As promised, here are some pictures we’ve taken! (And a bit more about the goings-on up here this year.)
One of the projects PSBO is working on is collecting data of bird mark and recapture rates (through banding) of sites at different elevations. Prior to the adult banding camp, and still currently, we are exploring the regions around McDaniel Lake. This is in an effort to see how summer drought (and wet summers, like this one) affect bird populations. A site we explored was a small lake that two weeks ago was filled with water, and is now completely dry. While there, we found a chipping sparrow nest and banded two juvenile Brown Creepers.
Another interest of ours concerns the woodpeckers at high elevations, specifically the specialist species such as Williamson’s Sapsucker and the White-Headed Woodpecker. Ponderosa pine habitat is crucial to both species, and some research is currently being done on the White-Headed to gather more information about the bird. Forest fires are of great concern, since losing such types of habitat could cause a great deal of damage to the state’s ecosystem. Small regions of fire present ornithologists with an opportunity to study woodpeckers and the impact fires have on their survival and productivity. Not far from Cash Prairie is a site that recently burned, providing great potential habitat for woodpeckers and consequently opportunities for further research.
Speaking of Cash Prairie, here’s a great view of it from a slightly higher elevation! (Followed by a picture of the adult banding camp there.)
And a couple more banding pictures.
The last day with the teen camp is tomorrow, and we’ve got to get some sleep and prepare for Family Weekend this weekend. We’ll get some more pictures up of the teens and explain some detailed images of the birds we’ve caught soon.
– by Joey Smokey