Thursday, October 11, 2007

Natural Areas Conference

Howdy All,

I've been staying for the past few days in downtown Cleveland while attending the national Natural Areas Conference. Its been great fun listening to presenters speak about all topics natural, and meeting people from around the world. Today I co-led a field trip to Kelleys Island. What a day. We left at 7:00, it rained almost the whole way to the ferry dock in Marblehead, and continued to rain as we traveled across Lake Erie on the ferry. We disembarked, and drove to long point, to see Tom Bartlett's bird banding station. He has been banding birds here for over ten years. He collects information about their sex, age, weight, and believe it or not, the amount of fat they have. If the birds have plenty of fat, the knows they have been on the island feeding, while if they do not have any fat, they probably just arrived from a trip across Lake Erie from Canada. Pretty interesting stuff. The most common bird we saw this morning was the white throated sparrow. We also caught and processed an american redstart, a black throated blue warbler, winter wrens, a marsh sparrow, and even a hermit thrush. All while raining heaving. People were wet, but our spirits stayed dry.

We went to lunch, and then, finally, the sun came out and we had a sunny afternoon exploring the glacial grooves and the north shore alvar state nature preserve. All very good stuff.


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