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 of year. But for the most part we need to sit behind a computer screen and begin to analyze data, write reports, draft manuscripts, etc. to share the findings from all of our hard work over the past year. I still think this part is really fun, even if it means trading in getting muddy in the field for sitting behind the computer!
The image I shared here is from a project that technically isn’t being done here at Ecostudies at the moment, it’s from my past research on American Oystercatchers that I worked on since 2004 back in New Jersey before coming out west to work with Ecostudies. I thought I’d share this map as an example of the kind of analysis we do, whether it be using current year’s data or past data from long-term projects. This is a good example of what you can do with data from a long-term banding project like this. Since 2004, I have color-banded >300 Oystercatchers in New Jersey. Also since that time, I have led resighting surveys for these marked individuals. I just completed a resight database that includes >5,000 resights of these birds over the past decade!
I recently used the data to write a couple of manuscripts that are currently under review in scientific journals. The database will be incorporated into a larger, rangewide band resight database managed by the American Oystercatcher Working Group (http://amoywg.org/) so that other researchers can access the data for further analyses. It’s through collaborative efforts like this that we can best advance bird conservation. So even though I’m currently working on new projects here at Ecostudies the old projects don’t just fade away…the goal is to always find a way to stay involved enough to contribute towards conservation efforts.