Archive for February 12th, 2011
Antpittas are strange, and famously difficult to see. They skulk on the forest floor, mostly invisible. While they have fairly noisy calls, they have a trick of sounding as if they are somewhere other than you think.
There are more birders than you’d think, and they all want to see Antpittas. So an industry has sprung up to meet the demand, as WC described earlier. Ecuadorean farmers have learned that with immense patience, these obscure birds can be food conditioned. And the birder who wants, say, a Jocotoco Antpitta, can see one with no more effort than a 1.5 mile walk along a steep, muddy jungle trail. Where you can meet Panchito:
Panchito’s species was completely unknown to science until about 1997. If you were under the impression there were no more wonders left in the world, that humankind has it all sorted out, meet the football-sized Panchito, who not only demonstrates you are wrong. He’s a clear sign that if we can’t get a collective grip on the way we treat our world, we’ll destroy its wonders before we even have a chance to appreciate them.