From the sparrow’s point of view, the more invertebrates, the merrier. Cape Sable Seaside Sparrows rely on invertebrates of all kinds–anything from spiders to crickets to dragonflies–for food for themselves and their young. You can see changes in invertebrate abundance reflected in the sparrows’ clutch sizes: when the pickings aren’t as good (usually early season), sparrows tend to […]
Cape Sable Seaside Sparrows are sneaky birds. Starting the season as a first-time sparrow nest-searcher, finding a small grass nest in a vast grass prairie was a daunting task. What made it worse was that these birds are not only extremely well-camouflaged, but also have an annoying habit of running around on the ground where you […]
Even after studying Cape Sable Seaside Sparrows for over three months now, there’s no way for me to tell the difference between males and females–let alone different individuals–just by looking at them. For that reason, almost all the sparrows on our study plots have unique color bands that help us keep track of who’s […]
The birders among you may already know that the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow shares its marl prairie habitat with Red-winged Blackbirds, Common Yellowthroats, grackles, and the occasional raptor or migrating bird. But what else—besides birds—inhabits this vast expanse of grass?
For this post, I’ll share a few of my reptile finds from my walks through […]
We began our morning of transect surveys with some trepidation. When we’d gone out for our first set of transects at Site D earlier this week, we’d been beaten to exhaustion by the unseasonably hot weather. On top of that, the Water Management District had notified us of flooding at the site yesterday. And with a […]
Not only does today mark exactly one month since my arrival in south Florida, it’s also the day of my first helicopter ride ever!
We had originally planned to fly to Population A on Friday. We were buckled up and fully decked out in our Nomex flight suits, gloves, leather boots, and helmets when the […]
It has barely been two weeks, and we’ve already found the first nest of the season!
As the newbie to the team, I’m still getting the hang of how to find and resight our Cape Sable Seaside Sparrows. The attention to song and color completely contrasts with my fieldwork on Greater Sage-grouse in Nevada last year. Since we […]
Bluebird Education on Military Lands
By Christa LeGrande
On Saturday 26 July, we hosted a bluebird education program on Joint Base Lewis-McChord Military Base (JBLM) with a small group of military families. The families that participated in this event have been a support system for each other and for me while our spouses are deployed or […]
Food For Thought
By Rachel Mullin
Cuckoos are unique in the bird world in many ways; one is that they have a unique diet, specializing on large-bodied insects, such as katydids, butterflies, and caterpillars. Birds spend a large proportion of their day foraging, and food availability plays an important role in their survival and how successful […]
Sponsor a Mangrove Cuckoo!
The Mangrove Cuckoo Project is well under way this spring, and we are asking you to participate in this exciting study by sponsoring a cuckoo. Although we receive some funding from grants, it is not enough to adequately study this secretive species. Learning about this species is extremely labor-intensive (just ask […]