Saturday, September 15, 2012

Summer in Alaska

My summer was spent at the green arrow location (Picture: Google Maps)

Once again it has been over a year since I have done anything blog-related. However, since I have more travel experiences to write about -  so I'm back for a while again!

This summer I worked in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge on the North Slope of Alaska – working on the breeding ecology of five species of shorebird: Semipalmated Sandpiper, Pectoral Sandpiper, Red Phalarope, Red-necked Phalarope, and Dunlin. We spent the days searching for their nests, and then once found we monitored the nests until hatching, and also put bands on the adults incubating the nests that we find.
In addition to the nest searching and banding, we also resighted birds that have been previously banded, taking down the GPS coordinates for any birds that we see that already have bands. This is the third year of a 5 year study, with the goal of the study to determine survivorship in these birds, a goal that is achieved by seeing how many return to the breeding area that have been marked in previous years, showing us what percentage of birds make it back to this site annually.

An example of a banded bird, with a 3 letter alpha-code flag, four color bands, and a metal band with a 9-digit number on it.

We were at the Canning River Delta, our field site, for five weeks doing this work. I started keeping nightly journal entries after a week or so there, which I kept up until the end. I wish I had started at the beginning! I’ll try to post one daily, along with some photos taken that day. 

No comments: