More on Fall Migration in South Florida

More on Fall Migration in South Florida


I run a banding station to monitor fall migration in the Miami area during the off-season when I am not working with Ecostudies Institute on the Cape Sable seaside sparrow project. Here is a gallery of some of the birds we have banded in the last 13 years.

First, […]

By |October 6th, 2015|News|Comments Off on More on Fall Migration in South Florida|

Time for Crunching Data

Ever wonder what we do outside the field season here at Ecostudies? This is just one example of the kind of work we’re doing right now…all of which pretty much involves crunching data that we collected the past field season! Sure, we have some projects that still get us out in the field this time […]

By |September 28th, 2015|News|Comments Off on Time for Crunching Data|

Cape Florida Banding Station

Cape Florida Banding Station

I first moved to the Miami area in 2000 to work with the endangered Cape Sable Seaside Sparrow (CSSS) on several long-term demographic studies. These projects have now become a part of Ecostudies Institute’s (ESI) work on bird conservation in south Florida, and Dr. Tom Virzi and I have since joined […]

By |September 21st, 2015|News|Comments Off on Cape Florida Banding Station|

Sexing Sparrows

Our first report from the genetics lab which successfully determined the sex of a juvenile Cape Sable seaside sparrow!

Now that our field season in the Everglades is over it’s time to do some serious data analysis, and sexing juvenile sparrows using DNA extracted from feather samples was one of our objectives this year.

Sexing seaside sparrows […]

By |August 24th, 2015|CSSS|Comments Off on Sexing Sparrows|

Field Finds: Invertebrates

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 […]

By |July 10th, 2015|CSSS, News|Comments Off on Field Finds: Invertebrates|

A Three-nest Day

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 […]

By |June 27th, 2015|CSSS, News|Comments Off on A Three-nest Day|

Sparrow Banding

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 […]

By |June 19th, 2015|CSSS, News|Comments Off on Sparrow Banding|

Field Finds: Reptiles

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 […]

By |June 4th, 2015|CSSS, News|Comments Off on Field Finds: Reptiles|

Everglades National Park from Above

Today I was in the right place at the right time. I spent the early morning hours assisting Everglades National Park with their range-wide Cape Sable seaside sparrow helicopter surveys, which involves flying researchers out to marl prairie sites, dropping them off to conduct a standardized point count survey, and picking them up to […]

By |May 26th, 2015|News|Comments Off on Everglades National Park from Above|

Eureka! A nest at Site D

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 […]

By |May 1st, 2015|CSSS, News|Comments Off on Eureka! A nest at Site D|