Burlington College on Wednesday, April 18th

On Wednesday, April 18th at 2:00 pm, I walked around the Burlington College area near the waterfront of Lake Champlain. This is an interesting area because it connects several types of bird habitats, including the lake, open fields, a couple types of forests, and areas with woody shrubs. This area is right behind where land is being cleared for new housing developments, so it is interesting to see how bird abundances will change in the coming years. This day was very gloomy and chilly. Temperatures were in the low 30 degrees Fahrenheit and it was very cloudy. Due to these conditions, I had a difficult time getting photos of the birds that were light enough to identify their features.

Posted on April 19, 2018 04:28 AM by kaswitze kaswitze | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
16461 icon thumb

Getting Ready for the City Nature Challenge!

I love observing nature. With the City Nature Challenge fast approaching, how am I getting ready to participate in this year’s global, community-based nature event?

1) Registering as an iNaturalist user and seeing what’s happening regionally

Now that I have a user account, I have joined the project called: City Nature Challenge 2018: Washington, DC metro area. This means that all the observations I make within the challenge boundaries will count towards the DC area’s total observation and species count.

2) Getting outdoors

I am going outdoors as much as possible. Every day I alter my dog walking routes so I can find the most biodiverse areas to return to for the challenge. I’m scoping out the different trees, wildflowers and birds.

3) Practicing Taking photos

Photos are an important part of making observations on iNaturalist. If you can’t tell what the thing is you are observing, then it can’t be properly identified. One photo hack I recently learned was to bring a clipboard with a piece of white paper and use it as a background so you can see the bug or flower more clearly. While it’s important to take close-ups, I also take some shots from further away to show the context and surrounding environment.

4) Studying my local species

I love discovering new species on my daily walks. I use several apps like iNaturalist, eBird, Virginia Wildflowers and Merlin to help me identify things I find. At home I have a bunch of field guides to learn more details about my observations. I’ve also been following groups like “birds” and “fungi” on iNaturalist, so I can see the latest observations.

5) Listening to nature

Now that I’m learning about birds, I’m studying birdsong. This means I have to listen very carefully for the various calls while I’m on my walks and out and about in the city. The Merlin app, by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, is an easy way for me to listen to sample calls to see if I’ve discovered a match.

6) Spreading the word

This is my 2nd City Nature Challenge and there is no denying that I’m very excited about it. I’ve been reaching out to anyone I know who loves nature, like my classmates from the Virginia Master Naturalist program, friends with kids, friends who are teachers and fellow photographers. By posting nature pics on my social media accounts, I’m hoping to get others to participate and be as excited as I am to be a citizen scientist.

I hope to make it on the leaderboard of the City Nature Challenge, which runs from April 27th through the 30th! Follow my progress on iNaturalist here! Don’t forget that you can also follow your friends and fellow nature lovers on iNaturalist to see what they discover.

Posted on April 19, 2018 02:39 AM by ana_kaahanui ana_kaahanui | 0 comments | Leave a comment


Tyler Schontag

Today’s date is Wednesday, March 18th. The weather is cloudy and quite chilly with a steady breeze. I began my observation at around 1PM and concluded at 3PM at my aunt’s house and surrounding neighborhood in Jericho, VT. The neighborhood goes in a loop and there is a large, flat field in the middle. Most of the flora in the area is White Pine trees accompanied by various bushes and some flowering plants in the yards. Many of the houses in the neighborhood have bird feeders set up in the yard so most of the species I saw were common backyard birds. I did not see any exquisite species this week unfortunately. On the far side of the neighborhood there is a patch of woods with trails where many trees have been cut, creating an open forest habitat. After spending some time in the field I thought I might be able to find some more exciting species in these woods. Unfortunately this was not the case, I was unable to visually locate any birds but I did hear a few calls. The “yink yink” of the White-breasted Nuthatch was the most common call followed by a mechanical rattling. If I were closer to a river I would have thought the rattling was a Belted Kingfisher, but it was really just a Red Squirrel.

The most abundant species I saw this week was the Dark-eyed Junco. There appeared to be a flock of about 20 to 30 individuals occupying the neighbors backyard. Observing this flock it became very clear to me what the advantages of being in a flock were. It was nearly impossible to get close enough to get a clear picture. One individual would spot me and then they would all take to the trees. Since this bird is not a migratory species living in a flock is an adaptation that serves as an advantage due to the increased alertness. Living in a flock allows individuals to spend less time scanning and more time feeding, this is especially important in winter months when food can be scarce. An individual can trust that since they have strength in numbers it is less likely they will be eaten and more likely that at least one member will spot a threat and warn the others. When the flock became spooked, most of them would take shelter in one tree while a few strays occupied another tree or bush. I would guess that the individuals that stray from the flock are the ones that eventually get picked off and not get the chance to pass on their genes. If this is true, the species would be evolving to always maintain a flock, which would further increase their fitness.

Black-capped Chickadee’s were another common species I saw this week which came to no surprise. They seemed to form a looser flock than the Dark-eyed Junco’s and more often appeared to be in pairs. The chickadee is another non-migratory species so it shares many of the advantageous adaptations as the Dark-eyed Junco’s that come with flocking. However the chickadee is considerably smaller than the Dark-eyed Junco which could also be why they appeared to form less numerous flocks. I also found that the chickadee was much more daring and curious than the junco’s. When observing the chickadee’s it was much easier to get close enough for a picture without scaring them away. One individual even came right up to me and seemed to be interested in what I was doing, I was able to get some awesome pictures of this bird. I believe the reason they were so curious and daring is because they’re so tiny and fast which meant they could escape danger much faster than the larger junco’s.
A third species I saw this week was the Hairy Woodpecker which I wrote about in my previous entry. This is also a non-migratory species, but unlike the chickadee and junco, they do not form flocks. I think that their solitary behavior is a result of their size and diet. The Hairy Woodpecker forages for bugs in trees and this can be a difficult task because most trees are not abundant with bugs. If a flock of woodpeckers were all trying to forage on one tree, the chances of all individuals finding enough food would be very slim. Chickadees and juncos feed on nuts and berries which are more abundant so they don’t have to worry as much about allocating the resource as efficiently. The medium-sized bird also doesn’t have to worry as much about becoming prey unlike the small chickadee. They also have quite a large bill which can serve as a formidable weapon if attacked.

Mini activity: Since I did not see any migratory species I can’t add up the total miles traveled.

Posted on April 19, 2018 12:26 AM by tschontag tschontag | 3 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
4357 icon thumb

Mosquito project update

Hi all,

We have been buzzily (pun intended) working with on mosquitoes in our lab but we are about to come up for air. We have some great Mosquitoes in Hawai`i project news!

First, we are very excited not only have we gotten a new species record for the project, it came from our great new collaborator Dr. Matthew Medeiros from UH Manoa. Matthew recently started as an assistant professor in the Pacific Biosciences Research Center at UH. Matt got his undergraduate at UH and his PhD at the University of Missouri-St. Louis studying avian malaria under Robert Ricklefs. Now that Matthew is back in Hawaii he has begun to work on Hawai`i's invasive mosquitoes and the pathogens they transmit. 

Matt has been actively adding records to and identifying mosquitoes on our project. This attention paid off on March 16th, Matthew made the first project observation of an Inland Floodwater Mosquito Aedes vexans on Oahu! Here is his photo:

Inland Floodwater Mosquito
To identify this species, look for the combination of the a 'fuzzy brown back' (the scutum covered with short brown scales lacking any particular pattern) coupled with obvious 'B' shaped markings that run sideways on the dorsal surface of the abdomen (or 'tergites' see here for photos and more information).

Second, we are ALMOST at 1000 records, thank you so much! As of today we have:

983 OBSERVATIONS of 7 SPECIES made by 135 OBSERVERS and determined by 63 IDENTIFIERS!!! Here is the species breakdown!

With 798 of these observations classified at research grade. Let's try to get to push this to 1000 research grade records!

I have some more news from the lab and new collaborators to introduce in my next message so STAY tuned! 

All the best,

Durrell (@cydno)

Posted on April 18, 2018 10:28 PM by cydno cydno | 0 comments | Leave a comment
14690 icon thumb

Sydney Naturalists Group

Greetings all,
I'm so pleased with the way this project is growing- we're so close to 700 species! Anyway, the bioblitz event I ran last weekend was a success; my thanks to smileynaomi for attending and bringing along a crowd to take part. Anyone who is interested in the results can visit the Ku-ring-gai Bioblitz Project on this site- we just made 100 species. Following on from this, I am hoping to get together a group of like-minded nature-enthusiasts from the Sydney area to form a 'Sydney Naturalists' club with a monthly meeting in one of several local national parks. The way I see it most existing nature clubs are intimidating, somewhat exclusive, cost to join, and do little in the way of field trips, so I hope to remove these problems with the new group I am making. We will meet on the last Sunday of every month, and if anyone is willing to help in organizing it, we will have a "committee meeting" on 24th May. Please help to spread the word about this exciting new project, and if you are interested, message me on iNaturalist or (preferably) email me at .


Posted on April 18, 2018 10:08 PM by elliephant elliephant | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Le Camp Romain - Le Rouret

Randonnée du 17 avril 2018

Une belle balade jusqu'au camp romain avec vue méritée sur les gorges du Loup. Alternance de forêts de résineux et de feuillus.

Beau temps - 26°C - Vent 3.1 km/h - Humidité 33%

Topoguide Randoxygène

Posted on April 18, 2018 09:21 PM by nicolino nicolino | 31 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
16065 icon thumb

Check Out the New Look of iNaturalist

You may have noticed that iNaturalist just made changes to the way they are organizing projects. As a result, the page for City Nature Challenge 2018: Los Angeles has a whole new look! You won't find any observations recorded yet, because the Challenge is still 8 days, 11 hours, 13 minutes, and 11 seconds away. How can we say exactly how much time remains before the Challenge begins? One of the new features you'll see on this page is a running countdown.

As the seconds count down... the excitement level builds!

Now it's only 8 days, 11 hours, 11 minutes, and 50 seconds until this year's GLOBAL City Nature Challenge begins! We can't wait to see all the observations you'll make in just 8 days, 11 hours, 11 minutes, and 4 seconds...

Posted on April 18, 2018 07:55 PM by amyjaeckerjones amyjaeckerjones | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Assignment 5

On Wednesday, April 15th, after I got home around 2:30 in the afternoon, I walked around the entire area of my neighborhood for my bird walk. It was about 45 degrees outside and overcast, but not too windy.

Lately when I've been walking my dog in the afternoon, I'll bring my phone and play bird calls to see if I can attract any birds to the area. I've been having a lot of success with the Northern Cardinal, who will actually fly over and converse with my cell phone! I really enjoy seeing these birds close up because of how bright red they are. Today on my bird walk, I saw two male cardinals and one female. The recording I uploaded was of one of the male cardinals singing.

Posted on April 18, 2018 07:11 PM by jnpearce jnpearce | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
19425 icon thumb

Welcome to the 2018 Black River BioBlitz!

Explore with experts and learn about the flora and fauna of both Hoyt's Landing and Muckross State Park in Springfield, Vermont.

FREE and family-friendly (please leave pets at home); with a suggested donation of $10 you'll receive a commemorative button and a "swag bag" to collect special items throughout the day.

Leave your car at the Park & Ride at Exit 7 off I91 and pick up the BioBlitz Shuttle, courtesy of Butler's Bus. The shuttle will run from 10am till 3pm between Muckross, the Park & Ride, and Hoyt's Landing and back again.

Stay for an hour or pack a lunch and stay for the day! Learn about birds, trees, ferns, mushrooms, amphibians, reptiles, flowers, insects, and so much more -- many displays will be up at both locations and experts will be on hand to introduce you to the wildlife and woodlands.

Bring your camera or smartphone if you'd like to take photos and upload them to iNaturalist to help the BRAT build an "inventory" of scientifically-confirmed species at both locations.

An "early bird walk" is planned for Muckross State Park, and an aquatic plant paddle will happen at Hoyt's Landing. A mushroom tour at Muckross is in the works, too, and possibly an "after-dark" session at Muckross, by pre-registration only.

Lots of events are happening, so tune in to the Black River Action Team's Facebook Events Page for updates and details:

Posted on April 18, 2018 06:28 PM by blackriverbrat blackriverbrat | 0 comments | Leave a comment
17070 icon thumb

How to Make Observations in iNaturalist

It's just over a week until City Nature Challenge starts!! We've put together a little guide to help those of you new to iNaturalist. We recommend you play around with the app before the City Nature Challenge so that when that Mountain Bluebird lands on a branch nearby, you'll know exactly what to do!

For more information, you can also visit:

iNat Observation Guide

Posted on April 18, 2018 06:09 PM by jesshawk jesshawk | 0 comments | Leave a comment
17912 icon thumb

Bioblitz Program

Bioblitz Program - April 21, 2018 8am – 9pm at @ UA Arboretum
**Do not touch animals or pick plants unless with a guide!!!**

Nature Walks Signup at Headquarters (Table A)
8:00 - 9:00 – Bird Walk
9:00 - 1:00 – Check out what research and projects are happening at UA!
9:00 - 10:00 – Herb Walk, Insect Walk, Pond Walk, Tree Walk
10:00-11:00 – Butterfly Walk, Intro to Arboretum, Fungus Walk
1:00 - 2:00 – Herb Walk, Insect Walk, Pond Walk, Tree Walk
2:00 - 3:00 – Butterfly Walk, Intro to Arboretum, Fungus Walk
4:00 - 5:00 – Herb Walk, Insect Walk, Pond Walk, Tree Walk
5:00 - 6:00 – Butterfly Walk, Intro to Arboretum, Fungus Walk
7:00 - 9:00 – Black light for insects. What comes out after dark?
8:00 - 9:00 Night walk with UV light

Lab tables (all day hands on learning)
Table A Headquarters –Maps, Info, and Nature Walk Sign up sheets
Table B Curating Insects –learn how to get bugs ready for museums
Table C Pond Dipping
Table D Insect Petting Zoo
Table E Plant Part Treasures
Table F Bird and Mammals
Table G Animal Tracks (Bugs and Mammals)
Table H Nature Crafts
Table I What lives in the Soil?
Table J iNaturalist Table

Posted on April 18, 2018 05:44 PM by friel friel | 0 comments | Leave a comment
19129 icon thumb

Good Job!

Nice work everybody on getting to 4000 observations!

Posted on April 18, 2018 05:28 PM by tylerjore tylerjore | 2 comments | Leave a comment
13194 icon thumb

Data collected by Rosario Balestrieri

Birds observed by the ornithologist Rosario Balestrieri in the island, but without a pic on iNaturalist:
Parus major
Chloris chloris
Sylvia melanocephala
Cettia cetti
Sylvia atricapilla
Falco tinnunculus
Columba palumbus
Corvus cornix
Hirundo rustica
Upupa epops
Circus aeruginosus
Ardea cinerea
Apus apus
Delichon urbicum

Posted on April 18, 2018 05:13 PM by mdv mdv | 0 comments | Leave a comment
17478 icon thumb

Cuenta regresiva

¡Quedan sólo 8 días para el Reto!

Posted on April 18, 2018 02:36 PM by carolinasoto carolinasoto | 0 comments | Leave a comment

3/13/18 Burlington Country Club

On Friday the 13th, around 4 in the afternoon I was on a run on the 5k trail behind the Burlington Country Club when I saw a Pileated Woodpecker on a tree. It was a warmer day, around 50 degrees with overcast skies. He was perched on a tree about 6 inches off the ground, close to the road (maybe 5 ft away) in the back yard of a house.

Posted on April 18, 2018 02:18 PM by glking glking | 1 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

April 15 & 17

April 15
La Platte River natural area and Shelburne farms. Approximately 12:00-2:00 p.m.. Overcast, around 35 degrees, and wintery mix precipitation. Walked along Shelburne Bay spotting some Canada Geese and Hooded Merganser out on the bay from the shore. Several flocks of Black-capped Chickadee, Dark-eyed Junco, American Robin, and Song Sparrow. On the edge of a pine dominated forest. Deeper in the forest was a Brown Creeper, White-breasted Nuthatch, and a mystery bird that I believe to be a Northern Cardinal with an interesting song. As I was driving down the road to Shelburne Farms I spotted a Great Blue Heron flying over towards the bay and two Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers foraging trees along the road.

April 17
While installing game cameras in Jericho for two hours, 9:00-11:00 a.m., my group saw several good bird sightings. It was around 40 degrees with a disgusting wintery mix again. Most of the species were spotted in a deciduous natural community, including Black-capped Chickadee, American Goldfinch, Hermit Thrush, and a Hairy Woodpecker. In a small stand of red pines we spotted three Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers foraging the pines.

Posted on April 18, 2018 01:55 PM by srotella srotella | 18 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
17230 icon thumb

Woolly Bear Biology: Part 0

Greetings, all!

We're starting to get a lot more interest in the project as the woolly bear season approaches (spamming social media with links to this project doesn't hurt either! ;) )

As the project progresses I'll be adding notes about the biology of this fascinating creature. I think it'll be fun to add more data in batches as the project meets certain goals. Every 100 observations, I will add a new note about some aspect of Pyrrharctia isabella biology to the project journal. Hopefully, this will incentivize folks to keep checking back in with the project page and keep uploading records.

SO - The first goal: Once we reach 100 observations in this project, I'll add some of my personal observations on the sound production of P. isabella. Yes, that's right, the woolly bear produces sounds as an adult! I can't wait to tell you more about it (I've even got a recording to share!). We just need about 20 more observations!

Let's get to work!

Posted on April 18, 2018 01:42 PM by njdowdy njdowdy | 1 comments | Leave a comment
16970 icon thumb

2018 Melbourne Nudibranch Census

Its a small project and im glad to see the membership numbers slowly climbing.
Welcome to the new members.

If you weren't aware this is a big weekend for the nudibranch lovers. A lot of effort and planning has gone into the 1st Sea Slug census here in Vic. Its open and everyone is encouraged to jump into the water and start hunting for as many nudi's as you can find. Up-load them to the census page and then of course up-load them here.
You don't even need to be a diver to find Nudibranch, a stroll through your local rock pools can often result in some great finds.

If your planning a dive on the Sat or Sun, send me a message and we might be able to put faces to names.

there is a planned BBQ at Blairgowrie Pier at 2pm Sunday as well with some experts coming down to share their wealth of knowledge.

Happy hunting


Posted on April 18, 2018 12:50 PM by christophermark christophermark | 0 comments | Leave a comment
18637 icon thumb

Nova participació a la Setmana de la Natura

Per tercer any consecutiu posem en marxa aquesta activitat destinada a recollir totes les observacions d'espècies de la fauna i flora de Catalunya efectuades en el decurs de la celebració de la Setmana de la Natura.
Amb l'ús d'iNaturalist saps que les teves dades seran compartides amb tota la comunitat científica internacional i les posaran a l'abast de tothom, contribuint a un projecte de dades obertes en el que participen científics, professionals, amant de la natura, curiosos o simplement persones interessades en conèixer i participar en la millora del coneixement que tenim de totes les formes de vida que ens acompanyen en el planeta.
Any rere any s'incorporen millores a iNaturalist de les podem gaudir tots i any rere any noves persones utilitzen iNaturalist per recollir les seves observacions, tenir-les ordenades i accessibles per afavorir el coneixement cinetífic, en un entorn obert del que participen tots els centres d'investigació.

Alliberant les teves dades amb iNaturalist participes en el projecte pioner de ciència ciutadana dedicat al coneixement de la natura del que formen part prop de 200.000 observadors. Nascut l'any 2008 incorpora més de sis milions d'observacions...

Aquesta Setmana de la Natura, participa, i potser la teva observació serà escollida Observació de la Setmana...

Posted on April 18, 2018 10:41 AM by eduardomartnez eduardomartnez | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Plateau de Cavillore - Gourdon

Randonnée du 17 avril 2018

Une belle balade avec en prime une vue jusqu'à la mer et les golfes de Cannes et Antibes. Peu d'arbres sur le parcours dans un milieu à dominante minérale (A faire à mi-saison Printemps ou Automne). Quelques peuplements éparses de pins sur le plateau avec végétation typique pâturée par les moutons en saison.

Beau temps - 24°C - Vent 1.6 km/h - Humidité 45%

Topoguide Randoxygène

Posted on April 18, 2018 09:36 AM by nicolino nicolino | 23 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

20180418 AM Southern Ridges

The canopy walk is a good way to spot insects on railings.

I've been seeing more ant-mimicking spiders (mimics of Polyrhachis illaudata, P. bicolor [Salticidae], weaver ant [Thomisidae]) and mantises (white coloured one, Myrmicaria mimic; both nymphs), two clusters of book lice when visiting in the morning.

Also saw P. bicolor, Tetraponera, Polyrhachis (golden) [alates], Cataulacus [foundress queen? she was roaming around outside the nest], the Limacodidae caterpillar [previously seen].

Only saw one Plain Nawab caterpillar, on Red Saga (usually the young plant).

Posted on April 18, 2018 07:08 AM by ejysoh ejysoh | 5 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Field Observation 5: Centennial

5:46 to 7:15 pm on Monday, April 16th, 2018

Today was raining and 40oF. I decided to go on a walk around Centennial, primarily to explore the marshy habitat close to Route 89. The walk started off on a great note, as soon as I got out of the car I was greeted with a beautiful Pileated Woodpecker. I was not able to identify whether the magnificent specimen was a male or female, but he/she skirted around the edge of the parking lot, teasing me by drumming on the opposite side of the tree from where I was standing.

After walking into the woods, I was greeted by 3 Black-capped Chickadees, a group of Song Sparrows, two Blue Jays and two American Crows. The Black-capped Chickadees and Song Sparrows were happily foraging in a brushy, marshy area while the American Crows and Blue Jays were jeering loudly from a distance away. It sounded as if a raptor was present and they were attempting to chase it away.

Then it started pouring. I had meandered to the far side of Centennial so I started back, not expecting to see anyone. However, as I was just about to leave the woods, I heard a small chip. I turned just in time to see a small brown bird fly to a tree near me. After it landed, I was able to identify it as a Brown Creeper!! I was super excited, even though I had seen a group of 4 of them the day before. They are one of my favorite birds – I love their trill-like song and how they pick their way up trees, searching for snacks. It was a wonderful way to end my bird walk.

Posted on April 18, 2018 06:24 AM by jpupko jpupko | 6 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment
17850 icon thumb

New observations

As I have mentioned earlier, I will monitor the taxon observed in Covington to see if new discoveries are submitted that are not included in the original project life list. True to my word, I would like to report that @leiapico has “discovered” a new bird species in Covington ( Bucephala albeola ), representing the first non-plant discovery for this project.

I also visited Covington on Saturday and made some new discoveries too.

Athyrium filix-femina
Brassica rapa
Dicentera formosa
Equisetum arvense
Erodium cicutarium
Lunaria annua
Pteridium aquilinum
Rubus spectabilis
Rumex acetosella

There are still many, many more species that can be added so keep the discoveries coming!

Posted on April 18, 2018 05:44 AM by spacecowboy spacecowboy | 0 comments | Leave a comment
19389 icon thumb

2da Jornada de Conservación 20180415

Retiramos 4 batangas de basura.

Posted on April 18, 2018 05:26 AM by mullermx mullermx | 0 comments | Leave a comment
18707 icon thumb

Lake Merritt Bioblitz 4/28

The City Nature Challenge (  is just around the corner and on April 28th there will be a fantastic Bioblitz of Lake Merritt being supported by naturists and staff from Oakland Museum of California, OutdoorAfro, Insect Sciences Museum, the California Center for Natural history, and the San Francisco Microscopy Society. So many experts and ways to explore the jewel of Oakland will make for a magical day.

You've made observations around Lake Merritt in the past, so we figured you might be interested in participating in this event. Check out the details in the EventBrite and let us know if your coming!


Posted on April 18, 2018 05:18 AM by damontighe damontighe | 1 comments | Leave a comment
14919 icon thumb

Brush up on your tracks!

@nicksharp, @carolynpsmith and @johnjones have added some excellent track observations. Check them out and see how many you recognize!

Posted on April 18, 2018 03:23 AM by rogerbirkhead rogerbirkhead | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Earthquake today!

At 4:26 this afternoon it felt like an explosion had taken place on the island of Nevis, like a dynamite charge had gone off, but no "bang", just the whole island going "WHUMP". Then I could feel rocking, clear waves back and forth, about one every half a second. However that only lasted about 8 or 9 seconds, and then it stopped.

I recognized it as an earthquake, having been through one or two when I lived in California. However this one was lower frequency and higher amplitude waves than the ones I felt there, and therefore more impressive.

So it turned out it was a 4.7 earthquake going off under Antigua and Barbuda, which is only 60 miles east of where I am, on the island of Nevis. This counted as a "light" earthquake, not at all serious. Interesting though, and it sure makes you pay attention. :)

I did not hear any birds or dogs responding with alarm, but maybe they take it all in stride.

Posted on April 18, 2018 12:46 AM by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 2 comments | Leave a comment

Forced to concentrate!

I am on the lovely Caribbean island of Nevis for four weeks, but I have my left foot in a stiff and heavy medical CAM boot, and the right foot with a big rubber "even-up" layer strapped onto my sneaker. This is because of severe Achilles tendinitis in the left heel, and therefore I am also under doctor's orders to minimize my walking as much as possible.

This has some pluses as well as some minuses. Although I can't walk down to the main road and go to the various beaches every day, on foot or on the bus, as I usually would, I can walk around the yard of the rental house to some extent, or even go up and down the lane a little bit, as long as I am careful not to do too much.

Because my scope for exploration is severely limited, this is causing me to concentrate my awareness and my searching efforts, in order to find as many different species as possible within this small and somewhat ecologically impoverished area of a few houses and a few vacant lots that are mostly overgrown with invasive species.

I think this is actually good discipline for me as a naturalist!

I have included here some of the more picturesque things I have found so far.

Posted on April 17, 2018 11:49 PM by susanhewitt susanhewitt | 21 observations | 2 comments | Leave a comment

journal #5

I took a bird walk on April 17th around 6pm. I walked from the Davis Center along the Redstone path, past Redstone campus to 500 South Prospect Street, and towards the gym. It was about 40 degrees F and cloudy.

On the Redstone path, I saw a Black-capped Chickadee on the fence. It flew away very quickly, but I managed to get a photo. I did not see many birds apart from the chickadee, but I heard calls of a Common Grackle, House Sparrow, Song Sparrow, and American Crow. I recognized the Common Grackle due to its “rusty-gate” sounding call.

When I got up to the Redstone green, I saw two House Sparrows singing in a tree across from CWP. Two American Robins were also perched in the same tree. On the green, I saw about ten or more robins foraging for food. The grass was muddy and wet due to all the rain we recently got, so I expected worms to be abundant. I saw one American Robin pull a worm out of the ground, which was interesting to see. In another tree I saw four European Starlings perched high on separate branches.

I next went to the pond near the gym. Around it there is a lot of bushes and twigs, and I saw two Song Sparrows hopping around on the ground and flying onto branches. I also saw three European Starlings perched in a tree, as well as an American Robin and an American Crow. In the pond I saw two Canada Geese, and they are probably the same ones I have seen before. One of them is always sitting on a small island of grass and twigs in the middle of the pond, while the other one is swimming. Canada Geese usually lay their eggs in March and April, so I bet the female was incubating the eggs on the grass in the pond’s center.

Posted on April 17, 2018 11:48 PM by natalielaible natalielaible | 7 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment

Delta Park in Colchester, VT

The weather has been crappy for the past few weeks, but I figured today was as good as ever to venture down to Delta Park, right next to Champlain and the Winooski River branch-off. It was windy as ever on the waterfront at a temperature of 35 degrees (I'm sure the real-feel was much lower). The habitat is generally very flat wetlands with patches of residential streets nearby. The water flowing into the delta was moderately choppy due to the wind, so the only wading birds were only found more inland or near a land break.

To start I ventured into a pedestrian walk trail that led to waterfront. I did not stay long from the blustering winds, however I stayed to observe a flock of Ring-billed Gulls. They seemed to just be wading and hovering over each other, so I decided to move on. The bike path itself was fairly quiet from pedestrian visitors which gave me some great glimpses at wildlife. A mating pair of Wood Ducks slowly swam farther inland as I approached the trail. The male was absolutely stunning! Across the bridge I observed Robins chasing each other in a residential yard, and later some more individuals flying across the path. The biggest find of the day was an extremely quick glimpse of a Bald Eagle flying over-head! He was too fast for me to snap a photo.. Shortly after I began to hear a lot of strange "mimic-like" songs in the trees above me, and noticed a huge flock of Brown-headed Cowbirds. The computer dial-up noise was very extreme in this flock! On my frigid walk back home I didn't stop to observe much, however a male Red-winged Blackbird stopped me with his mating calls. He was highly perched in an habitat edge tree and calling repeatedly and loudly for a good period of time. Guess he was looking to find someone to take the formal!

Posted on April 17, 2018 11:26 PM by tzumbo tzumbo | 8 observations | 0 comments | Leave a comment