Expedition to Suriname
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The Yale Peabody Museum’s third expedition to Suriname in 2007 took a group of ornithology staff and students to the Sipaliwini Savanna in the extreme south of the country.

Suriname is situated in South America between French Guiana to the east and Guyana to the west. The southern border is shared with Brazil and the northern border is the Atlantic coast. Here is a board of pinned drying bird skins from the trip.

This aerial photo shows the rolling hills and typical cerrado-like habitat dominated by sandpaper tree (Curatella americana) and buriti palm (Mauritia flexuosa). The team’s field base was Mamia Pakoro, an isolated airstrip on the border with Brazil manned by local Amerindian

The people and equipment are flown from the capital of Paramaribo on small Cessna planes. The hills in the background are the Vier Gebroeders ("four brothers" in Dutch), one of the team’s primary survey areas.

The team used a set of hammocks and mosquito nets suspended under a thatched roof as sleeping quarters. Not surprisingly, biting insects were a daily nuisance in Sipaliwini.

This is a day-roosting male of the Scissor-tailed Nightjar (Hydropsalis torquata) on the bare rocks of the Vier Gebroeders. Some males of this species sport tails that are longer than their own bodies!

This spectacular Giant Anteater (Myrmecophaga tridactyla) was spotted not far from the camp by Amerindian guides. This amazing animal is one of two mammal taxa that lack teeth. Instead, it catches and crushes its meal (ants) with a 2-foot (61 centimeter) tongue, a muscular mouth and hard formations in its stomach that aid digestion.

Most of the birds are captured in mist nets. When set up correctly, these nets are invisible to flying animals like birds and bats.

This is a Netted White-banded Tanager (Neothraupis fasciata). The discovery of a population of this cerrado specialist was a total surprise and represents not only a new country record, but also extends the known range of this species by more than 600 miles (over 1000 kilometers)!

Yale Peabody Museum researchers John Mittermeier and Kristof Zyskowski are led by Kamanye Panashekung (with binoculars), an experienced Amerindian hunter.

Aerial insectivores such as swifts are extremely difficult to identify in the field and collect. Here Kristof Zyskowski is using song playback in an attempt to draw in a target bird

Most of specimen preparation was accomplished in a “work tent,” where the team was hot but protected from biting insects. Here Kristof Zyskowski is preparing eggs.

At the end of expedition John Mittermeier and Iwan Derweld share the findings with the children in the nearest Amerindian village before returning to the Yale Peabody Museum.