As he was telling
us this, John Rowlett and three other exhausted bird watchers came into
it!" John yelled. "We saw the guan!"
hour away—too far to get there," he added hastily, because Victor appeared
ready to take off. "We went up and birded along the ridge and went on as
far as we could go. Before coming back down off the ridge we just sat down.
Then we heard it, but we couldn't track it down. Really sneaky. But it looked
like a perfect habitat...and there it was! It was thrashing around on a tree.
It actually made a little foray out. It flew. It flew up higher in the tree and
just hunched there. You could see the white band across the tail and the red
feet. Way up there. We saw it at 3:30, and it blasted off at 4:10. Rod Thompson
tried to get some movies, but it was too dark in there. Then on the way back we
saw two more. They were up in a tree over the creek, about 30 feet up. Where is
quetzals, too," said Minturn Wright.
has to get up at five," Victor Emanuel said. "Everybody is going to
hunt for the guan."
The last day.
Complications about the mule train coming up to get the camp gear delayed the
early start. It was 10 a.m. before Victor joined a small group heading for the
ridge. "It is too late for guans to be calling." Victor said. "I
don't expect to see any."
As he reported
later, in a kind of formal address to the entire party, "It wasn't very
productive birding." He located some mountain-gems and a slate-throated
redstart for the bird watchers, but his thoughts kept returning to the cloud
forest. What could be done to preserve this area? And what was its real value?
What could be done, in terms of personnel and funds and international support,
to keep its natural state from being destroyed?