While I was in Colombia I had the fantastic opportunity to join Stephanie, her dad Peter, her brother John (above right, photo by Stephanie), and her cousin Esteban (above middle) on a trip to two ProAves reserves in the lowlands along the west slope of the Eastern Cordillera of the Andes. The first reserve we went to was El Paujil, designated to protect the endangered Blue-billed Curassow. The Blue-billed Curassow must be in serious trouble, because even at the reserve named in its honor it has never been photographed, and a maximum of two individuals are currently thought to live on the reserve. One of the biologists doing surveys for the species there told me that they had never seen one.
We didn't see the Curassow, but we did see many cool birds here, including my first parrots and my first toucans ever. However, the birding was slower than I expected. I should have anticipated this, because being in a rainforest meant that the vast majority of birds were heard and not seen. I don't know any of the tropical birds by sound, and neither did our guides, so I was only able to identify the occassional bird that gave me a good look. Still, we found some very neat birds, such as the Plumbeous Kite and White-fronted Nunbird shown below. The herps were also cool, although I found it frustrating to not have a book to identify them with. The frog below is a treefrog in the family Hylidae, but I'm still trying to figure out which species. . . .