I’ve seen mixed flocks of passerines bouncing through a forest, feeding on different vertical levels and plants, but hadn’t really ever noticed it among these waders and swimmers. There were probably over 15 Double-Crested Cormorants, a few Snowy Egrets and Great Egrets, about six Brown Pelicans, and a handful of passing Royal Terns, all cruising a small marsh creek entrance as the tide approached the morning high.
Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus) and some plovers (Charadrius sp.; maybe Wilson’s Plover?) hanging out as the sun rises at Little Tybee Island. The willets stood on one foot, and many of them hopped around, instead of putting their other foot in the frigid water.
Pablo enjoys some millet as Frida calls.
A Double-Crested Cormorant (Phalacrocoracidae: Phalacrocorax auritus) quickly swam by a few times while we were snorkeling at Three Sisters Springs.
While in a different family (Anhingidae), Anhinga appear similar and are behaviorally similar to cormorants, and the easiest means to telling the two apart, in my experience, is to look for the more robust, curved bill in the cormorant.
Members and volunteers of the San Vito Bird Club band and take measures of mist-netted birds they’ve caught at Finca Cantaros in 2013.
Down Cerro Chai, some students spotted a dark-morph Crested Owl. Daniel (aka Bird) takes a photo through binoculars with his iPhone.
Michael, an undergraduate researcher out of Stanford, is working at Las Cruces on animal decomposition. Briefly, he’s set out freshly-killed adult chickens and chicks in forests and agricultural lands (i.e., pasture and coffee plantation) and monitors what happens…
He’s got camera traps trained on the adult chickens, and uses transects through both habitat types to pair replicate locations with both major habitats. It’s interesting (and rather smelly) work: there are a number of specialist scavengers that feed on animal matter, and the roles animal detritus (feces + dead animal) play in communities is often overlooked in light of the overwhelming biomass that plants input into detrital pools in ecosystems. Michael has already found some exciting facilitation effects within the scavenger community.
Michael was kind enough to take me along on one of his sampling dates.