The EFTAs on a Mission!
It is always an exciting week when your fellow EFTA interns join you for a day to do shorebird surveys! I was happy to see Christine and Edder again and to have the opportunity to go for a walk on the beach and look for birds. The wildlife biologist at the Hebo Ranger District and I were really interested in beginning shorebird surveys in the northern district of the Siuslaw National Forest. After discussing and scoping out potential areas for the first surveys to be conducted at we decided that it would be beneficial for all three interns to do a survey together. When the EFTA interns stationed at the Central Coast District came we conducted a pilot survey to define the main area being observed for shorebirds and discussed any potential concerns with tides, weather, timing, distance of survey, etc. Also, it was great to learn new things from one of the interns who had done surveys before in places like Mexico and Alaska! Her previous experience was invaluable. She provided a lot of suggestions and helped answer many of my questions.
However, my favorite part about the whole day was experiencing how three Latinos were working together; reading over protocols and discussing the methods of collecting data. It was fascinating to hear us talking about shorebird conservation and how passionate each of us was about doing something we loved, even if it was just for a couple of hours. Edder was excited to be doing field work in general; Christine was happy to be sharing her previous shorebird experience and reminiscing about the beautiful places the EFTA internship had taken her to; and I was having the time of my life when we found not two but potentially five Western Snowy Plovers in the enclosure area as we were nearing the end of our survey transect!! (In the past we only found two plovers every time we searched for them.) Overall, the whole shorebird adventure was inspiring in many ways. Most importantly, it is an example of how Latinos continue to contribute to the world of wildlife conservation.
With shorebird surveys getting started and preparing and giving the first ever field ranger guided hikes (more on this next week) in the Hebo District, I could not have asked for a better week!