Some of my recent tasks included installing a camera off Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area and removing the tracking device from one location on the site to the lighthouse rail.
This tracking device (farthest from the text on the left and right) downloads the data from the twelve Common Murres that were tagged early in the season. It tells us where the birds are generally located and the distances they have traveled. The murres typically fly far distances but return to the Colony and Flat Top Rock, and this device can detect their arrival. We moved it to the lighthouse rail to increase the chances of receiving potential data. The camera (right and left of the text), on the other hand, is facing the murre colony and is programmed to take photos at a certain time during the day. Through the photos we can learn about the available food sources for the murres along the Oregon Coast. We removed the camera from the cliff since Flat Top Rock has been primarily empty due to a high level of disturbance by Bald Eagles, and it’s now focused on Colony Rock. Overall, this camera provides us with more data to identify the type of fish or squid consumed by these seabirds.
As you can see, I am literally gaining hands-on experience in the field of research…digging holes to set the wooden post, carrying heavy batteries up 114 steps, and climbing down the cliffs to detach the assembly. That’s what I call fun.
Stay tuned for my next post!