The shiny nest robber

About two weeks ago, while clattering away on a keyboard in our office, an unfamiliar twittering sound got my attention. A quick peek at the trees in front of the office window revealed the culprit, and then some! We have written about the Yellow Oriole (Icterus nigrogularis curasoensis) before (see this post, and this post), being the possible victim of the invasive Shiny Cowbird (Molothrus bonariensis), but the sight in the tree proved this hypothesis to be totally true, unfortunately. […] Read more »

The diving intern

In March 2009, more than five years ago, I was introduced to scuba diving on the island of Bali, Indonesia. On a spot called ‘Tulamben’, I went on a shipwreck dive with a local dive school. Being eighteen and saving up for further travels, I didn’t have the money for a complete diving course to earn a certificate, so I stuck to a single introductory dive. Although I only stayed under for fifty minutes, on a reef which, (as I […] Read more »

Know your fauna: Birds – Yellow Orioles (Icterus nigrogularis curasoensis)

The bird sits in the tree, like a ripe yellow mango, its bright yellow feathers in shrill contrast to the grayish background of the dry forest. Besides the brightly coloured feathers, it is also the sound the bird produces which is striking, it’s like a sharp coughing bark. In Papiamentu, de local language on Curaçao and Bonaire the bird is called Trupial Kachó (the Dog Trupial), based on the barking sounds it makes. In Papiamento, the local language on the […] Read more »

Devil in disguise

Three years ago, when on a six months cycling trip from Europe to China, a good friend and me rode into the small town of Murghab, located in the Pamir mountains in Tajikistan. Travelers in the Pamirs mountains need a permit which is checked multiple times along the way. As a tourist in the area it is often pointed out that you might need to bribe one or two officials to get past those checkpoints. There are plenty of stories […] Read more »

Close encounter of the weird kind

With a big splash we all dove head first into the sea. Mission for the day: exploring the underwater area in which a small tugboat went down several decades ago. This spot along the south-eastern coastline of Caracasbay, Curaçao, is one of the more popular snorkel and dive sites on the Island. Perfect for an exploratory expedition with the kids from Accretio, the rebound facility I am working with on a structural basis. Suddenly, a wide-eyed and exited kid approached […] Read more »

The mysterious mouse

The species of Homo sapiens, also known as the thinking human, has spread over the surface of the earth using all kinds of inventions. By leg power, boats and, especially the last couple of decades, by airplanes. There is almost no place left on terrestrial earth which has not been visited one time or another by a human individual. The unexplored en unvisited places are becoming scarcer by the day. The big trouble is, Homo sapiens has the persistent tendency […] Read more »

Nature, a wonderful means to many ends

It becomes clearer and clearer to me how nature can act as a means to so many different ends. A wonderful example is a project from the Accretio Foundation, which sets up programs for youth with behavioral problems. The foundation helps the youthful target group to get their lives back on track through all kinds of activities. The Curacao Footprint Foundation is currently working on a project for Accretio in which attitude development with the influx of experiences with nature […] Read more »

My introduction to Caribbean Footprint and Curaçao nature

Let me start by properly introducing myself. My name is Nik Voorend, and I’m a 23-year old Dutch student of International Communication Management who has landed as an intern at the Curaçao Footprint Foundation, which you all know from the online magazine  Caribbean Footprint. For the next five months or so, I’ll be contributing regularly to Caribbean Footprint with my own blog. What will I be writing about, you ask? The answer to that is simple. I’ll be writing about […] Read more »

Invisible but indispensable – 2

Humans Although a fish is completely comfortable in the water that surrounds it, it would soon kick the bucket when this water would be poisoned. The same things will happen to a human who would keep on living  his or her daily life in a sea of toxic gases. Unfortunately, this mixture is completely invisible, so we tend to think of it as irrelevant. “We do not see it, so nothing wrong .” Nothing is further from the truth. As […] Read more »

Invisible but indispensable

Air What constitutes air, anyway? We often hear things like: it smells good here, it stinks, dry air insulates well, or: we should keep an eye on the air pressure of our tires. But these remarks only deal with some of the properties of air. Air, on earth, is composed of 78 % nitrogen and 21 % oxygen. The remaining 1% of air is made up of a combination of noble gases, water vapor and carbon dioxide, which constantly vary […] Read more »