We find a golden eagle nest in an old vulture nest on a cliff. The nest has 2 chicks and a lot of prey – an argali lamb and 3 tolai hares that the parents skinned, but otherwise have not been touched. Everyone who wants one, gets a warm shower – feels great! Buyana gives a short presentation about our small mammal work after a yummy curry dinner.
May 14, 2011
Today is our traditional Mongolian BBQ day (called a Horkhog). Prepared from a freshly slaughtered goat, the meat is placed in a sealed metal container with some veggies and very hot rocks. The heated and greasy rocks are passed
Research teams search for kestrel nests, radio track, or join me to hunt for snakes. We find a valley FULL of vipers (dozens and dozens – obviously the site of a hibernaculum, where they all hibernate together to save heat). We also sample lizards for Salmonella, by simply swabbing their butts and letting them go. Although we send the volunteers back early, some of us get caught up in our work and don't get back until about 5 PM. The Horkhog is almost done, but we are in time for group singing, which usually breaks out at parties in Mongolia!
"Jerry" Batdorj finds a vulture egg with a chick inside that died soon after pipping the egg open. Not sure why, but it is very interesting to see the chick inside the egg.
The volunteers visit a local herder family and have a great time dressing up as nomads.