"Colombian Reserve to Double in Size, Aiding Critically Endangered Parrot"

via American Bird Conservancy

(April 23, 2012) The critically endangered Fuertes’s Parrot and eleven other globally threatened species of birds, mammals, and amphibians will receive greater protections thanks to a joint effort by Fundación ProAves, World Land Trust-US, Robert Giles, Loro Parque Fundación and American Bird Conservancy.

These organizations joined forces to acquire about 356 acres of land to double the size of the existing Giles-Fuertesi Nature Reserve. The reserve is managed by ProAves, ABC’s Colombian partner and the leading conservation organization in that country.

With fewer than 250 individuals thought to exist, the beautifully colored Fuertes’s Parrot is one of the world’s rarest birds. Also known as the Indigo-winged Parrot, it was thought to be extinct for 90 years, but was rediscovered in 2002 when ProAves biologists, funded by an ABC grant, discovered a small population of about a dozen individuals living in fragmented and unprotected high-Andean cloud forests at the site of this reserve. The Fuertes’s sole breeding habitat remains a 19-square-mile area…

Full media release:

Certifications Bring Success For A Baltimore Technology Lover

Harry Meade who is a senior design engineer with CCS Mid Atlantic, in Columbia, Md. is a case in point. Meade will be the first to point out that he has risen to his current level of success based on his industry experience and certifications rather than a college degree. Meade’s specialty is one of the new hybrids: it’s called Professional Audio Visual or ProAV; and there is no college degree per se although there are numerous certifications and training’s

(Photo Courtesy of Harry Meade)

Meade has a lengthy resume behind him. He has worked in the field for about 10 years and has the Crestron DMC-E engineering certification and the Infocomm International Certified Technology Specialist (CTS) and Certified Technology Specialist – Design (CTS-D) certifications.

When asked how he came to be in Pro AV, Meade describes himself as a kid who was always interested in technology, who did the lights for the school plays, volunteered at the local county cable access channel in high school; who became familiar with broadcast and video recording.

He says he eventually got a job as a film-to-video transfer technician and was so terrible at it, he got himself fired. But, he had been very good at fixing equipment and putting things back together. So, a few years later, when the same business owner needed someone for a new audio-visual integration business, he came to Meade!

When asked about how his educational background relates to his current role, Meade responds that he spent a year in college focusing on general studies which has not really impacted his career. Rather, he feels his industry certifications have been the most important; and have served him well.

He cites government work where a scale is used to determine credentials based less on formal education especially in certain ‘emerging’ industries such as his; rather experience and industry certifications are stressed as job qualifications.

Meade also emphasizes the importance of learning on the job in a new field such as AV integration. He has learned to design functional systems and also manages a staff of other design engineers. He also contributes to podcasts and is on the Board of Directors of an industry media group.

Regarding advice for those thinking about Professional AV Integration as a career; Meade explains that the field is best suited to those with IT, broadcast or communications backgrounds. Application may also be made at a local AV integrator, at Infocomm International or go to National Systems Contractors Association for more information.

Susan Brown originally spent many years in banking/finance before confronting her addictions. She has now been in recovery for 20 years.
Primary interests include metaphysics and energy healing in which she has several certifications. She has written for since 2009 and also writes for Om Times. Sue lives in Baltimore.

via CBS Baltimore

Emerald toucanet (Aulacorhynchus prasinus). 

Carried my camera for two hours hiking through the forest hoping that something good would twitch in the canopy, but we didn’t see anything that I could get in the frame. As soon as we got back, a mixed flock of emerald toucanets, white-tipped quetzals, and blue-naped chlorophonia was foraging in the tree across from the lodge. 

Strong-billed woodcreeper (Xiphocolaptes promeropirhynchus): Uncommon in subtropics and eastern lowlands; not usually with mixed flocks.

You can hear these from a few hundred yards away picking dead leaves off of epiphytic bromeliads and searching for insects. They hardly ever sing, but the noise of flapping and leaves falling to the forest floor is a dead giveaway. They seem to be the only bird around here making no effort to be secretive.


It’s hard to spot birds in the forest here, at least without a good local guide and recordings of the calls to play back. So the daily bird lists are short, but they’re pretty good. Two endemics from today: a white-tipped quetzal (Pharomachrus fulgidus) and a Santa Marta brush finch (Atlapetes melanocephalus). 

And on endemics: In California, or really anywhere in the US, endemics are usually species that occur only in the state. Here endemics are species that occur only in the isolated mountain range we’re currently staying in. There are way too many species that occur only in Colombia, or only in one department of Colombia, for that to be a meaningful distinction.