So the night before my weekend begins, I usually go on Ebird.org and check out the sightings that have been going on around my area. ebird is an amazing tool that birders, and biologists use to see where the birds are at and what species are seen. Today I decided to check out this cemetery to go birding, which I honestly found to be a bit odd. I have gone out in the field and hiked miles away from civilization to go birding but never in a cemetery. But what the heck, I decided to give it a shot since there have been a lot of reports on migrating warblers. Once I got there I immediately saw the regulars, blue-jays, mocking birds, and starlings. After a couple of minutes looking for red starts ad cedar waxwings, i stumbled upon these two birders who asked me if i had seen certain species of warblers. I nodded no and we began to talk and update each other on our day. Apparently on of the ladies that were birding knows the area so well that she told me all the best spots that warblers like to hang out and feed. Certain trees that produce more ripe fruit and have more bugs, so I decided to follow them and see what we could find. We ended up seeing american redstarts, capmay warbler, black and white warbler, black throated blue warblers, ovenbirds, common yellow throats, least flycatcher. Amazing amount of birds I had never seen and all thanks to this lady who took me to these trees that had these awesome birds!
As a novice wildlife photographer, most of my pictures are of larger birds that don’t move around a lot so trying to get a good picture of these guys (wood warbler) was literally impossible. Unfortunately this birding adventure has no good pictures but I hope next week’s birding adventure will be more successful in photography. Until then guys
Hey guys, sorry for the delayed updates (again). I somehow plan to write at least once a week and then I seem to get distracted with other things and eventually forget to write my posts.
So as far as updates go. Besides the amount of work I have been doing at my job, which has been draining all my energy by the end of the day, I have been involved in a few side projects which I am very excited (and nervous) about. The Florida Fish and Wildlife has partnered up with an organization called the “Florida Shorebird Alliance” and has been doing some really cool projects involving shorebirds. Basically, shorebirds have been nesting less and less throughout recent years because of loss of habitat at the beach. More and more people, and pets have been taking over their nesting spots so they have adapted to nest on rooftops of certain building with appropriate substrate. The substrate is a gravel like flat surface on top of roofs for any type of building. (big or small) The problem with this is that baby chicks have a danger in falling out of the roof through the rain gutters from the buildings and now, more owners are resurfacing the rooftops to just concrete which makes it impossible for these shorebirds to nest there. It’s very critical that we monitor breeding status for many shorebirds to make sure they are not in danger of being threatened.
Another project that i am hoping to get started by fall of 2014 is a Bird-Window Collision Project using GIS (geographic information system). I need a professor to lead the project and then I need to get 4 undergraduate students to be part of my team. I will have control for most of the project but researchers need a professor to supervise the whole thing and the 4 undergraduates to help with the workload. With this project, we will monitor three buildings with windows covering most of the structure and survey them for dead migrating birds. A lot of migrating birds that come through, hit windows and unfortunately die from the trauma. Some of them get lucky enough to just sustain minor injuries and are successfully rehabilitated and released back out. With this study we can see how frequently these birds are getting affected by certain types of windows and what species of bird is getting affected most.
That is as far as updates go. Besides that, I am just birding on the weekends until migration season dies down, then will probably start herping for the rest of the summer with a buddy of mine. We’ll see what’s out there!