113 islands maintained
170 nests surveyed
525 duskys banded
30 days at dusky camp
Thus concludes this season’s dusky work for the wildlife crew. It was even more amazing than I imagined it would be. The Copper River Delta is such a beautiful and dynamic place; I can’t believe that this has been my place of work for the past few months.
My last day at dusky camp was spent with the wildlife crew of Nick Docken, Melissa Gabrielson, Matt Prinzing, and Robert Masolini. It was a beautiful day. We listened to tunes, packed up tents and organized the shed. I tried to soak up every bit of that place–the cotton grass field, the cook tent meals, the bird calls, the airboat rides, the sound of the waterfall across the river, the company, the feeling of a deep sleep after a full day of work, the smell of the air. I’m going to miss it all dearly. Not the bug bites, though; I’ll try and forget those.
During my interview with Melissa, my supervisor for this internship, I asked what her favorite time of the year on the Delta was. She told me it was right about mid-summer when all of the hatchlings have left their nests and are running around everywhere, closely following their parents. One of my favorite memories during dusky work was when I realized I was in that moment. Every day we left camp to work on the Delta I saw chicks, ducklings, goslings, cygnets, you name it, running around at one point or another. Instant happiness.
My time at dusky camp has been fulfilling, meaningful, and spent with good people. I wouldn’t trade it for anything.