It’s been a while since we’ve heard from Lou Jost, a biologist, naturalist, artist, and photographer who works in Ecuador, but I have a feeling we’ll have more photos from him soon (and, if Hillary wins, he’ll owe me some dosh). The first batch of his pictures sent shows a marvelous bird. His notes are indented:
My shower is outside, with the shower head tied to a tree. I was taking a shower today when one of my favorite birds, a secretive Golden-crowned Tanager (Iridisornis rufivertex), came up through the undergrowth and landed at my feet. I was washing normally and moving a lot, but this bird must have really wanted a shower. It sometimes stood only a foot or two away from me. I finished washing and got my camera and photographed him still there enjoying himself. Other species of birds also approached at the same time. The sound of falling water is irresistible to many birds, but this is the first time they tried to join me while I was showering! It was one of my nicest wildlife experiences ever.
Here’s a photo, from the Cornell Neotropical Birds Site, of the tanager when it’s not wet:
I also wrote Lou, in light of the amazing cryptic “lichen katydid” that I posted a few days ago, whether he’d seen anything like it in Ecuador. His response (and a photo):
Yes, I have excellent pictures of it in lichens from Costa Rica, but they are on film and I haven’t scanned them yet. But a few weeks ago I found a different species of lichen katydid here in one of our reserves. Here it is, different from the one you showed last week. This is more robust and was found at 1300m elevation in the understory of our Rio Zunac Reserve in eastern Ecuador.