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Elizabeth Hobson | Dec 09, 2009


My name is Elizabeth Hobson, and I’m currently a Ph.D. candidate at New Mexico State University studying the social structure of Monk Parakeets. I've been working with parrots in the field since 2003, in the rainforest of Peru, the dry forest of Costa Rica, the windswept island of Bonaire, the scrubby ranchlands of Argentina, and the suburban jungles of Connecticut. Wherever they are found, parrots of any species are complex study subjects. They are generally difficult to work with in the field - they can be hard to find, unpredictable, sometimes impossible to trap, and have Houdini-like abilities to remove markings such as tags, bands, or radio transmitters that should aid in tracking their movements and behaviors. While their intelligence and complex behaviors provide a wealth of potential study questions, that same intelligence also gives them with an uncanny ability to thwart a researcher at every turn.

I would like to use this blog as a forum to share some of my adventures (and misadventures) as a parrot researcher. I plan to begin by posting snippets from my archived field journals, and work up to my present research. My goal is to provide readers with snapshot descriptions of life in the field as a parrot researcher and insight into parrot behavior.

For my first series of posts, I’ve dredged up my first set of parrot-related field notebooks that relate my experiences working with the Tambopata Macaw Project in south-eastern Peru. I spent 3 months working in the forests and at the clay lick in 2003, the summer before my last year of undergraduate studies. Without further ado, I present “Las Aventuras de Liz en Tambopata”.