Observation of the Week 12/17/15

This Crested Caracara seen by brennan3909 in Denton County, Texas, is our Observation of the Week!

While this Crested Caracara observation took place in Texas, its story begins in Arkansas, where this bird was first found - injured and far out of its normal range. After being rehabilitated and radio tagged, it was released. Dr. Joan Morrison began to track the bird’s movements via GPS data and saw that it was headed to Texas.

The folks at Lewisville Lake Environmental Learning Area (LLELA)  in Texas were alerted to the bird’s presence in their area, and volunteer Michael Fox (MchlFx) put out the word to a dedicated group of local photographers and iNaturalist users, who searched for the Caracara and came up with two sightings - the one featured here by Larry Brennan, and one by Michael Fox. As Larry tells it, “[the Caracara] was flying west to east just above the tree line when I caught the first glimpse. The bird turned around quickly when it saw all the fishermen at the river and came back west when I got the shot through a window in the trees. The whole incident lasted about 10 seconds.” Michael’s observation (below) even showed it feeding, which was great information for Dr. Morrison.

As Erin Taylor, LLELA’s Nature Programs Coordinator, tells it, this kind of quick and dedicated response doesn’t happen overnight. Erin calls Michael Fox their “iNaturalist Evangelist,” and she considers herself one of his converts. Spurred by Michael’s involvement, she says LLELA has developed a community of iNat users through “giving workshops and inviting photographers, Master Naturalist chapters, and the general public to learn more about iNat and become our citizen science eyes on the ground. He's helping us create a dedicated, growing troop of naturalists who are hungry for knowledge and passionate about protecting wildlife.”

Using iNaturalist and their citizen scientists, LLELA would like to gather enough data to determine trends in the area - “we know there’s more depth to be explored.” With its growing iNaturalist community, they’re well on their way.

Check out LLELA’s iNaturalist Project.

- by Tony Iwane

Posted by tiwane tiwane, December 19, 2015 00:01

Comments

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Awesome job, @happynaturalist , @mchlfx , and all the great citizen scientists at LLELA! :)

Posted by sambiology almost 5 years ago (Flag)
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Beautiful! Thank you!

Posted by susanhewitt 3 months ago (Flag)

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