Location: Dept. Santa Cruz, Bolivia
Weather: You guessed it: really hot and humid
We wrapped up our field work two days ago, and headed back to the city of Santa Cruz. We counted Bobolinks at the two night roosts once more before leaving. One roost had approximately 80,000 birds, and we counted another 50,000 at the other nearby roost....for a grand total of 130,000 Bobolinks! Perhaps numbers are building as Bobolinks begin their migration north, and birds from other areas are coming into these roosts.
Most males are now in their full breeding plumage, the females are almost finished molting. I have found that the female molt is generally about a week behind the male molt, which is interesting given that females tend to arrive on the breeding grounds about a week later than the males. The feathers are fresh and bright and the birds look quite handsome. The males are singing complete songs now. If it were not for the heat and the squaking of the parrots, I could close my eyes and imagine I was in a Vermont hayfield.
Today I am flying to Asuncion, Paraguay, where I will be meeting with an ecotour group, most of whom are VINS volunteers. We will be visiting the Pantanal and Iguazu Falls for birding and all-around naturalizing and adventuring. Although I adore Bobolinks, it will be a nice change to be checking out other species!