Saturday, May 8, 2010

My First Day on the Job

Yesterday, I joined the Nest Watch program, which is a citizen-science project developed by Cornell Lab or Ornithology in collaboration with the Smithsonian and the National Science Foundation.  Reporting the status of bird nests engages birders like me who want to learn more about birds, and provides important data that will give scientists an understanding of reproductive success on a large scale, which helps them understand environmental impacts.

This is not a task or responsibility to be taken lightly.  There is a code of conduct and you have to pass a quiz to show that you will be responsible in your work.  I did a bit of reading about procedures, minimizing impact on the birds, predator awarenessyesterday, passed the test and am now a Certified Nest Watcher, complete with certificate suitable for framing.
Needless to say, I was so excited to go to work today.  I waited until the afternoon, I saw the female leave the box and I took my camera and a stool out to the box.  I made noise as I approached, I knocked on the box to give anyone still inside a chance to leave.  Knowing how bad my memory is, I decided to photograph the inside of the nest box.  This seemed like the easiest way to monitor the nest with little impact to the birds.  I can get in and out quickly.

I snapped a photo, locked the roof, then took a circuitous loop back to the house, per instructions. 

When I finally looked at the photo, I was stunned!  Mamma didn't leave the box - she was still inside.  I wonder what she thought of the strange evil eye that was poking in the roof of her house?

I will surmise that she is sitting on eggs.  I won't check again for a few days, per instructions.  So stay tuned for more exciting adventures of "the bumbling nest watcher."

1 comment:

  1. WOW! You SURE did get a shot of the interior. . .WITH Mama What an exciting 'job' and extending your family at the same time : ) congratulations Grandma Joan!