I came back from my trip to Fushan Research Station last night. It was an amazing place in the mountains with few people and lots of animals, plants, and scenaries to enjoy. However, we found only 4 nest holes, so my plan to conduct research here will likely be axed. I think the main challenge is that the region has one of the highest precipitation levels in the country; thus, dead standing trees rot faster than usual. Other challenges include: the presence of epiphytes growing on tall trees (affecting cavity nesters from making nests) and the presence of tree climbing Formosan Macaques (disturbing cavity nesters). I took a lot of photos from the trip and posted them as a photo album in my Facebook. You can see them here; however, the photo album is not yet finished as there are still some species that need to be identified.
Tourists and fellow volunteers had been questioning us about the material that had been appearing on the outside of this barbet's nest. Is it manmade or some natural material. Well, today, I finally climbed up to the hole and collected a sample of this material to be analyzed. However, when looking and smelling the material upclose, it is some kind of fungus growing on the outside of the hole. Quite an interesting phenomenon.