Winter break means field work!  On my way back to Yasuni Biosphere Reserve today for another field season in the Ecuadorian Amazon.  This is year 16 for our project on population dynamics of tropical birds, with a special emphasis on manakins.  This field trip I will find out if “old red” a 19+ yr old Chiroxiphia pareola (blue-backed manakin) is still the alpha male on a lek in the Puma plot, and if “old yellow”, an 18 yr old C. pareola is still around as alpha male on a lek in the Harpia plot.  Also looking forward to returning to Pipra (Dixiphia) pipra (white-crowned manakin) leks to resight males and band new territory holders.  We have found manakins to hold territories for more than 10 yrs on occasion, although these long durations are not normally the case. To date our dataset includes more than 15,000 captures of birds and >40,000 observations.  In addition, working with Tiputini Biodiversity Station staff, notably Diego Mosquera, we continue efforts to monitor large vertebrates using camera traps.  Pictured here are spider monkeys visiting a small saltlick (saladero) on the Puma plot.  Stay tuned for reports from the field in the next weeks.