Max Roberts

Joined: Aug 16, 2017 Last Active: Aug 04, 2021 iNaturalist

I am a herper/birder/mammaler/naturalist/wildlife enthusiast/jazz saxophonist/nature photographer/informal researcher/scientist-in-training/undergraduate student at the University of California, Santa Barbara and am majoring in Zoology. I am also a member of the Southwestern Herpetologist Society, a Snowy Plover Docent at Coal Oil Point Reserve, a volunteer for the Los Angeles Zoo, and a volunteer for the Cheadle Center for Biodiversity and Ecological Restoration (CCBER) at UCSB. I have also volunteered with Friends of the Island Fox and Heal the Bay in the past. I take every chance that I get to explore natural landscapes and search for the animals that inhabit them and capture what I see through nature photography. I am fascinated by many types of animals, but my favorite groups to search for are birds, herptiles, and carnivorans. I love being able to contribute to scientific research by using INaturalist and am always eager to hear how my observations have helped increase our knowledge about the natural world.

I also enjoy conducting field projects of my own in order to learn about wildlife that I am particularly interested in. The first of these projects was the Aztec View Field Survey, where I spent the Summer of 2016 photographing and studying the wildlife in my backyard. I then made a photographic archive of all the pictures I had taken of wildlife in my backyard during the 5 years that I lived there (https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/aztec-view-field-survey). Currently, I am conducting a personal field study on the environmental and thermoregulatory habits of common reptile and amphibian species in Coastal Southern California. I am also experimenting with camera traps to monitor the movement of mammals in the Santa Monica Mountains.

For identification, I am mostly familiar with birds, reptiles, and amphibians, although I can help with basic mammal identification as well. Regionally, I am mostly familiar with land vertebrates in California, Arizona, and Florida. Mention me (@tothemax) in an observation if you think I might know what the animal in question is.

For those who plan on using my observations, all of my reptile and amphibian observations can also be found on HerpMapper.

Fields of Interest: Zoology, Herpetology, Ornithology, Mammology, Ecology, Ethology (Animal Behavior), Conservation Biology, Environmental Studies, Systematics of Evolution, Population Studies

Favorite Taxanomic Groups: Crocodilians, Snakes, Lizards, Salamanders, Frogs and Toads, Birds of Prey, Perching Birds, Gamebirds, Roadrunners, Hornbills, Kingfishers, Herons, Mustelids, Cats, Marine Mammals, Dragonflies, Tarantulas, and Scorpions

Favorite ways to experience nature:

• Taking a morning hike in SoCal chaparral (I love listening to and watching California Quail, Scrub-jays, California Thrashers, and Wrentits)
• Waking up in Sonoran Desert scrub (The calls of Gila Woodpeckers, Cactus Wrens, Gambel's Quails, and White-winged Doves never get old!)
• Seeing a whale up close
• Encountering a rattlesnake in habitat (so long as all ends well!)
• Watching a hunt, whether successful or unsuccessful
• Canoeing in the rivers and swamps of Central Florida (Few places are as tranquil)
• Walking down a nature boardwalk in the swamp
• Flipping cover objects to find critters (You never know what you are going to find. Just make sure you put everything back the way you found it!)
• Searching for amphibians and aquatic invertebrates in California's creeks
• Looking out across Lamar Valley and watching the bison and wolves

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