Hey, it’s good to see you again! How’s it been? Things are going great for me at Yaquina Head! World Migratory Bird Day has been a success in bringing out a diverse audience to the natural area to learn about the importance and perils of migratory birds. It was a wonderful day to celebrate the birds, but it took a lot of time and work to help everyone celebrate as well! In part, it was a celebration for all of us working together to create something amazing. This weekend, I had the pleasure of flying back home and celebrating my friends’ achievements as well. My so-called “Bird Nerd” friends have received their Bachelor’s of Science degrees in Biological Science, and are proud to be part of the graduating class of 2018! I couldn’t be any happier to be back home and see them walk at their graduation ceremony. I yelled as loud as I could, and it wasn’t easy yelling three times in a row! It’s a lovely thing to spend time with friends and family, and it’s even more wonderful to be there the moment they reach their goals. It’s crazy for me to think that a year ago, almost exactly, I graduated from CalState Fullerton myself with a B.S. in Biological Science and a B.A. in Spanish. I wouldn’t have guessed that in a year I’d be working in a natural area on the Oregon coast, talking and interpreting to our guests about the birds, the tallest lighthouse in Oregon, the geography of the area as well as the cool critters of the tide pools…all thanks to #EFTA. So much has happened, and every day I’m learning something new. Graduating is a tremendous achievement in our lives, but at the same time it is a stepping stone for the achievements that lie ahead for us. Congrats, Class of 2018!
My friends aren’t the only ones I’m celebrating this week. I’m also celebrating the birds, like any other day! More specifically, I’m talking about the cormorants of Newport. Working with the OSU Seabird Oceanography Lab, I’ve begun to monitor cormorant nesting sites at different location in Lincoln County. It differs from my usual shorebird survey site in that we are aware of what to expect in terms of adult cormorants in the area. What we hope to see are eggs and chicks that have successfully hatched from the nest. This week, we celebrate these birds on their new roles as parents, and congratulate them on their baby birds! Our feathery friends have to go through many obstacles in order to successfully raise chicks–finding a viable location for nesting, braving high winds, keeping watch for predators, scavenging nesting material and food resources, etc. So much work goes into raising chicks, but I think that is the nature of achieving great things. We have to put in the time and effort to reach limits we’ve never reached before. I already know the struggle it is to put in the years of work and late nights studying for a Bachelor’s degree. I can imagine how exhausting it can be putting in 110% to raise and protect baby chicks. Work is never easy, but it is necessary for a better tomorrow! We should all celebrate our feats, no matter how small they are. I feel honored to be an Environment for the Americas intern, because I know that all the effort I put into work not only goes towards the natural area, the environment and the community, but also in the future that lies ahead of me!