Fragile Yet Perservering

Hello everyone! This was a great week full of adventure and experience! We began the week with outreach. Our little friends are learning quick! We also had an intern day this week where we met with our supervisors and team…go team BUG!!! These are great times to relay any new information we have come across and discuss upcoming plans. We just coordinated a Bighorn sheep count where we will be traveling up into the backcountry, campping then counting bighorn sheep, excited for this one! The big highlight for the week was a SWFL (Southwestern Willow Flycatcher) survey at the MacCintyre Simpson property. SWFL are an endangered bird species here and we recently had a fire on the property that pretty much decimated their habitat. So intensive studies have been going on for the past few years to understand how they respond to such an environmental disaster. Interestingly enough, they prefer older willow habitat where the trees mangle together and create an almost impenetrable habitat. Since the fire, the willow has started to regrow, but to everyone’s surprise the SWFL are using the young cottonwood trees instead! Pretty neat findings. It was a beautiful area, a microhabitat near the river. Lush greenery with amazingly vivid life, so fragile, yet holding strong and persevering despite tremendous ecological change.

Fragile life clinging by a silken strand

Anyway we were up at the crack of dawn counting birds we heard (because seeing them is often very unlikely, though we did see a couple!) We have some great numbers coming back to the area, which indicates that the habitat is starting to become suitable once again, and only after 4 years! We then attended a self defense training (…..I got a ….kick …out of that training…….. 🙂

The weekend was quite an adventure also. Our vehicle decided to overheat in the mountains… I had to change the thermostat and was completely drenched in antifreeze. This turned a 4hour trip into a 9 hour trip…So …..yeah.

Another week down folks, Lets keep it up!

Alexander Mullins
mullinsan@grizzlies.adams.edu
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