“Moonlighting” Avian Biologist Chases Other Winged Animals

What’s that in the sky? A bird? A plane? No! It’s a bat! Specifically Myotis californicus, otherwise known as the California Bat.

While I am still working in Skagit County for Ecostudies Institute in as the Estuary Restoration Project technician, I am aslso “moonlighting” as a bat technician for Rochelle Kelly, a University of Washington […]

By |August 29th, 2016|News|Comments Off on “Moonlighting” Avian Biologist Chases Other Winged Animals|

What To Do When Your Field Site Is Underwater: Fir Island Restoration Project

Washington Estuary technician, Leah Rensel, checking in! It’s been a while, folks, and I’ve been drowning in datasheets instead of tromping around outside this summer. As the fall approaches, I am once again in the field and just in time for the fall migration. I’m excited to see the occasional Broad-winged Hawk or Rough-legged Hawk […]

By |August 15th, 2016|News|Comments Off on What To Do When Your Field Site Is Underwater: Fir Island Restoration Project|


It is late in the summer, and most of the Cape Sable seaside sparrows have finished up breeding. The fledglings are now independent of their parents, and they form flocks that roam the prairies, exploring the habitat and seeing what the adult sparrows are up to. They have more confidence when they are in […]

By |August 2nd, 2016|CSSS, News|Comments Off on Juvies!!!|

Balloons Blow

On March 16, I spotted a distant object in the sky that appeared to be a helicopter flying dangerously low. A quick look into my binoculars let me get a closer look at this star falling from the sky. I did not wish upon this star. I think I would’ve wished for  better ways  to celebrate occasions […]

By |July 21st, 2016|CSSS, News|Comments Off on Balloons Blow|

A “Day Off”

Sometimes fire or rain will impede the Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow crew from working in the field. The wildfire that occurred during the first weeks of the field season meant we ended up working on a Saturday. I headed to Everglades National Park and spent my usual day off in the field.

I stopped at […]

By |June 29th, 2016|CSSS, News|Comments Off on A “Day Off”|

Rough Terrain in the Everglades

It is time to speak of my fear of walking on slippery rocks. I found out about this fear when hiking a Peruvian mountain in Huascarán. There were moments where we had to walk through streams, and I was fine for the first few, but it was quietly making my anxiety grow inside. At […]

By |June 27th, 2016|CSSS, News|Comments Off on Rough Terrain in the Everglades|

All Quiet on the Estuary Restoration Project

We have concluded our final surveys! The mud has been cleaned off, the gear repaired and inventoried, and the alarm clock reset to a time after sunrise. Our citizen science project is still running, but as technician, it is time for me to transition from an “outside” biologist to a “inside” biologist.

Any biologist will […]

By |June 23rd, 2016|News|Comments Off on All Quiet on the Estuary Restoration Project|

The Everglades to Myself

One of our plots is inaccessible without the use of a helicopter. We step off the helicopter, grab our gear from the back, walk to a safe distance from the helicopter, turn around and see our only way out fly away. On days we conduct transects, we are only 100 meters away from each […]

By |May 24th, 2016|CSSS, News|Comments Off on The Everglades to Myself|

The Joys of the Everglades

With my season as a Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow research technician nearing the half-way point, I enjoy reflecting on all of the new things out in Everglades National Park that I experienced in my first weeks as a technician. I still find unexpected pleasures out in the field that I have never encountered before. […]

By |May 12th, 2016|CSSS, News|Comments Off on The Joys of the Everglades|

From Egg to Fledge: How We Find and Monitor Nests

Imagine you’re trying to find out where someone lives – someone who doesn’t want to be found. You might start by lurking around their favorite hangouts and getting a feel for their movement patterns. Once you spot them, you might follow them around, hoping they’ll lead you to their house. But they’re not as […]

By |May 12th, 2016|CSSS, News|Comments Off on From Egg to Fledge: How We Find and Monitor Nests|