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|

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|

Sparrow Team in Flight

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 […]

By |April 14th, 2015|CSSS, News|Comments Off on Sparrow Team in Flight|

First nest of the season!

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 […]

By |March 26th, 2015|CSSS, News|Comments Off on First nest of the season!|