One HOOT of a week!!
Busy busy week!!! This week not only did I work in the office, but also had some great hands on training. This is what my week looked like:
Work from 10am-6p.m. Organize macro data from the past ten years into a more easily understood and more easily read Excel format. Doesn’t sound too hard, huh? Wrong!! in order to make this data easier to read, I had to change all the macro scientific names into common names. When it comes to stuff like that, google does not work at all!! I had to look through books and read through scientific articles in order to finally find the common names of these animals. For example:
Arthropoda Insecta Odonata Aeshnidae = Darner Dragonfly
I feel like a bug expert now 🙂
SWFL Survey from 4a.m-8a.m
Sleep from 9-11a.m
Work again from 12p.m-1a.m Long shift but it was totally worth it. I had the opportunity to go out in the field with some Flammulated Owl experts. I learned about peeping. What is peeping, you ask? You basically take a a camera and place it on a giant pool. When ever you see a hole in a tree you place the camera inside and hope to find an owl. I was amazing at how well this techniques worked. I did learn the downfall of this method though…it doesn’t do well in rain or hail. Half-way through the owl survey we got stuck in a rain/hail storm. We were in the middle of the forest, so turning back was not an option.We bunkered down under a tree and hoped it would protect us from the rain. it worked for about ten minutes before even the tree couldn’t stop the rain from reaching us. I was soooooo cold!!! After two hours of rain it finally slowed down enough to return to the campground. After dinner and a quick drying off, we returned to the forest soaking, cold, and geared with flashlights. We returned to the trees where we had found owls and waited for night fall. After an hour hike and an hour wait we finally caught a male Flammulated Owl. We weighted it, measured it wings, and took some blood sample. I even got to hold it for a few minutes. He was so tiny and soft. I guess my hands felt comforting, because it ended up falling asleep… or maybe I’m that boring. We released the little guy back to its home after all the work was done. It didn’t stop raining all night so instead of sleeping in my tent, I whimped out and slept in the government truck. It was such an amazing night and I’m so happy I got the chance to participate it something so amazing! 🙂
Slept all day.
The shorebirds have returned!! Our shorebirds surveys have begun once again. Let me start by saying that the fall migration is so much more abundant than the spring migration. We saw over 400 american avocets! may not seem like a lot but it is here at the Blanca Wetlands. What’s even more exiting is I got to see my first Lesser Yellowlegs and Spotted Sandpiper today. WHOO!! Can’t wait to see what the rest of this migration will bring 🙂