Monday, November 4, 2013


Another prolonged gap between updates, but yet again I am gearing up to set out on a few more adventures I hope to archive here on this blog. 

I finished my seabird job on the Columbia River in Oregon at the end of August. We successfully banded over 400 cormorants (if my memory serves me), deployed dozens of satellite transmitters, monitored the breeding success of a robust colony of nearly 10,000 birds (again if my memory serves me), and enjoyed some beautiful views of the mighty Columbia River. I would have liked to have written more about my experiences working with Bird Research Northwest but I found myself sleeping a lot while not out in the field.  I did however manage to take a bounty of photos which paint a decent picture of the project, so instead I’ll share a few of them here.

View from  Aerie Blind looking over the cormorant colony. Notice the flies.  

Brandt's Cormorant with rich blue eyes. 
Double-crested Cormorant in breeding display posture.

Brandt's Cormorant stands over the first of possibly 3-5 eggs in a clutch. 

Caspian Terns brings in a recent catch, appears to be an anchovies. 

Double-crested Cormorant fends off loafing Brown Pelicans. 

Looking west across the cormorant colony from the BRAC Blind. 

Satellite transmitter and harness on the back of a Double-crested Cormorant.  

Double-crested Cormorant with alpha-numeric color band and its brood. 

Night capture and banding of Double-crested Cormorants. 

Our galaxy the Milky Way over cormorant base camp. 

More recently I have spent the last two months boosting my bank account working as a whale watching captain, naturalist, and deckhand at my old stomping grounds on the Monterey Bay. From seabirds, to whales, I move inland a bit; combing through my gear and loading the truck with enough winter supplies to survive a two week long car camping trip through the Owens Valley, with my dog and my boyfriend Casey for company. For those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to take a drive down the scenic highway 395 on the eastern side of the majestic Sierra Nevada range I highly recommend you find time to do it. You will see why in the posts to come, if in fact I get my act together and start writing again. 

Upon our return, after refueling for Thanksgiving with the parents, Casey and I will then head off to New Zealand for a marine mammal conference and some much needed time with Southern Hemisphere albatrosses. Sadly Reef will have to stay home for this one. So stay tuned everyone, if anyone is still out there, I plan to get this site up and running again in the coming weeks.