FRUGIVORES IN THE FORESTS OF COSTA RICA (2018)
For our 10th student expedition, we spent spring break 2018 in Costa Rica! We were guided by Earthwatch scientists as we learned how frugivorous birds utilize different functional groups of fruits and the important role of the birds in seed dispersal and habitat maintenance and restoration. Students learned about the complexities of field data collection and perfected their binocular skills in order to spot small birds foraging for fruits. We also had presentations from other scientists, learning about habitat fragmentation and its effect on hummingbirds.
Here are some highlights of the trip:
- Worked with scientists on proper protocol for collecting data.
- Field work in pastures and forests collecting data on fruit eating animals. Students counted fruit on trees and then surveyed for the birds who were eating them. We saw so many amazing birds.
- Observed agouti in their natural habitats.
- Hiked to a natural waterfall.
- Ate amazing food.
- Met local farmers.
- Stayed in a house in the middle of botanical gardens.
- Observed tons of different kinds of flowers and pollinators.
- Picked through seed traps for seeds and planted the seeds for germination.
- Modeled our favorite birds out of clay and painted a favorite scene with water colors.
- Daily reflections about our experience in Costa Rica and how it relates to our "real life" and future.