Tuesday, June 30, 2009


Today is a good day, Arjun and I were only out for about 2 hours mist netting (most of that time was putting up the nets) and we caught one!! A western Meadowlark (alpha code=WEME)! On Sunday we went out into this big field where we had been hearing one, and while we were watching our nets it flew right over them over to the opposite corner of the park. Yesterday (Monday) we went over to that area cause we'd been hearing one quite often there, and sure enough there was one perched on the fence a few meters away just watching us put up our nets. It flew over our nets like 3 times (going back and forth to the same places and singing). At one point it even landed in a tree just about 2 meters away and sang at us, just taunting us! It was really important that we try and get this bird cause it's one of the target species, which are hard to come by here. We have been hearing them in like 3 different areas continuously throughout our point count surveys, but as they have large home ranges and are territorial, and we saw this one fly to one of the other areas, and the one on Sunday flew from one area to the one we were in, we think that it might all be the same bird! There might be more, but we can't be sure. It's kind of funny cause the people in the park tell us that they are all over the place on the sides of the roads/ditches etc in other areas. So, there are a lot in MN, just they seem to like disturbed areas better, not as much grassland. So, anyway, the wind was blowing a bit too hard after we got done taking blood and feather samples and measuring/weighing him, we we packed up and came home. We are going out for pizza and ice cream tonight to celebrate! Now we both feel like our time here is getting somewhere!

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