Saturday, June 14, 2014
Tuesday, June 10, 2014
Monday, June 09, 2014
Photos via Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences
Today listener's PhD*Son, a wildlife biologist, is headed to Coats Island in upper Hudson Bay for three weeks, to do research. He will brave high's in the 40's and lows in the 30's, without heat, with winds of 20-30mph (higher during storms), and the threat of polar bears and grizzly bears (yes, on an island). His team of four hopes to locate most of the 35 birds who were banded last year with a geolocator. The device sends out a signal at regular intervals (daily at least) to create a data readout of where the bird has gone in the past year. They need to locate the banded birds during nesting season, rig a soft spring-loaded net at their nest, catch the bird briefly to collect the geolocator, and weigh and measure the bird. The species they are researching, the Semipalmated Sandpiper, is in steep decline and they are seeking to find out why and where the troubles spots are. More power to them!
Semipalmated Sandpiper sporting a geolocator
listener writes: "We will be very glad when they are safely home! We will see PhD*Son the weekend of July 4th, assuming they have good weather and can leave on time…which has happened only once in 12 years…last year!"
Meanwhile, we can read last year's camp log here:
And watch for this year's camp log here:
If the sporadic connection works, they may be able to post field notes from time to time, while there.
Last year's notes include:
"Probably not too many people carry a 12 gauge with 2 ¾” rifled slugs when they visit the loo!"and
"Stephen keeps an eye out for bears while I sample invertebrates…"but also:
"Perhaps the most magical aspect of working in the arctic in the summer is the midnight sun. In the Arctic Refuge the sun never sets while we are there, it circles the sky creating beautiful rosy and golden light for many hours every night. The birds are active then, and listening to Pacific and Red-throated Loons in the long light of an arctic summer night is an indescribable thrill. We find it difficult to go to bed on nights when the clouds and fog lift, suffusing the tundra with a soft magic that nourishes something deep within us. The sun dips below the horizon for a few hours at Coats, giving us our first arctic full moon rise over the river a few nights ago. We fall silent at such moments, each of us filling a place inside that renews us in the moment, from which the memory can sustain us in the months ahead."
Please tuck their well being into your hopes and prayers. Thanks. ♥