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Showing posts from July, 2009

Touching the Graceful Monsters

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From amid a huge file of still-unprocessed photos, Kenn writes: Baby leatherback sea turtles hatch out of eggs buried in sand and start a desperate scramble down the beach toward the water, and if they make it, they may not see land again for years. During those years they are maturing from palm-sized rubber toys into enormous sea monsters. Full-grown adult leatherbacks are the world’s largest turtles, up to seven feet long and weighing up to a ton. They are also the most wide-ranging turtles on the planet, found almost throughout the world’s oceans, traveling from the tropics to the edges of the polar regions. They are also, throughout their vast range, seriously endangered. With streamlined leathery shells and powerful front flippers, the leatherbacks can fly through the depths with astonishing grace and speed, diving to more than half a mile below the sea surface and staying submerged for more than an hour. Their great size is no hindrance in the sea, where they are the most grac

Eye-burners of Caroni

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From the Asa Wright Nature Centre, Trinidad, Kenn writes: Birding in Trinidad is turning out to be even more fun than I’d expected. I started reading about Trinidad -- and about the Asa Wright Nature Centre -- when I was just a kid. The center was established in 1967, making it one of the first nature centers anywhere in the tropics, and I first heard about it as a place that people would go for their introduction to tropical birds. But I had my tropical-bird intro in Mexico, since (as a penniless teenager) I could hitch-hike to the border and then take the cheap buses south. Later, when I ventured deeper into the tropics, I went to Peru and Ecuador and Venezuela, not to Trinidad. Working as a professional leader of birding tours, it made more sense for me to take groups to Venezuela (with a total bird list of over 1400 species) than to the island of Trinidad, just off the Venezuelan coast (with a total bird list of fewer than 500 species). So even though I knew Trinidad was famous f

HEY!!!! We're back!!

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From the Asa Wright Nature Centre in Trinidad, Kim Writes: Well, as indicated by our total lack of blog presence in recent weeks, Kenn and I were totally wiped out by the spring season this year. (and hey, to all those who sent loving, caring messages saying that they missed our posts...THANK YOU! --- and to all those who actually sent us hate mail...can I just say, "GEEZE, HATERS! GO OUTSIDE AND LOOK AT BIRDS, FOR GOODNESS SAKES!) There...I just had to get that off my chest. So, anyway.... We were thrilled beyond belief by the record visitation to our magical area this spring! But, we were both beginning to wonder if we'd ever get out from under the avalanche of work that collapsed on us in mid-June. We held it off as long as we could, but it eventually came crashing down, and by the first of July, we were both ready for a little down time, and trying to decide where we could go for a little R.R&B. (rest, relaxation, and birds!) Enter our friend Jeff Bouton, and Leica