December 31, 2013

NYE 2013

Back from a quick trip to Massachusetts for the holidays, yesterday we put out our last radio tag of the season. This puts us at about 85 birds caught in total, some of which were just banded, measured and released without a radio. We'll be doing some ground tracking over the next two weeks, but really I only have about seven days of work left here. Pictures of where I'm working while I'm working are really tough because most of it is in the dark, so here are a couple low light iPhone pictures that do no justice.

Mist nets at dawn

December 22, 2013


One of the best parts of this job is the chance to see many huge flocks of wintering birds, including shorebirds, sparrows, and waterfowl of all kinds. This shot is from up in the Sacramento Valley where hunting is big for a reason.

December 17, 2013


I have to say that I have not done a ton a shorebird watching,  but this season I've noticed that dowitchers often to do this right after untucking themselves from a roosting position.

That photo does not quite capture the maximum 'yawn', but when seen it really emphasizes the flexibility of the tip of their long, sensitive bills.

Not to mention their extremely long tongues...

December 10, 2013

19 degrees this morning

I've had many a cold early morning in my line of work, but the conditions here in Los Banos, CA are reaching extremes as we rise at 3:30am to 20 degree weather, breaking through ice to get to our nets in the wetlands.

December 8, 2013


The only thing I really have time to take photos of during work, LBDO releases...

December 4, 2013


We catch the majority of our birds in the dark, so most of my by-catch photos are iPhone shots lit with headlamps and crappy flash, so forgive me, but check out these weirdos!

Snipe! Hunted, yes. Why, who the hell knows, tiny little freaks.

Black-necked Stilt.  I was really hoping to catch one of these and luckily this young dummy fluttered right in.


December 2, 2013

Robber Fly

Amanda and I found this guy outside of our room in Costa Rica a number of times, must have been an excellent hunting perch.