April 2010

Blogging for Dummies. It does not get easier than this

Posterous LogoIn the previous post in the Social Media for birders Workshop about Google Buzz it was mentioned that Buzz almost is a Blogging platform, although there are a few things missing. Today, I shall deal with a quite new, but little known (at least among birders), dead-easy platform  for blogging.

Imagine if, rather than writing the text and the uploading pictures one by one, you could just write an email insert the pics where you want them, including the embedded videos just with a link and then push send. Few seconds later you would have a perfectly displayed blogpost in an instant. Would that not be incredible? But nah, blogging should be a pain. It could never be so easy. One need to size the pics, move them to the right place and so on, right?

Not with the out of the blue platform Posterous. It can not be simpler than this, just write an email and send it to Posterous. It is not totally new, as it has been around since 2009, but there are very few bird bloggers that use it. In fact I don’t think I have seen any birdblogger use it yet.


I think the platform is very inviting to people who  have never blogged before.

  • Easy.  No need to sign up. Just send an email with your first post to posterous@posterous.com
  • Easy to embed pictures and video. For example, just place the link where you want the YouTube video to appear.
  • Configure your account to include Facebook, Twitter, You Tube, Flickr, etc and then include twitter-facebook@posterous.com in the email. Like magic your post goes both to your blog and the social service you wanted.
  • Book-marklet blogging. Add the Posterous Book Marklet to your web-browser toolbar. No need to download anything. Just drag and drop the plugin to your toolbar.  Say you find a good page on the web that you would like to blog about.  Highlight text, photo, or video and click the book-marklet and like magic you have half the post done. Add some description and some text and you have created a blog post in a couple of minutes.
  • You can get your own domain.
  • tags can be added to the post by following a specific format.

For already experienced bloggers it maybe a venue to post stuff that doesn’t fit on you regular blog. You can use the blog platform to draw traffic to you regular blog or you can even send posts via posterous to your main blog, although I have not been able to do that  with my own blog.

(To explain it gets so technical even I don’t understand. My blog is a Word Press blog on the company domain which principly is in asp. The Word Press platform use php. The server I use simulates php although it is principally a Windows server. This may be the reason why I can’t make it work…I am in need of help, so if you know please let me know).

If you want to learn more about Posterous check these to introductory blog posts by Guy Kawasaki and Martin Bryant. Also check Posterous frequent answered questions page.

My first Posterous blog can be found here.  I have not done much with it, except for trying out a few things.  But just sending a photo to Facebook and share it on Twitter with a short text gave over 200 views. It  also resulted good to make a fast 2 minute summery pointing to my ordinary blogpost -this one.

Why don’t you blog?

A gave the question to my friends on Facebook and Twitter.

Meanwhile, how about you? Do you blog? If not, will Posterous change that?

Is Posterous for you?

If you don’t have a blog and are looking for something easy. Definitely. The most common reason I hear about not blogging is that it is too time consuming.

If you have a blog already and maybe have content that does not fit it, or want a blog that can be used more for commenting on other blogs keeping your main blog for your more thorough personal writing, then Posterous fits the bill. In the later case the Bookmarklet comes in very handy.


Start a Posterous blog. Just send some text and some photo to post@posterous.com. Let us know your results in the comment section below.

Previous posts in the Social Media for Birders series.

If you still have not signed up for the workshop, which will give you an email notice when there is a new post, please do so below. It is not too late. There are still 23 posts to go! Set up a folder in your mail program to which you import each delivery to have it handy for future reference.

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Lima Marathon and conservation.

It is time again for Lima Marathon on May 2, and although training has been a challenge with a nasty virus for 2 weeks and a hurting knee practically the whole period of 11 weeks of training, I am still going to do this race. I will not do my best time and certainly not qualify for Boston Marathon, but I am still running. Because there is something at stake. Conservation in the Satipo road area.
Last year around 1000 dollars were pledged to get me around the 42km and press myself to run faster than my stipulated finish time of 4h13 minutes. One dollar for each kilometer – or a dollar for each minute i shaved off my stipulated time. I managed to finish at 3:58, a time I was very pleased with, in spite of some drawback during the race. (Check the race analysis if interested).

Here is a this year’s pledge. Same as last year. Are you in?

  • 10 dollars. I think this is a great cause, and will support you no matter what with 10 bucks.
  • 1 dollar/min shaved off from 4:13.  You can do it Gunnar! For every minute faster you run I will donate one dollar more. Have this in your head at all times!
  • 42 dollars. That’s one dollar per kilometer. You are crazy Gunnar, but you have my support for each kilometer you run.

I’m in.

Within very short time, we got several people signing up to support Satipo raod again. And to help me make it all the way around.

1. Brian Allen, Michigan
2. Joe Church, Pennsylvania
3. Chris Drysdale. British Columbia, Canada. Of course I want to support the region that will play host to the November 22nd trip: $50 if you go under 4.13; $100 if you beat last year’s time.
4. You.

Make your pledge below in the comment section.  If you want me to link to your web-page or blog, I will do so above.

Why Satipo road?

I have had my eyes of this area since 2000 when I did my first trip to region. Birding is outstanding. Many endemic species, new species to science some of which are not described yet, and amazing cloud forest from top to bottom – much like more famous Manu road. Countless meetings with the local communities along the road over the years, finally in 2008 led to a trip to Mindo (Ecuador), to which I invited 3 community members (selected by the community) and 3 community members from the Carpish area in Central Peru where we also similarly connect with the communities.

The Ecuador trip was a great success, which has created awareness, not only among the participants, but also among the people locally, as I filmed the whole trip and gave each community a copy of the video. (Thanks goes to Fernando Valdivia for help with editing and Alan La Rue for down-size and YouTube format).   I am uploading to YouTube as I write this (not being a very avid YouTube uploader – Man is this slow!!!) and will let you know how to find the videos in due time.

First part with the arrival to Mindo and the visit to the Butterfly house ican be seen below.

Here is the second part involving River rafting and Orchid Garden in Mindo.

The third part is a must-see for all birders. The filming is staged at Angel Paz’s private reserve, where Giant Antpitta (named Maria) is being hand-fed at a few meters of astonished birdwatchers. This visit had tremendous impact on the guests from Peru.

Support Satipo road community eco-project.

Our effort involving local communities eventually reached Niyanta Spelman of Rainforest Partnership (with thanks to Charles Hesse for establishing this contact) resulting in a visit by Niyanta and Maurine Winkley to Mariposa and Apaya in Pampa Hermosa district.

RainForest Partnership have set up a donor page for the project in order to improve the infrastructure to receive birding tour groups. This is only the first step.  We have actively promoted Satipo road for 2010 in our sensational bird tour give away. In fact there is a tour their right now hosted by Brian Allen.

Here are the upcoming tours with the corresponding hosts.

Jul 6: Alan McBride, Australia
Sep 25: Chris West, Wisconsin
Oct 19: Joel Brady-Power, Washington
Nov 22: Chris Drysdale, BC
Dec 12: Kimberly Sucy, New York.

Soon RainForest Partnership will stage a continuation of the first activities, which involve forming a legally recognised protected areas in this region.  You can help, by making a pledge to support my Marathon or take part in the birding trips to the area.

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Edited version of the best of the last week on Twitter.

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….a lot of places …and I like you to come with me.

This past year immersing myself into social media, has been amazing getting to know so many birders on line. I would like to meet all of you.  Although my year is not completely staked out, I’d like to give  you an outline the birding trips and events I have lined up for myself. Maybe our paths shall cross somewhere. Or maybe you want to come along joining me on some of these adventures. I shall write more detailed blogposts presenting each of them. Let me know which you would like to hear more about in the comment section below and I will prioritize.

I have already knocked off a North Peru trip and two Tumbes itineraries with Pelagics in January.  In February I was in Colombia with the family and managed to see a couple of nice new birds. (Blog post is practically ready, but need some photos – maybe  someone can please lend me photos of Golden-ringed and Black and Gold Tanager?).  I am planning to get a Colombia tour together for Januay 2011 if anyone is interested.  Here is an old draft of a Colombia Tour, but I certainly will change some as there are now new exciting reserves that can be visited.

Marathon. May 2 and July 18

First on my agenda is Lima Marathon. One may ask what that has to do with birding, but it does. Last year I ran it for the first time and turned it into a fund-raiser for the community on Satipo road.  A marathon for conservation. This activity made Rain Forest Partnership interested in starting a small project here.  My training has not gone the way I wanted this year, but  I am still running the Marathon. I shall be happy if I make it all the way around. So here is a pledge – the same as last year. I will run the Lima Marathon 42.195km on May 2 after sporadic training the last 10 weeks (interrupted by 2 weeks sickness and an injured knee)  at 4h13min or less. 4 hours and 13 minutes makes an average speed of 6:00 min per kilometer, which is more or less the speed that I have managed on the long runs I have done  so far.

Sign-up in the comment section. And if you have not  made the donation from the pledge last year available yet to Rain Forest Partnership, let me know.

My personal goal is to qualify to Boston Marathon. It will not happen at this race, but I have already a new Marathon in my mind where I shall much better trained. Rio de Janeiro Marathon on July 18.  That is one week before I turn 50. I have to run in 3:35.  I have 14 more weeks to find my top form.


I guess it is the viking in me that always take me to the sea.  Contrary to our Peruvian guides, I never get seasick – so I guide practically all of Kolibri Expeditions’ pelagics.  Pelagics from Lima are very good  with up to 5-6 species of Storm-Petrels seen regularly including the localized Markham’s and Ringed (Hornby’s) Storm-Petrel. The Critically Endangered Waved Albatross is seen on practically every trip. So far the following pelagic tours have clients booked and will thus surely run:  May 6, July 19 and 26, Sep 9 and 25, Oct 2, Nov 13 and 26. There are a couple of more dates in the tour calendar but without bookings. Most of these dates have been put there because they are at the beginning or the end of a scheduled trip. Since all trips in Peru begin or end in Lima it is easy to add a pelagic tour – providing we get enough people to run it.

May 17-24 Young Birders Manu community Tour

This is an idea that struck to me recently. Why not offer some tours that needs more assessment to people who would not normally come on birding tours, but are highly motivated birders. When testing new things, there  may be things that will not work 100%. Therefore a pre-trip to the community lodges in the Manu area that are promoted this year with the help of bloggers ,will get a jumpstart by young birders on a promotrip.

The gain is on several levels.

  • Young birders get some guiding in the most difficult habitat to bird. The Amazon rainforest and at a reasonable price.
  • Our company keeps staff busy and paid, and while the revenue for the company is not great, there will be lots of important pieces of information of what works and what doesn’t on this pilot trip – to be implemented on the coming trips.
  • The communities get some revenue and the chance to set all right for more comfort demanding clients.

And it will be fun to bird with intense young birders up to 25 years old. I bet we shall make a monster list of birds seen – and that there will be very little sleep! There are 4 vacancies on the trip. Max age 25 years old.
If you don’t qualify age wise, check out all the fixed departures that supports the communities in the Manu area. Still very good value for money and a good cause.

Meet-up / Tweet-up in Lima May 29

@Burdr tweeted a few days ago that it would be wonderful to meet every birder that one has been connected with via Twitter, Facebook or the blog and I could not agree less. When I said so in my tweet-reply, @Burdr said: Let’s all meet in Peru. It clicked as an idea. Dawn Fine has arranged meeting with birders all over the US arranging meet-ups for birders that blog, tweet or chirp.  We could do something similar in Lima.

Both locals and visitors and even clients – can meet up for some birding one morning every month. I am considering Saturday mornings when my wife works. That means that my two daughters (and our maid) would be joining us.  Join Gunnar, Luciana and Anahi for the first birding meet-up on May 29. I hope to be able to do a meet up once every month or other month.

The training of a new Peruvian guide.

June 15-23 there is scheduled a trip to North Peru and the land of Marvelous Spatuletail. Santos Montenegro is a local campesino who has become interested in birds and in particular the Marvelous Spatuletail. He was the guy who found the displaying Spatultetail that was recently filmed by the BBC on land that was purchased by Santos with funds acquired by Kolibri Expeditions. I recently interview Santos to feature a blog about him and how he got interested in birds. Through help from our clients we have provided Santos with birdbook, binoculars and birdcalls so that he has learnt all the birds in the area so well that local conservation organization ECOAN employed him full time. In June he has holiday and time to join us on a full tour and in July he has to decide whether or not renew the contract with ECOAN or opt to become a bird guide.  June 15-23 will be crucial. If you want to be part of forming a new local guide now you know.

British Bird Fair

August 20-22 it is time for the British Birdwatching Fair. Kolibri Expeditions have participated here every year since 2002 together with PromPeru, so we are sad to learn that PromPeru will not be putting up the stand this year.  There may be stand for us anyway. I am waiting in anticipation for the decision by the organizers. In any case, I think I will go. It is a unique chance to meet up with clients and business partners. Especially after the Social Media boom, this event has the potential to become a giant meet-up, where you put person to a Facebook profile.  Are you going to be at the BirdFair? Shall we meet up?

The biggest day!

September 1-13 . When I write this it is spring in the northern hemisphere and teams are forming to do Birdathons and big days all over for grand causes of bird conservation.  Lots of fun, lots of coffee, adrenalin and speed birding.
How about transforming the idea to a business model in the bird richest area of the world? Is it at all possible?  The Biggest Day tour!
Ted Parker and Scott Robinson set the world record of 331 species from Manu in 1982 – without motorized vehicle. The idea is to try to beat it or at least get very close to it at Amigos research Center between Manu and Tambopata.  The trip will work as  birding workshop where the participants will learn to seperate the Amazonian birds by sight and especially call the first 8 days. Day 9 is dress rehearsal, we form teams with the leaders who include guides Antonio Coral, Alex Durand and myself. All the teams should get over 300 species . The results are collected and analyzed before the gran finale on day 12. An attempt on the world record. Now the guides form a team together with one  of the participants (a raffle will be made to select the person), while the rest form one or two teams to compete against the guides. Day 13  will be dedicated for the highlights once again and to see some of the elusive vocal species. Day 14 it is back to Puerto Maldonado and flight on to Lima or Cusco.  Sound like fun?

Birding in Manu with Rick Wright

Rick Wright former editor of Winging-It and director and guide for Wings, hosts the Community Manu program in September 17-24 – together with me.  Rick  blogs at Aimophila Adventure. This shall be  a fantastic trip with the possibility to add a pelagic in Lima on September 25 and Satipo road/Carpish Community on Sep 26-Oct 3 hosted by Chris West.

Photographic project with Hadoram Shirihai.

All through October to November Hadoram Shirihai and David Beadle will travel in Peru with us on a private photographic expedition. I shall be guiding the first part in Puno, while Alex Durand does all the Manu area. At the end of the period, I shall be guiding again in Central Peru (Carpish and Satipo road).

Scarlet-banded Barbet in Sira Mountains

I have a request for a Scarlet-banded Barbet expedtion from David Matson and Dave Sargeant around Oct 22.  There is a new Barbet from southern Sira mountains yet to be described – whether species or subspecies status remains to be seen. Our expedition goes from Puerto Inca further North, where there is access to the highest peaks and from where Kolibri Expeditions already has a good set-up with local contacts. Obviously we don’t know that there will be a Barbet here but since it is the same mountain range as the southern population and our site is right between that and the original site of Scarlet-banded Barbet, there is a very good chance.  We get a good gradient of habitats as we reach the highest peaks of over 2000m. Other species that can be seen on this trip include the endemic Sira Tanager, (Peruvian) Horned Curassow (good species based on voice and genetic isolation soon to be split), Sharpbill, Rufous-brown Solitaire, Rufous-webbed Briliant, Creamy-bellied Antwren, White-plumed Antbird, Blue-headed Macaw, Curl-crested Aracari, Chestnut-crowned Gnateater, Wing-banded Wren and many more.

15 Antpittas – and hopefully Banded Ground Cuckoo.

In December I have set up a program that runs from Tarapoto in Peru to Quito in Ecuador and is aiming to pick up 15 species  of Antpitta on the way (actually there are 17 species, of Antpittas possible I don’t want to press my luck). We already have three bookings on this trip, which include well known bird book author Klaus Malling Olsen. This will be an epic trip, with lots of endemics. It is especially suitable for those that birded Ecuador in the 90s and want to fill in the gaps as more and more sites for then elusive species have emerged. It is a completely different Ecuador for birding today. Many places  have Antpittas feeders – following the success of Angel Paz  and his by now world famous Giant Antpitta Maria. The tour runs Nov 28 to Dec 17, with the option to add an eastern Amazonian lowland program of 3-4 days.

That is it. Well not really… because I am also spending a week in May with the family at the beach in Piura as well as a likely holiday somewhere abroad with the family in July or August to be determined.

If you can’t join me, but still want to be birding in Peru during 2010, I suggest you take a look at our tour Calendar, where there are loads of different bird tours scheduled that you can choose from.

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Gunnar Shopping.

Edirol R-09HR High-Resolution WAVE/MP3 Recorder

I sometimes ask my clients to bring stuff from the US when they arrive, but since I have been so busy lately it was a long time since I treated myself with some new stuff. So this bored blogger is blogging to you about his shopping list. How lame!

What is more: (Disclaimer) I even present the items with my Amazon affiliate link. If you like my suggestions and want to purchase the same items, I’d get a small (I mean very small) compensation. In a year and a half, my earnings from Amazon are just getting close to 25 bucks. There are also a couple of non Amazon  links that are not affiliate.

But anyway there are a few good things here. You can be sure I endorse these products because I am getting them myself.

Finally, new recording equipment for Gunnar

On my last trip to Northern Peru my suitcase was stolen right outside the hotel. My suitcase had travelled by air, while I was arriving overland. Nobody took any responsibility for it, in spite that it was picked on the band at the airport. It was left on the street outside the hotel.

Basically, the suitcase only had some old cloths which was not a major concern. Harder to swallow was that inside the suitcase was my old but still functioning Shotgun Sennheizer ME 67  microphone which today cost me 600 dollars to replace. Hence, the affiliate links will help fund my new Shotgun mike.

My old Sony Taperecorder had gave in long ago, the minidiscs were phased out,  so lately I had mostly relied on prerecorded calls from a MP3 player and a small Olympus WS-100 64 MB Digital Recorder with USB Interface to which I connected the famous Radio Shack 9 volt speaker #277-1008 and at times with my old Sennheizer. Often I get a low recording with the build in mike of the Olympus and thus  immediately connected the loudspeaker that amplifies even the weakest of recordings to get the birds come into playback.  But I used to record very elaborately and I miss that.

When I came out to Peru the first time in 1990, I had a parabola Telinga microphone – which was a fantastic microphone, but when I started guiding in Peru, I realized that it just was too bulky to use. So soon I gave in for Sennheiser microphone and a proper Sony 5000 tapedeck.

About a month ago I checked out the website of  Nick Athanas who is one of the most frequent recordists on Xeno-canto – the library of birdrecordings available on the internet.  Nick shares his recordings of rare species on Xeno-canto (the Long-whiskered Owlet comes to mind). Tip of hat in gratitude to Nick. Oh, and he has got some fantastic photos as well on the same web-site.

I was interesting in knowing what kit Nick uses, and there is a good presentation here. All in all his kit can be bought for less than 1000 dollars – so that is what I am getting. This is pro-stuff that makes excellent recordings.

Soon I shall be contributing with recordings to Xeno-canto as well.

I have also promised one of the guys in the rain-forest who is keen to learn the birds to get him a Mp3 player and stuff it with birdsongs. My choice is this little thing at very good value.
SanDisk Sansa e260 4 GB MP3 Player with MicroSD Expansion Slot


In the same suitcase was Elizabeth Rosenthal’s biograpy on Roger Tory Peterson. Birdwatcher: The Life of Roger Tory Peterson.  I had been sent the copy to review it, and thoroughly enjoyed the first third before it was lost this way. I feel obliged to get myself a new copy – at least the newly published paperback.  Review is forthcoming.

I have long wanted to get the new edition of the two volume set Birds of South Amarica by Robert Ridgely and Guy Tudor which now is presented in a single volume with severly newly added superb paintings. Field Guide to the Songbirds of South America: The Passerines
I am ordering a copy for Alex – our guide as well.

I could go on, but won’t. Save some stuff for my birthday in July.

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Faked Profiles

Faked Banksy Faked profileOne of the things I have picked up as good practice as a blogger is to try to give suggestions that will solve someone’s problems. This is such a post. I am not intending to point fingers and make this into a rant -which certainly struck me as a possibility – but to try to suggest a solution to an increasingly annoying problem. Please share this post as you feel necessary.

New Facebook Community Pages

I started two new Facebook Community Pages a few days ago. One for Worldbirders and one about SocialMedia.  Community Pages are like a combination of groups and pages. Posts will show on the walls of the members and the page can be seen also by non-users just like pages, but one may promote a general topic as with groups as well as un-official fan-pages. The new concept was created to tackle pages that did not follow the guide-lines.  Once the pages grow to a certain size of a couple of  thousand members the original admin will lose the admin rights and the whole community will manage the page.

This is good news. The groups I have started have very strict rules regarding spam and self-promotion. Since they are open to all public they need to be heavily monitored. For the time being I have no problem doing the daily admin duties. The community can help in reporting the posts that are not following the rules. Advertising is generally not allowed.However, there is one thing that worries me which is the topic of this post.

UPADTE September 4, 2011: The new Facebook groups make community pages for small communities superfluous, as dialogues and updates are easier to monitor for both the admins as well as the group members. Read about the new groups here.

What to do with fake names?

There are a lot of profiles that have names that does not respond to a person’s real name. Most of the time, I think these names have been created not really understanding how Facebook works. When creating an account in Facebook you SHOULD use your own REAL  name and tie that to your email.  Fake names can be sorted into 3 categories.

  • Pseudonyms or alias. Most of the times, these are pretty harmless – and I don’t make a big fuss about it. Although, it would be nicer to know whom you are actually talking to. While it is allowed to use a pseudonym on Twitter it s not allowed on Facebook.
  • NGO:s and causes.  Most of the times due to having not understood well the Facebook structure. NGO:s and Causes do well to have proper pages.
  • Businesses.  Every tweet is in effect  advertising. Some users are using this as a strategy by posting on every single group about birds they can find.  It can become quite annoying and even though it give exposure, it also hurts the business as it upsets a lot of people. Business should have Facebook pages.

Advantages of Facebook page for businesses and NGO:s

  1. You can talk about your product 24/7 and you are expected to.  With your personal REAL profile you can take part in conversations  without looking like a spammer. Soon enough without being too obvious you will be the person behind the brand which in turn will give strenght to your brand if you come off as a nice, helping person.
  2. As a person you can send invitations to become fans of your page. If you have been engaging it is more likely people will become true fans.  Sure, it is a bit like friend invitations and you may not get as many fans as you have friends this way, but I would not worry too much about that. As for your fanbase you want to have real fans. Among the Facebook Friends you can build relationships that indirectly supports your brand.
  3. There can be several people as admin for a Page.  It shall be much easier to create content on your fanpage if there are various people on your team involved.
  4. With a Page you can advertise. It is remarkably cheap to advertise to specific age groups with specific interest in specific geographic areas. I have had around 100 000 impressions for only 20 dollars in a recent campaign.
  5. The Page will be 100% searchable by search engines.  The Facebook page for my company now has Google Page Rank 5 after 6 months!
  6. You can customize the looks of your page. UPDATE: Facebook now use iframes which are much easier to use than the old FBML code. See this link for some tips. Also check this post from John Haydon about custom tabs.
  7. You can add a widget of your fanpage to your blog or your web-page. That is pretty cool.

Is it too late now to start a new Page?

Actually, it is not. It is very easy. Four steps

  1. Just enter https://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and follow the instructions.
  2. Make sure to send invitations to all your friends by the Suggest to Friends link under the profile picture in the newly created Page.
  3. Change the name on the profile to your real name. I am not sure this option was there before, but it is now.  Just enter Account top right and Account settings – then edit your name. As easy as that!
  4. You should also send a direct message to all your friends explaining what you are doing. You can only send to 20 people at a time so it may take you a while. You can naturally also post on your wall which hopefully your friends will see.

In the end you win big time this way, not only have you created a Facebook page for your company, but you also give a face to your company. A real person your clients and supporters can relate to.

More about Pages can be found on this recent post in the Social Media for birders series.

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I and the Birds #123 coming your way!

So after long absence I threw in a blog post to the largest Bird Blogging Carnival on the net, that attracts millions of readers every second of week. Not! In fact there is relative small readership of this blog carnival and individual posts.  I am sure for most  readers of this modest blog, this is old news. Hand on heart. Do you read all the posts? Do yo comment? The most important reason why someone participate in the blog carnival is to be discovered by other birders. The second reason is because it gives link juice. That is a backlink to your own blog which helps search engines to find and index your blog and hopefully increase the Google position for your important keywords. But everyone likes to have more readers. Have some pity on these self-sacrificing bloggers. Do the bird blogging community a favor and follow these simple steps and everyone will be so more happy.  You know the reason. Good Karma. You will be a Problogger in your next life.

Five steps to read the Greatest Blog Carnival

  1. Find the time of day when you are killing time doing something that absolutely gives you no value. Look, you don’t need to watch American Idol or watch the CNN news again, again and again. If you are going to waste some time, let’s waste it on something that matters. Bird blogging. The bloggers are heroes. Support them. Read their stuff. Gaze with awe at the beautiful pictures.
  2. Start with an empty browser. Close down all other programs and tabs. Open Idaho Birding Blog where Robert Mortensen guide you through the entries of the 123rd I and the bird. Idaho is the Gem State and Robert is keeping the theme up by presenting us with an introduction of different precious (semi-precious is probably the correct term for something that is not a diamond, emerald or a ruby) stones from his home state.
  3. Scroll down and browse all the posts. Ugh, there are 30 posts referred to altogether. This will take ages!! Give it an hour and read 12 blogs today, then an hour tomorrow to read another 12 and half an hour the day after tomorrow. I am sure you can find a dead hour today to do so.
  4. Choose the 12 posts that seem to interest you the most based on the titles and open these one by one in a new tab in your browser. Keep Ctrl pressed as you click on each blog.
  5. Set your timer. 5 minutes per blog including the comments you leave. Repeat tomorrow.

Have fun. Your are a real gem, because you took your time to read and comment a bird blogger reaching out to you. They will all love you. Good Karma to you indeed!

Gems in Idaho

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Birdwatching Satipo road.

Grass-green Tanager. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Grass-green Tanager. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Alex Durand just came back from birding Satipo road and left me with some of his digiscoped pictures. It is worth make a mention of Satipo road as a birding destination. We are helping the community to set up tourism infrastructure here. The people here are very enthusiastic about the possibilities. This trip was in part a test run. All is now set for larger groups. There is no lodge there right now, but we use the school where we have some matresses and basic cots. We bring clean sheets, pillows and blankets which brings comfort level up a pinhole. Soon enough there will be a lodge. During 2010 we shall implement proper beds and a shower through the revenue of the promotion trips. Birding is fantastic. Here is a link to the tours that promotes Satipo road and the Carpish area near Huanuco. Each tour has a host who has the specific task to promote the area and hopefully also seduce people to come with him/her. Next trip starts on April 29. Why don’t you join us?

Golden-headed Quetzal. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Golden-headed Quetzal. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Rufous-breasted Chat-Tyrant. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Highland Motmot. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Inca Jay. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Inca Jay. Satipo Road. Photo: Alex Durand

Eye-ringed Thistletail. Satipo road. Photo: Alex Duran

Eye-ringed Thistletail. Satipo road. Photo: Alex Duran

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Antonio Coral and Puma

This is almost an urban legend in the rainforest. Almost every visitor to Tambopata, Peru will hear the story. The boatman spots something swimming in the river. He calls out: PUMA!!!! -and directs the canoe towards the wet cat. At a moment of intuition – What if I can get it into the boat? – and then steers up alongside. Incredibly, the Puma does not turn down a free ride, but climbs up and stand on the railing. The tourists are stunned, but one of them eventually gets the camera out.

Puma in the canoe in Tambopata river with Antonio Coral

Puma in the canoe in Tambopata river with Antonio Coral

Since this occassion a couple of years back, the boatman Antonio Coral, has become an expert bird guide, who guides exclusively for Kolibri Expeditions. Antonio is now living in Toronto and volunteers at the Royal Ontario Museum. From June 23 through November  2010 shall he be guiding many of our birding groups in Peru. Join him! And who knows maybe he spots a Puma for you?

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