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  • Writer's pictureJuan Pablo Culasso

The Beginning

This text was written by my father, after our first field trip.

Sometimes, when we perform an activity we are not really aware of the mechanisms we use to perform it.

When we talk about bird watching, beyond feathers, shapes, colors, activity and other characteristics, we think of binoculars or a photographic machine that allows us to immortalize "that" moment..., but we never or very seldom think about one of our instruments, our eyes. Of course, who would ever think of birding without them?

...In a month of January, back in the beginning of the 21st century, with beautiful days, with high and quite unusual temperatures, we prepared to go out to the field to locate some capuchins (Sporophila spp.) that have conservation problems.

It would be four unforgettable days in which more than 100 different species would be recorded.

One of the members of that "expedition" had never seen any of these species; his expectations, anxiety and restlessness were almost uncontrollable.

After traveling about 300 km, in which we traveled through roads that do not appear on the maps, finding some beautiful specimens of "white woodpeckers", resting on the banks of a stream where the "cabecita negra" showed themselves without shyness, we finally arrived at the planned place, -the experience begins-.

A few minutes later, we already knew one of the species we were looking for and recognized several other more common ones, a little further on, the one who had never seen them before, helped us to locate specimens of several species, including those rare and little registered birds.

The ornithological enrichment for this person was incalculable and in a few hours he was operating a sophisticated -at that time- recording equipment, obtaining good quality songs of several species.

The outing lasted, as we said, four intense days, but there was a member who returned with an experience that few people can tell, with his expectations more than fulfilled, with his concerns on the one hand satisfied, but on the other hand, generated many more questions for another outing, but still continued without having seen any of the species.

In spite of being only 16 years old, he traveled with us, collaborated with our work, amused us and, why not, taught us that: the lack of light also allows us to see.

Juan J. Culasso

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