A little grizzly, but interesting nonetheless. This is Harmonic, a juvenile humpback whale that washed up on neighboring Sheep Island last October. The whale has decomposed too much to determine if it died from entanglement in fishing nets, but a future autopsy may reveal more about its death. For now, it is a smelly but striking addition to our summer experience.

Advertisements

dsc_0149.jpg

Image

An Alder Flycatcher. I come across these everyday as I wander the island checking nests and recording nestlings.

dsc_00871.jpg

Image

Here are the one day old nestlings she was sitting on. One of them actually hatched today. The mother starts incubating after she lays the penultimate egg, or the second to last one. The last egg she lays hatches a day after the rest of the clutch to ensure each egg receives equal incubation. As eggs hatch, I am beginning to record begging calls, which I will do until the nestlings fledge, nine to eleven days after hatching. My goals have shifted a little bit because I found females do not vocalize on the nest. Now I am studying begging ontogeny and trying to determine whether nestlings’ begging calls differ between environments and among nests. Many of the nests I have found are on or near the beach, which is constantly subject to a cacophony of gulls as well as waves and wind, while others are inland, where it is quieter. I am going to analyze the amplitude and frequency of the begging calls in different ambient noise environments to determine if nestlings make adjustments to their begging, which might make it more detectable to the adults. The effects of ambient noise on bird song is pretty widely studied, but most research concerns adults and anthropogenic, rather than nestlings and natural noise, so I’m excited to see the results.

dsc_0030.jpg

Image

This female is incubating, but rather than sitting on eggs, she is sitting on one day old nestlings, which need to be kept warm when either the female or male is not feeding them.

dsc_0003.jpg

Image

This is a longhorn beetle, Evodius monticola, on the flowers of a mountain ash.

dsc_0132.jpg

Image

“Jackson,” you say, “you’ve gone crazy! That’s not a bird, that’s a crab spider.” Oh, oh you’re right. Shoot. That’s a pretty big mistake. Oh well. Here are a couple photographs I took using my friends macro lens.

dsc_00591.jpg

Image

Here are two Savannah Sparrows that I helped catch and band today. The color bands help researchers identify individuals. My advisor was holding these two because he is making a joke slide in a presentation he is giving about Savannah Sparrow divorce. I think he is comparing this, and a couple other pictures I took, to pictures of Elizabeth Taylor with her different husbands.

dsc_0188.jpg

Image