance of protecting forests for wildlife habitat and named some of the species that live in the Cloudbridge forest.  They asked if we have Koala bears, to which Alice had to explain that they only live in Australia but that we do have marsupials such as the opossum living here.


Jenn holding a stick bug up to the camera


Alice talking to the students about mammals




Construction never seems to end here.  There is always something that needs to be built.  This time it is a public washroom that is being constructed by renovating an old hot tub area.  Turning a hot tub into a fully functioning bathroom is no easy task. Thanks to our regular yearly volunteer, Bob Jacobs, with a little help from our workers and volunteers – things are happening.




Of course the bird researchers didn’t see these beautiful quetzals, but the butterfly group did!  Tim got a few nice shots of this pair.  They are difficult to find this time of year because it is not the breeding season and they usually are less vocal and active.  They sit quietly in the trees.

Male Resplendent Quetzal


Female Resplendent Quetzal




This creature was found in the memorial garden at Cloudbridge.  Our visiting entomologist, Jeff, identified it as either Opsiphanes tamarindi or bogotanus.  Its hard to get perspective from the photo but this guy was about 6 inches long.  Quite the head-gear!

Opsiphanes tamarind             This is the emerged adulthood phase of the life cycle.  They are commonly referred to as owl butterflies.


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