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July 11, 2018 0
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Just a plain, brown bird…
(House Wren: Troglodytes aedon)

By: Néstor Paladines

Plain, brown and with an effervescent call, the House Wren is a common backyard bird found across the Western Hemisphere. Listen for its rush-and-jumble song in summer as it zips through shrubs and low tree branches, snatching insects. House Wrens in Mashpi live around the Life Center garden and you can hear their energetic calls throughout the day, all as you enjoy the forest view from the deck.

Handling wild animals

 By: Juan Carlos Narváez

Mashpi is a reserve rich in biodiversity. Here, one can go for a walk and come across an impressive number of different species, from beautiful birds, gentle mammals to even the most fearsome of beasts. In this wonderful environment, our research team encounters an entire universe to study.

A week ago, we ran into some of the most menacing snakes that inhabit the reserve: the Chocoan Bushmaster (Lachesis acrochorda), Anchor Coral Snake (Microrus ancoralis) and the Ecuadorian Toad-Head (Bothrocophia campelii).

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These snakes play a vital role in the ecosystem. They hunt small forest vertebrates and help maintain a balance between populations. We were able to capture them temporarily to study their behavior and build on the photographic record we have of the species. Afterwards, we released them.

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Forest calls that make us sit up…

By: Anderson Orozco

In the cloud forest, every sound serves a purpose. Some animals emit a particular sound when there is a predator nearby, while other animals sing to woo their partners. A couple of days ago, while walking back from the Hummingbird Garden, an alarming noise stopped us in our tracks. It was made by two Moss-Backed Tanagers (Banqsia edwarsi).

When these birds feel threatened due to the presence of a predator, they emit a piercing alert call.

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Upon closer observation, we noticed that there was another species producing a shrill sound among the Tanagers. It was an Andean pygmy owl (Glaucidium jardinii), a species of diurnal owl that feeds on insects and small birds. While owls are generally known as birds with special adaptations to hunt in the dark, these little owls are proof that there are also diurnal hunters among owl species.


 

 

 

Mutualism at its best
Zeledon’s Antbird (Hafferia zeledoni)

By: Néstor Paladines

Ants are known for their tendency to take on anything that stands in their path.

When millions of army ants swarm through the forest, they consume every insect, spider and lizard they come across. Naturally, any animal that hears the ants coming (and they’re very loud) runs the other way.

To capitalize on this, flocks of antbirds will track the army ants as they travel through the forest, prey on insects and other small animals trying to escape, and feed on whatever is left after the ants come through.

Antbirds and army ants enjoy a mutualistic relationship: antbirds benefit from the army ants, but the army ants neither benefit nor are harmed by the ant birds.


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June 8, 2018 0
Reading Time: 3 minutes

An Anteater Pays a Visit to the Laboratory

By: Anderson Medina

One afternoon while I was reading in the laboratory, I suddenly saw some movement outside the window. I got a bit closer to see what it was, and to my utter surprise, I was suddenly face-to-face with a beautiful anteater (Tamandua mexicana), just two metres away from the laboratory! In the heat of the moment, I was so excited that the only thing I could think of doing was to take out my phone to try to capture how it would react.

When it saw that I was getting closer, it tried to move away – maybe it thought that I was a predator that was going to hurt it. But, of course, I would never be capable of harming such an exquisite little animal!

The anteater is a species that can be as active in the day as it is at night. It feeds on termites or, as its name would suggest, on ants. It has claws that are well-developed that allow it to penetrate ant and termite nests, capturing the insects that are inside with its long and viscous tongue.

These animals are in danger of extinction due to their lack of defences. What’s more, they walk clumsily, leaving a trampled path through the forest. There are people who take advantage of how slow they are, capturing them to put them in zoos or to keep as pets, taking them far away from their natural habitats.

 

The Colours of Ecuador’s Cloud Forest

By: Juan Carlos Narváez and Wilfrido Basantes

Like the most romantic of watercolours and the most vibrant of oils, Mashpi, the Ecuador cloud forest reserve, is awash with colour: every leaf a different shade of green, each feather of every bird a new hue, the frogs, the snakes, and the butterflies bringing flashes of light and brilliance.

The rainbow pallet found here is the result of pigments and structural colours. Pigments are materials that absorb and selectivity reflect light, and the distinct colours are determined according to their level of depth. Structural colours, on the other hand, are produced by the interference of light reflected along the surface of fine structures, so that the light reflected by certain angles adds to or saturates them, creating the different colours.

For this reason, the ability to appreciate structural colours depends on the angle from which they are seen. A clear example of this in the Ecuadorian cloud forest are the wings of hummingbirds, where miniscule structures within the feathers reflect the different colours of these amazing birds.

A hummingbird in the Ecuador cloud forest

However, in a single blink of the eye, their colours can seem to change, to diminish, and even to turn black.

A hummingbird feeds in the Ecuador cloud forest

That is the fundamental difference with pigments that, in spite of the angle or the light conditions under which they are seen, their colours stay the same, even at night.

The colours of Ecuador’s cloud forest have inspired creativity in artists of all kinds. Here, we ask them how many greens they counted on a visit to Mashpi.

“I saw three million, but my daughter, whose sight is better, counted more.” Alberto Montt

“I wasn’t counting but the vast green you see all around is just magnificent, it has such a calming and connecting effect on you.” Carla Torres

“I didn’t even think about counting them, it would be an infinite challenge.” Susana Oviedo 

A beautifully coloured frog in the Ecuador cloud forest

The Spiny Devil

By: Juan Carlos Narváez

During our night walks, we sometimes come across this scary-faced creature, its feet covered in spikes. This is the longhorn grasshopper (Tettigoniidae). Believe it or not, it is innocuous, its sharp jaws used to cut the leaves that it feeds on (rather than anything more malicious). Its strong feet allow it to leap.

A scary-looking grasshopper found in the Ecuador cloud forest

Throughout the day, this little critter stays hidden among branches and under leaves, perfectly camouflaged. To communicate with others, it has special organs with which it can make loud sounds. A defining characteristic of this kind of grasshopper is that its antennae are twice as long as its whole body.


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April 2, 2018 0

<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;"><span class="rt-label rt-prefix">Reading Time: </span> <span class="rt-time">3</span> <span class="rt-label rt-postfix">minutes</span></span> <div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/mashpi-family-grew-once-again/"></div>When the monkey howled, the nymph became a dragon and the Mashpi family grew once again<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/mashpi-family-grew-once-again/"></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Related Posts generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->


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March 5, 2018 0

<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;"><span class="rt-label rt-prefix">Reading Time: </span> <span class="rt-time">3</span> <span class="rt-label rt-postfix">minutes</span></span> <div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/natures-alarm-bell-and-the-bride-of-the-forest/"></div>Check here what we saw today: A Tiny hawk, The bride’s veil, Leaf-Cutter Ants and The moss-backed tanager and the palm viper<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/natures-alarm-bell-and-the-bride-of-the-forest/"></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Related Posts generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->


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January 24, 2018 0

<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;"><span class="rt-label rt-prefix">Reading Time: </span> <span class="rt-time">< 1</span> <span class="rt-label rt-postfix">minute</span></span> <div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/pumas-in-mashpi-lodge/"></div>A noise in among the layer of leaves on the forest floor caught my attention. When I made my way towards the place where I had heard the sound, I found myself face to face with a puma!<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/pumas-in-mashpi-lodge/"></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Related Posts generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->


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December 29, 2017 0

<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;"><span class="rt-label rt-prefix">Reading Time: </span> <span class="rt-time">3</span> <span class="rt-label rt-postfix">minutes</span></span> <div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/surprise-at-the-forest/"></div>Armadillos, scarab beetles, Millipede and even cougars<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/surprise-at-the-forest/"></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Related Posts generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->


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December 12, 2017 0

<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;"><span class="rt-label rt-prefix">Reading Time: </span> <span class="rt-time">4</span> <span class="rt-label rt-postfix">minutes</span></span> <div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/parasitoid-wasps-and-green-thorntail-close-encounters-with-different-species/"></div>Parasitoid wasps, Colicerda Verde among others <!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/parasitoid-wasps-and-green-thorntail-close-encounters-with-different-species/"></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Related Posts generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->


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October 19, 2017 0

<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;"><span class="rt-label rt-prefix">Reading Time: </span> <span class="rt-time">4</span> <span class="rt-label rt-postfix">minutes</span></span> <div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/eagles-and-chotacabras-findings-full-of-emotions/"></div>Eagles,owls, snails, and Chotacabras, <!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/eagles-and-chotacabras-findings-full-of-emotions/"></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Related Posts generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->


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September 21, 2017 0

<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;"><span class="rt-label rt-prefix">Reading Time: </span> <span class="rt-time">4</span> <span class="rt-label rt-postfix">minutes</span></span> <div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/from-mashpi-lodge-to-mashpi-village/"></div>This is a route that could equally be called the path of the forest. Because while the richness of this slice of the Andean Chocó. <!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/from-mashpi-lodge-to-mashpi-village/"></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Related Posts generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->


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September 21, 2017 0

<span class="rt-reading-time" style="display: block;"><span class="rt-label rt-prefix">Reading Time: </span> <span class="rt-time">6</span> <span class="rt-label rt-postfix">minutes</span></span> <div class="at-above-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/the-find-of-a-lifetime/"></div>Be part of the daily living at Mashpi Lodge and the surprises that hides<!-- AddThis Advanced Settings above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Advanced Settings generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons above via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Share Buttons below via filter on get_the_excerpt --><div class="at-below-post-cat-page addthis_tool" data-url="https://www.mashpilodge.com/blog/the-find-of-a-lifetime/"></div><!-- AddThis Share Buttons generic via filter on get_the_excerpt --><!-- AddThis Related Posts generic via filter on get_the_excerpt -->


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