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Photos of a Glow-throated Hummingbird Specimen

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 05 January 2011 · 376,705 views

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George Angehr sent me photos of a a specimen of Glow-throated Hummingbird (Selasphorus ardens) from the American...


More Jacana Hybrids

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 01 January 2011 · 935 views

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Here are some more jacanas from western Panama. These birds are not yet prepared as specimens, and before we do that,...



  Posted by Chris Merkord , 23 December 2010 · 876 views

It's been a long time between posts. Lots of stuff was going on over the past few months personally, so I was quiet, but now that is behind me, and so it's time to get to the news.

First, we've got the mosquitoes sorted and identified to species from our CDC work in the canal watershed and in eastern Panama where we had the encephalitis...


A tale of two Jacanas

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 21 December 2010 · 3,958 views

This story comes to me by way of Neal Smith, emeritus Staff Scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, an observant naturalist, a rabid consumer of scientific literature, and a first rate gentleman.

One day I was in Neal's office, which is a treasure...


The guide to plumages in the southern Selasphorus

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 29 September 2010 · 2,237 views

I had an opportunity to visit the US National Museum in Washington DC earlier this month. As I've said before, I have an interest in the historical biogeography of the the species of Selasphorus that are found in Costa Rica and Panama. There's a lot ofconfusion about species limits and plumage patterns. Here's a quick guide.

The current,...


Some Updates

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 16 September 2010 · 481 views

Wow, it's been a very hectic few months. The guys did great in eastern Panama, and with our collaborators both at the Gorgas and in abroad, I think that we'll have some new and important information about the ecology of these encephalitis outbreaks. We collected about 8,000 mosquitoes, many with blood still in their abdomen. And we collected blood...


Team Working on Encephalitis Outbreak

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 15 June 2010 · 459 views

It is with great pride that I bid farewell to Oscar, Alonso and Celestino this morning. They left with Jeremy Ledermann of the CDC and scientists from the Animal Health lab of the Agriculture Ministry (MIDA) to help collect samples in eastern Panama.

Here in Panama, the rumors have gotten ahead of the scientific facts, but I got the straight skinny from...


Updates on the Escudo Hummingbird Question

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 14 January 2010 · 479 views

The new year starts with an intern, Andrea Baquero, who hails from Colombia working in the lab with me. This week we began to collect nuclear DNA fragments from Amazilia hummingbirds (tzacatl on the mainland and Isla Colon) and handleyi (Isla Escudo) to get a more robust estimate of divergence time and gene flow between Escudo and the mainland. We...


New Website

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 03 October 2009 · 482 views

I've got a website for my research up and running. It is a typical academic website, with links to research articles, contact info, etc. This blog will continue to highlight my work in progress, especially as it relates to Panama's birds. That website is:...


Delays in Posting

  Posted by Chris Merkord , 30 September 2009 · 455 views

Too much time has passed since posting. We had a relaxing trip to the states earlier this month. The highlight was seeing U2 in concert in Boston! Frustratingly, upon our return to Panama, some one decided to break into our house and steal both laptops. It's taking me a while to get back to speed.

Nonetheless, our work with avian disease is growing...

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