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There Will Be Bugs!

The arrival of the warmer spring weather has officially started the 2019 Careless Swamp Critter Cataloging Season!
This season brings with it the promise of adventure and discovery.
Friendships will be made and broken.
Lifelong alliances will be upheld while others will be forged anew in the flooded forests of the Careless Swamp lowlands.
Stones will be shifted! Logs will be lifted! Soil will be.....sifted! (for various subterranean arthropods)
The hungry hordes of biting insects will not stop the brave explorers that venture these lands!
And though many will inevitably die in the pursuit of new species records, they will be remembered! (probably with a tiny memorial plaque)

So set forth into these wild lands and do not be careless in your search unless you care to be less than you can be.


Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por mattireland mattireland | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Observations 4/18/19

Our last day in the field was overcast and a bit drizzly at times, which was a bit disappointing, but it was slightly warmer than it had been the last two outings. After a few days of warmth and sunshine with a nice bit of rain in between, everything was showing sure signs of Spring! The grasses in the field were green and lush, and most of the trees were filled with buds. The reddish buds on the sugar maples made for a beautiful sight as they cast a sort of red aura around the treetops. The yellow birches were also budding and turning a bright yellow-green. It was a bit damp and muddy walking by the hay fields, but once we arrived at our patch of deciduous forest we were met with bright green mosses patching the forest floor. Their appearance, along with the appearances of grasses like the Poverty Oatgrass I discovered last time, looked a bit different now as they were beginning to grow taller blades that had buds on the end. Upon closer inspection of the forest floor, we discovered tiny green chutes peeking up through the soil. I gently pulled one out and noticed that its roots ran parallel to the surface of the ground. The moist soil also made for good cover from the rain for many insects, as we learned upon digging up a small bit of it. We found at least eight different species of insects from a patch of soil only a few square inches in size, including a couple of different beetles and a few spiders. There was one spider we found (though we almost didn't see it) that was perfectly camouflaged on a leaf on the ground. We put the spider (leaf and all) into a container to bring back to lab. We found several more interesting-looking fungi, which we also collected for analysis. We obtained many samples of material we found in our BioCube to revisit during our last lab period in hopes of identifying some of the organisms that were contained within it. We also noticed two holes in the ground in different spots, and we were able to determine based on the pattern of dirt (or lack thereof) around the hole that one was from a mole and the other a vole. I was also lucky enough to catch sight of three different species of birds through binoculars. One appeared to me to be a male blue jay in flight, as it had a vibrant blue color on its tail. Another, perched on a branch on the other side of the stream, was black with bright red spots behind its head. After later research, I was able to identify it as a red-winged blackbird. The third bird I observed was light brown with a faint yellow color on its underside, but I was unable to determine exactly what it was. Perhaps my favorite observation from this week's lab, though, was that there were finally flowers blooming! They were small, but still delicate and beautiful. I photographed one and iNaturalist tagged it as genus Houstonia, or flowering bluets.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por gcastellano gcastellano | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Activities this weekend - and new Facebook group!

I’m gathering all the activities associated with the City Nature Challenge in a few places, in case you’d like to attend an in-person activity this weekend:

NC Museum of Natural Sciences event listing: https://naturalsciences.org/calendar/event/city-nature-challenge-2019-triangle-area/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/groups/404146950310079?ref=bookmarks

Not quite all of the events are posted yet (I started with my work events), but hope to get the rest up today!

The latter link is a new Facebook group for the Triangle Area City Nature Challenge! If you’re on Facebook and want to share your sightings, experiences, and any activities for which you’d like to invite others to join you, please consider joining the group. It should be a fun, easy way to talk to each other and keep in touch during the event - and between this year and next year’s events!

Get those cameras ready, everyone! The City Nature Challenge starts soon!

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por chrisgoforth chrisgoforth | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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3 Days and Counting!

Hello everyone!!

The City Nature Challenge is only 3 Days, 9 hours, and 25 minutes away! We are competing against 150 cities/counties around the world and we need everyone’s help to make it to #1!

Cities around the world are hard at work preparing for the challenge and I am happy to report that we have around 20 public events to join around the county as well as many Natural History Staff, volunteers, and scientists heading out into the field.

If you would like to join an even you can find more info here:

An important update and change from last year is that all observations and species will count for our city, including “Needs ID” and “Casual” ones! This is amazing and a huge plus!

If you are identifiying or see anything in the project that is captive/cultivated please mark it as such!

We have until May 6th by 9am to identify.

If you know any users on iNat that would like to join the Challenge please tag them or let me know and I can reach out.

If you have any questions please feel free to message me.

Go San Diego!!!



Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por mrominacc mrominacc | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Tanekaha along the Kaipatiki Creek in Glenfield

We have looked forward for 20 twenty years to seeing the scattered tanakaha mature along the streambank. Most of the ones we have seen so far upstream of Stanley Rd are dead or dying.

Here are all the observations so far of Tanekaha at the Kaipatiki Creek restoration site:

This one is infested with Madeira vine, currently flowering in its very top, mostly dead, though red tanekaha fruit can be seen through a telephoto lens:

A possible tanekaha beside it, dead: https://inaturalist.nz/observations/22876283

A group of Tanekaha under and near the Monterey pine near the entry to the Native Plant Trail and footbridge:

Further downstream, a single tanekaha c.40cmD beside the Native Plant Trail, with a trunk wound about 30cmL, a few metres above the stream and leaning over it:

A 1998 observation of a then-healthy young tanekaha beside the path to the footbridge:https://inaturalist.nz/observations/15905326
That one was observed dead in approx 2000-2002.

A significant Tanekaha on the site in 1999, this one appears healthy at road level, now below a retaining wall built to keep the road away from the mature Rimu and Tanekaha on this bank at Rimu Pool
and another observation of this one, from across the road:

"Tanekaha Bank", the site of a recent car accident resulting in damaged trees:

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por kaipatiki_naturewatch kaipatiki_naturewatch | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

20 April 2019 - Field Journal - TX: Travis Co., Karnes Co., Goliad Co.

This Easter weekend we were taking our annual family trip to my Aunt's country house in Kenedy, TX and then going to my in-laws country house north of Goliad, TX.

We left Austin around 8:30am and just as we were getting ready to go I snapped a shot of a cellar slug on the curb.

It was a cool morning (around 55 degrees F) and sunny. We arrived in Kenedy around 11:30am in time for lunch and some good visiting time with my family. During the course of the afternoon I took a few walks to photograph some of the flowers and wildlife on their land. They use the land for cattle and wildlife conservation.

Late in the afternoon we left for Goliad and arrived around 5pm. We had dinner and then took my youngest daughter and my two step sons fishing at the stock tank where Teresa (my youngest) caught her first fish (the bluegill observation).

I took the opportunity to take several pictures of plants around the pond as well as a few damselflies.

The day was very pleasant in both locations and the breeze was very light. I did not have a thermometer with me but I would guess that the high was in the low 80s for the day.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por cmeckerman cmeckerman | 65 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

A Day Filled With Earthworms (and some other species)

This week in lab we got right to work taking pictures and looking at different species. I had a bit of a difficult time reaching my cube however, due to the large puddle on the other side of the bridge. I made it across but my boots filled with water during this time, leaving my feet cold and wet. As unpleasant as this was, it was still a beautiful and sunny day.

When we got to the location of our bio cube, I struggled at first to find new species. While digging through the earth I uncovered A LOT of earthworms. Every couple of scoops of dirt would have another one buried inside of it. There were so many and they were all moving around under the ground, so it may it a challenge to find other species. It was especially hard because each earthworm I pulled up, I had to put back in the soil and cover over again. My true finds began when I started peeling bark up off of the tree. I found all sorts of bugs hiding under there. I suspect that they not only gain shelter and a moist covering from living underneath dead tree bark, but also some kind of nutrients. I was able to find termite like bugs, beetles, and a long, yellow bug with pincers.

Once I felt very cold and wet, I decided to take a break and sit in silence out on the field next to our ecosystem for a few minutes to soak in the sunshine. I noticed while sitting there just how quiet the surrounding area was. I really focused in on the birds calling back and forth to one another. It was interesting to listen to one call out in the trees, and then have the other repeat that call from farther away. I was also able to watch the trees sway in the wind and examine how the world moves when no one is around to disturb it. This was a nice time for me to get away from the world, and enjoy nature.

After my quick break, I went back to hunting for new species. I was feeling sick of looking at creepy crawling things, so I decided to focus on different fungi and small plant life. I was intrigued by just how many different colors of fungus grow on trees. Their diversity on just one log is truly amazing. I also pulled up some shrubs and roots to look at them. While trying to identify these, I learned that I struggle greatly with labeling plants. It is my personal goal to have a better eye for identifying different types of wild plants.

All too soon, it was time to head back to home base. Fortunately this meant more time to watch and play with the chickens. However, unfortunately this meant that I had to make the trip back through the icy water. I made it through and was sure to pour all of the excess water out of my boots that was not already soaked into my socks. I cannot wait for next week! I hope to listen for more birds and maybe even get a chance to observe some. I assume this is the time of year when they begin to mate so they will probably become increasingly active.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por emilychapman18 emilychapman18 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Journal Entry #6

I decided to go for a bird walk in Centennial Woods on Sunday April 21nd. It was almost 70 degrees outside, one of the warmest days in Burlington so far this season, not too windy, and partly cloudy. Because of this I thought it would be the perfect day to see and hear as many birds as I could. I went around 11:30 am until 1:20 pm.
The first thing I noticed after walking through the entrance to Centennial was how much more vocal the birds were compared to last time I was there. I immediately heard many different birds calls; some I could not identify. The ones that were easy to distinguish right away were the calls of the Black-capped Chickadee, American Robin, and Canada Geese.
The first bird I saw was a Pileated Woodpecker. This was a cool experience for me because I had never seen one before! I noticed it immediately by the distinct red on its head. It was up in the tree canopy and was staying relatively still, other than moving its head occasionally. I was kind of far from it so it didn't seem to notice me. It was alone and the only activity it seemed to do related to mating was make its distinct chattering once, awhile after I started watching it.
When I got to a large clearing in the path towards the middle of Centennial, I heard what sounded like angry squawking and chirping right above me. They were being extremely vocal. I looked up to see two Red-winged Blackbirds which appeared to be flying through the sky while fighting, pecking, and ramming into each other. They were definitely participating in some agonistic behavior that was definitely related to fighting over mating territory. This is common to see in this species, where the males fight with other males over territory in the beginning of the mating season.
I saw and heard many American Robin during my walk, and observed that they stayed mostly towards the outer edge of the woods area. This made sense, because they seem to prefer more residential areas instead of the more deeply wooded area. I tried looking for Robin nests low in evergreen trees along the outer edge habitat of Centennial but failed to find any that had already been constructed. I did see multiple pairs of American Robins during my walk. This seemed different than earlier in the season when I would see them usually alone or occasionally in a bigger group.
I saw three cardinals during my walk, all spaced pretty far apart but all out in the open. They were all males and seemed to have already claimed their territory spots, probably showing themselves and looking for a mate. They were higher up in the trees that didn't have any leaves on them, they seemed to be out in the open with a purpose. They did not make any sounds while I was observing them, but I did hear the call of one seemingly far away a I was leaving the woods.
After doing the mini activity, I was surprised to notice a real pattern in some of the symbology on my sheet of paper. I tried to do this activity on one side of Centennial instead of more towards the middle, in a place where there was varied habitat, hoping to hear many different species. I hearD the call of many american robin, probably 4 different individuals. They were all in more of the edge habitat towards one portion of my circle. I saw one individual. The other call I heard coming from all directions, and were all close to me surrounding me on my map were Black-capped Chickadees. I saw two but heard probably six different individuals.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por kaschmec kaschmec | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Reproductive Ecology

Date: 4/21/2019
Time: 3:30-6:45
Location: North Beach (Observations occurred on the walk to the cliffs)
Weather: Partly cloudy, ~70 F

I saw many different behaviors occurring during my observations at North Beach Park on April 21st 2019. Starting with nesting choice, I have attached two pictures of different nests I noticed, both of which were by the cliffs of North Beach, which faced the sunset. I did not see any birds occupying the nests, but I noticed one was on a very dangerous ledge, where if the nestling fell, they would be doomed, so this made me question why a bird would ever build a nest here. When thinking about it, I realized that although it is dangerous for the nestlings, it is also dangerous for any predators trying to get at the nest. The other picture attached, shows a nest that's near the cliffs but further from the edge, and in a safer area. I noticed a third edge, but was unable to take a picture because my phone died, however it was on the ground, covered by a bush, in a field.

I saw a few behaviors I would relate to mate selection between two Song Sparrows. I saw two Song Sparrows, who kept flying together, side by side, or following each other. Whenever they would land, they would hop on the ground together looking for food I imagine, and then fly off again, until they were out of sight.

On Blackboard, I attached the image of the sound map I made while observing at two different locations. I decided to try it in an open field, and on the cliffs and see where the most diversity was. I noted that the most diversity and sound was produced in the field, which I think may be the cause of multiple different habitable niches existing in the area. In the field, I heard 2 White-breasted Nuthatches, a Northern Cardinal, 4(?) American Robins, a Black-capped Chickadee, and two birds I was unable to distinguish. One bird was hiding in a bush making a "Chirp Chirp" noise, and I have attached a sound file and picture of the individual. I also heard something similar to a Northern Cardinal at the field, however it was a little different and I couldn't quite place it. On the cliffs, I heard fewer individuals, and I was a bit unsure about what I thought was an American Kestrel. I saw and heard 3 Song Sparrows, an American Crow, and a Tufted Titmouse.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por rlooney rlooney | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Pluteus observed in the Mangemangeroa Reserve - Pluteus similis

Pluteus similis

The cap of this large species is dark brown in colour with tiny pyramidal-spinose scales on the cap surface. I have observed only a single mature fruit body with a cap of 9.4 cm in diameter. The gills are beige-pink with a dark edge. The stipe has dark fibrils covering the entire length.

Abundance: Rarely observed in the Mangemangeroa Reserve.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por codfish codfish | 1 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Pluteus observed in the Mangemangeroa Reserve - Pluteus readiarum

Pluteus readiarum

Horak describes the stipe of Pluteus readiarum as being at first whitish but becoming pale yellow or buff in aged specimens and many of the images of this species available in the New Zealand Fungi and Bacteria (NZFungi) website do have a whitish stipe including some Horak images. The variety that I see in the Mangemangeroa Reserve always has a light tan stipe and the cap margin extends beyond the gills (although occasionally this is not obvious).

The fruit bodies of this species can be quite variable in size. The cap is typically 3-6 cm in diameter but can grow up to 8 cm in diameter. The cap has yellow tones and dark squamules radiating outwards typically in a reticulated network pattern but not always. The young cap is convex becoming flat when mature and may be raised in the centre. The gills are cream-pink and the cap margin extends beyond the gills. The stipe is light tan, longitudinally ridged and is pruinose with a light powdery covering.

Microscopically the terminal cap cells are cylindrical, with a tapered apex or rounded apex and with brown pigment. These can be variable between individual fruit bodies, some with a mostly tapered apex and others with a mixture of rounded and tapered apex. Pleurocystidia are fusiform in shape overall, with a conical apex, thin-walled and appear lightly pigmented. Some pleurocystidia have a constriction below the apex with a single projection (as illustrated by Greta Stevenson). I have looked at the gills of many fruit bodies of this species and I have never seen any pleurocystidia with more than one projection.

Abundance: Commonly observed in the Mangemangeroa Reserve.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por codfish codfish | 7 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Boating in the Charleston Harbor

Our class was given the chance to go out on a DNR boat and catch organisms on April 18th, 2019, with beautiful weather surrounding us. There was a low of 60 degrees Fahrenheit around 6 a.m. and a high of 72 degrees at 2:15 p.m. (middle of the time spent on the boat). There was a 64% cloud coverage around noon, however, I remember the sky being absolutely clear and blue and bright. There was only a 5.4% chance of precipitation around 1 p.m. and an average wind speed of 10.0 mph throughout the day. We went to the Grice marine laboratories for take off and adventured to three different spots in the Charleston harbor. The first spot we went to was just a few miles off the shore and I remember it being 23 ft deep! During the first catch it was unbelievable seeing all the organisms such as "Sea Robins" which looked like aggressive little fish but were gentile and "Porcelain Crabs" which were in fact very small. Here, we also identified "Drums," and "Atlantic Croaker", they were very shiny in appearance and looked like a fat minnow. The coolest catch of the first haul was a "Stripped Burrfish," which was yellow and brown striped with little spines poking out of its back. It was very exciting to see this and see it puff up. The second catch was definitely the most eventful however, especially when it began with catching a stingray. On the second haul we identified another pufferfish called a "Northern Puffer" it looked like a regular small fish when it wasn't puffed! We also identified a "Northern Clingfish" which had amazing suction to the tables! We also caught lots of "Brief Squids" which I learned change colors in your hand because of chemicals, it was very neat to see it change before my eyes. The most unique organisms we identified was a little reddish orange octopus that I classified as common, because I am not completely sure. However, everyone was amazed to see it swim and ink! The third catch my phone sadly died, however, there were mostly repetitive species that were found in the other catches such as "Atlantic Blue Crabs", "Atlantic Horseshoe Crabs", "White Shrimp", and also " Windowpane Flounder" which were completely colored on one side and then see through on the other with two eyes on one side! Some other neat organism was a "Tonguefish" that truly looked like a big tongue, and a "Brittle Star" that was a small starfish covered in sand. This trip was an excellent ending to the great semester we had identifying and learning as much as we could about the nature around us!

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por lindsaywalls lindsaywalls | 24 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Pluteus perroseus

Pluteus perroseus

This medium sized species is easily identified by the dark brown velvety cap surface and very pink gills with a fine dark edge. The stipe is covered in brown fibrils and has a distinctive appearance.

This species has not been observed in the Mangemangeroa Reserve but has been observed in the Hunua Ranges.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por codfish codfish | 1 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Field Observation 6: Reproductive Ecology

DATE: April 21, 2019
TIME: 2:20 PM
LOCATION: Casavant Natural Area, Winooski, VT
WEATHER: Warm. 21°C. Light winds SSW at 12 mph. Mostly sunny (UV: 6/10).
HABITAT: Deciduous forest with a river running through it. Dense canopy. Very flooded on this date.
Spring is a productive time of year for birds. The weather is warming up again, food is becoming more abundant, and for many species, it is time to find a mate. For bird species that are returning from their spring migration, the males typically arrive before the females. The male Red-winged Blackbird needs to do a lot of preparation before the females show up. The quality of the territory that he is able to defend from other males is the main incentive for a female to choose him as her mate. I heard a male blackbird perform its signature “conk-la-ree!” song, coming from a patch of trees on the edge of a pond. He uses this song to invite females to come over and evaluate the territory he has been defending for their return. He may also have been using this song for territorial reasons. Many of the songs and calls that can be heard this time of year are based in mate attraction. For the Song Sparrow and the Black-capped Chickadee, both the males and females vocalize songs in a call and response fashion, giving each other clues about their locations. The male is also giving the female clues about his fitness through his song. If she likes what she hears, she may fly over and choose him as a mate. A similar arrangement is practiced by woodpeckers, with both the male and female utilizing their species-specific drumming pattern to attract each other.
Once a bird has found its mate, a decision must be made concerning their nest. The female American Robin will most likely decide to construct her nest in the lower half of a tree, typically hidden just below a layer of leaves. Any robins looking to nest in the Casavant Natural Area may have to wait a bit longer until the deciduous forest sprouts its leaves once again. A robin requires dead grass, twigs, and mud to make a sturdy nest. The Hairy Woodpecker will excavate and build its nest in a snag, and if this cavity becomes abandoned by the woodpecker, a chickadee might take it over for its own nest. There are lots of snags that can be found throughout the natural area, especially as one travels deeper into the forest and further away from the riverbank. The woodpecker doesn’t require many materials to build its nest once it has successfully created a cavity. The cavity is typically bare except for a bed of woodchips at the bottom. The Red-winged Blackbird will ideally build its nest in marsh vegetation or shrubs. An ideal spot in the natural area would be along the banks of the Winooski river, or on the edges of neighboring ponds. Females will typically choose to construct the nest near the ground in dense, grass-like vegetation. She will construct the nest by winding stringy plant material around upright stems, and weaving in wet vegetation. She will also add wet leaves, wood, and mud inside of the nest, and line the nest with a final layer of dry grasses. The robin, woodpecker, and blackbird have all fine-tuned their methods for nesting. Each method has its pros and cons: for example, the woodpecker nest will be difficult for aerial predators to see from above, but the eggs still face predation risks by tree-climbing predators such as the grey squirrel. Different species of birds have varying preferences and have to actively choose between ecological trade-offs when it comes to deciding where to place their nests.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por jessharkness2 jessharkness2 | 9 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Field Observation 6: Reproductive Ecology and Evolution

Time: 11:00-2:00
Date: 4/22/19
Location: Shelburne Farms, Shelburne VT
Weather: Sunny, 60 degrees F
Habitat: Open meadow, forest edges, sparse trees, shrubs, wetland, lake

One of the most obvious mating related behavior I saw today was while I was watching Red-winged Blackbirds interact. There were many Red-winged Blackbirds in the trees adjacent to wetland habitat. They were all males singing and making calls, setting up their territories. While watching them, I noticed birds flying towards other birds that were perched, forcing the perched birds to fly away. This happened repeatedly. This male-male competition is for the best possible mating territory.

At the water, I saw a male and female Bufflehead together. I suspect they had recently paired up or found each other again in preparation for the breeding season. In this case, they had already selected each other as mates, so I did not witness the process of mate selection.

Both the Brown-headed Cowbird and the Eastern Bluebird that I saw were perched high up in trees singing. This behavior is either for setting up territories or singing to females once a territory is already established. I also saw this behavior today in Song Sparrows.

I also saw Ospreys which had built their nest on the man-made platform close to the Shelburne Farms visitor center. In this case, the pair had already paired up as well.

The nesting requirements for the species I saw today vary wildly. The Brown-headed Cowbird is a brood parasite, laying its eggs in the nest of another bird species. Buffleheads nest in tree cavities made by woodpeckers. I noticed many cavities in trees in the woods nearby which would be ideal for the Buffleheads I observed. Red-winged Blackbirds build nests in trees, shrubs, or wetland vegetation low down in or near a wetland habitat. There was a lot of possible nesting habitat in cattails and shrubs in the wetland near the lake.

Mini-activity: During the course of my walk, I heard birds nonstop in all directions. I stopped to listen for an extended period of time in an area by woods and field. I heard at least 5 different species. It was difficult distinguishing all the sings and calls but I recognized American Crow, American Robin, Song Sparrow, and Red-winged Blackbird.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por samuelmcclellan samuelmcclellan | 6 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Field Journal #5- Reproductive Ecology and Evolution

Date: April 22, 2019
Time: 7:30 am - 9:00 am
Location: Intervale Trails
Habitat: Forested area that hugs a lot of edges (due to the farmland and fields in the area). The central area of the forest was completely flooded, with a couple of inches of stagnant water sitting on the forest floor.

During my bird walk this morning on the Intervale trails, I observed many different species of birds- most of which were exhibiting some sort of behavior that seemed to be related to mate/nest selection or territorial defense.
The first bird I came across was an American Robin, who was scurrying across the trail carrying a large earthworm in his bill. I assume this bird that I saw was a male who was spending his time foraging food and bringing it back to his female breeding mate. This is especially likely if the female was elsewhere building the nest, as they are the primary nest-builders. After I saw the first robin, I heard/spotted another one in a nearby tree. This individual was making a distinctive robin “yuck” call, and I presumed that she was the female of the pair communicating with the foraging male. Throughout my walk, I saw other American Robins and heard their song repeated quite frequently from different locations. These singing robins were most likely repeatedly belting out their song as a means of trying to attract a breeding mate or defending the territory which it had established for its nest.
The next bird I recorded was the Tufted Titmouse, who I heard very clearly but was unable to spot (as there was a significant amount of flooding which made the area difficult to traverse at points). I also may not have been able to spot the individual due to the nature of its nesting habits and locations. Tufted Titmice prefer to nest in tree holes and cavities, as well as artificial structures (i.e. fence posts, metal pipes). Because these nests are often very hidden and enclosed, it makes sense that I would only hear the titmouse’s call. The call that I heard very well could have been coming from a male who was defending breeding territory.
While continuing on the trail, I heard several winter wren songs coming from the same general location, and was able to spot one through my binoculars. They were singing their complex song very loudly and somewhat incessantly as I walked. This behavior seemed to be very indicative of breeding mate selection and/or territory defense. Because I heard more than one winter wren singing simultaneously, there could have been a male to male conflict in regards to territorial dispute.
I saw several black-capped chickadees throughout my walk, and they seemed to exist in pairs or small groups every time I noticed them. I was not able to locate any possible nests or cavities that were occupied by the chickadees, however I assume the areas in which I saw pairs of chickadees were somewhat close to their possible nest-site for the breeding season. Most of the chickadees I saw were only a little bit above my head level, which makes sense considering they often do not nest higher than a few meters. The nests, which are built by females, usually exist fairly deep into an excavated cavity and include a covering of natural materials, therefore they are somewhat inconspicuous when walking on a trail.
There were several three northern cardinals that I found during my walk, 2 of which were males and one which was female. One male and one female seemed to be foraging in thicket very close to the ground. The other male was found perched on a branch a couple of meters off the ground. While the male and female who were foraging did not make any noise, the perching male was singing the “cheerio cheeri-ie” song quite loudly. It seemed as though this individual was trying to find a mate or defending its territory (perhaps from the two foraging cardinals below). At one point, the foraging male cardinal took off and flew many trees down, with the female following him a few seconds later. Due to this behavior, I figured that the two individuals were, in fact, a breeding pair, and they were working on foraging nest materials or trying to find suitable nest sites.
I saw two brown-headed cowbirds together, hopping about in a mess of branches and vegetation on the forest floor. One was a male and one was a female, which can be seen in the picture I uploaded to my iNaturalist observation. The two seemed to be foraging for seeds or insects in the soil, and they never seemed to stray too far apart. The pair, which I assumed to be a breeding pair, was not making any noise (neither songs nor calls). I assume that they were so quiet because they did not have any vital territory to defend nor did they need to communicate in such close proximity. Because the Brown-headed Cowbirds lay eggs in other birds’ nests, they did not have a territory or nest site in which they had to spend energy defending.
I heard one Mourning Dove throughout my walk, who let out a strong and frequent song in the distance. I never spotted the source of the song, but it sounded as though there was only one individual. I know that Mourning Doves may nest at higher elevations than some of the other song/perching birds I observed, therefore it makes sense that I heard the call coming from a farther distance.
I saw an abundance of Song Sparrows during my walk (about 5), and heard more coming from deeper into the forest. All of the Song Sparrows which I observed seemed to be sort of jumpy and very mobile. It was hard for me to get a good look at one before it took off for another nearby branch. This behavior, to me, seemed like the individuals were looking for something- whether it be a suitable nesting site or food/resources for the breeding pair and offspring. There was one stationary male (the one that I have pictures of in my observation), who was fairly stationary and loud. He remained perched on a branch and allowed me to walk fairly close to him, as he loudly sang the entire time. Due to this behavior, I assumed that the male was defending potential territory or trying to find a suitable mate.
I saw two White-throated Sparrows during my outing- one which I assumed to be male and one female. While I was not sure about the physical distinction between male and female White-throated Sparrows at the time, their close proximity and peacefulness in each other’s company made me think that the two were not competitors. The two of them kept traveling between the ground and low twigs/branches of a nearby thicket. Because White-throated Sparrows build their nests in low elevation areas with dense vegetation, I presume that this pair was a breeding couple who was working on constructing a nest for the upcoming season.
Many birds have very specific and unique nesting characteristics which are complementary to their life history traits (i.e. diet, habitat, foraging/behavior, etc.) Out of the bird species that I observed this morning, three with some of the most distinct nesting patterns (in my opinion) were the Brown-headed Cowbird, the Winter Wren, and the American Robin. While I observed all of these bird species in the same general vicinity, their requirements and preferences for nesting are quite different. Brown-headed Cowbirds are very unlike the other species that I observed today, because they are “brood parasites”- meaning they do not build their own nest, but rather lay their eggs in the nests of other species. Female cowbirds will search for females of other bird species that are in the process of laying eggs. When she finds a host that is deemed suitable, the female cowbird will sneak into the host nest and replace one of the existing eggs with one (or more) of her own. Some popular nests in which the Brown-headed Cowbirds lay their eggs include the Red-wing Blackbirds, Ovenbirds, Yellow Warblers, Song Sparrows, etc. The types of nests which these host species occupy are not very similar, and range from nests on the forest floor to treetops. Usually, the Brown-headed Cowbird will select host nests that contain eggs with smaller volume than their own. This can result in cowbirds quickly lowering the success and wellbeing of their host individuals upon hatching. American Robins, on the other hand, build their own nests for the breeding season. Much like the female Brown-headed Cowbirds choose the host nest, female robins decide where their nests will be built. They usually choose nest sites on horizontal branches that are hidden beneath a layer of dense vegetation. Females are also in charge of building the nest, which they do from the inside out by pressing dead grass and twigs together to form a cup-shaped structure. Winter Wrens are another species of bird with nesting behaviors that I find quite interesting. Winter wrns do make their nests, however the shape and placement of these nests are different from the American Robin/ The Winter Wrens nest are more dome-shaped/globular, and offer protection on almost all sides. To obtain a maximum amount of coverage, wrens will often build nests in dead trees and cavities. Unlike the Brown-headed Cowbird and the American Robin whose nest site is scouted out and built by females, the building of Winter Wren nests is done by the males. The males will build several nests in a season before showing the nest options to a female who will choose which one to use. Nests usually exist anywhere between ground level and 20 feet above the ground.

Mini Activity:
When I sat quietly in one spot in the forests surrounding the Intervale Center, I heard many different species singing/calling from all different directions. The chaos and volume of all the different competing sounds was sort of mind-blowing, and it took me awhile to discern any individual species. Once I let the symphony of bird songs sort of settle in my brain, I was able to focus in on one species at a time and try to identify them. I heard several winter wrens that seemed to be about 20 yards in front of me. I could tell that they were different individuals due to overlapping songs as well as slight differences in vocalization patterns. Almost immediately in my ear, I heard the very recognizable song of the Song Sparrow, who in actuality ended up being a lot farther than I thought based on audio alone. Across the marshy area to my right, I heard a woodpecker drumming away, however I was unable to ID it based on the drum beat alone. From very far behind me, I heard an individual making a lengthy call that comprised of crazy combinations of whistles, trills, and clicks. While I never was able to find the bird and confirm, the chaotic nature of its song seemed like me to be coming from a European Starling. There were a couple of other songs in the distance that I simply could not ID at the time, due to them blending in with the songs of other birds or me simply not recognizing them. I wrote down some notes that came from the same general location of the woodpecker drumming- which I illustrated as short of short staccato notes that are evenly spaced. Upon looking up the sound for the Downy Woodpecker, I realized that those short squeaky calls could have been coming from the same individual that I heard drumming.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por haleyferrer haleyferrer | 9 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Charleston Harbor April 18th

On April 18th we went on a boat in the Charleston harbor to observe the various coastal organisms in these waters. The weather was warm with a high of 78 and beautiful clear skies. It wasn't too humid, we had a nice breeze on the water. We lowered a net four times, pulling up various organisms to observe. In every net there were tons of white shrimp and Spot Croakers, which the laughing Gulls and Brown Pelicans swarmed to try to snatch. We also pulled up some Colorful Sea Whip which was a bright yellow. There were a couple Weakfish in the net which I thought were pretty funny with their one snaggle tooth. There were tons of these little fish which looked kind of like dragons with fins that spread out like wings, I attempted to identify them as Searobins but I have not gotten another identification on that post, so I'm not 100% thats what I observed. We also pulled up quite a few Atlantic Blue Crab which had such bright blue colors, I didn't know they were that vibrant. Our nets were filled with Hogchoker every time which I thought were very interesting, the first one I saw I thought it was missing it's other half. We pulled up a couple True Jellies and a couple different crabs, called Lady Crab which had a mesmerizing pattern and an Armed Petrolisthes which was very tiny. We got lucky and pulled up both a female and male Atlantic Horseshoe Crab, they were most likely mating when we caught them. It was neat to see them side by side and observe the sexual dimorphism in the species. We were also very lucky to catch an octopus! This was one of my favorite observations, I had never seen one in person and did not even think they would be here in the Charleston harbor. My other favorite observations was the Northern Puffer and the Striped Burrfish, it was cool to be able to hold them and I thought they had funny faces. We also pulled up one small Atlantic Stingray, I thought it was neat how it looks like it's smiling and seeing the stinger was cool as well. We caught several short-bodied squids as well which were mesmerizing to watch swim. Overall, it was so interesting to see the diversity of organisms that live in the Charleston Harbor and I hope I get the opportunity to experience this again!

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por landsb landsb | 24 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Sullivans Island Trip 2

On April 11th, 2019, I adventured to Sullivans Island (Northeast of COFC campus) for the second time with my classmates. There was a low of 59 degrees Fahrenheit around 6 a.m. and a high of 71 degrees around 3 p.m. The time we identified these organisms was between noon and 3 p.m. with temperatures ranging between 68 and 71 degrees Fahrenheit. There was a 62% cloud coverage at 1:30 p.m., and a 5.2% chance of rain around 1 p.m. The daily wind speed average was 10.1 mph. When we first got to Sullivans Island, the plan was to try and discover a certain type of lizard. However, instead we were able to identify a few common species that we have seen before such as "Sheep's Sorrel", "Pepper Vine", "Bushy Bluestem", "Dotted Knotweed", and "Beach Evening Primrose". I remember discovering a vine like organism that turned out to be "Saw Greenbriar" which had little thorns and almost looked like a grape vine. The "Twisted Leaf Yucca" also reappeared as it is distinctive and always sits on the dunes. I remember seeing a few pretty orange and yellow flowers that turned out to be "Indian Blankets" they were very bright in appearance and surrounded by many other organisms. We also identified "Red Mulberry" which has little red Berrys that look like crab apples. Lastly, I remember looking across the dune area in between the houses and the ocean and seeing a vast amount of "Wax Myrtles" that were all cut evenly so residence could still have an ocean view. Even though we did not find any of the lizards we were looking for, we found its feces which was composed of black ants! However, someone spotted a little sand frog catching some sun on this beautiful day!

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por lindsaywalls lindsaywalls | 13 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

March 14th Dixie Plantation

On March 15th we visited the Dixie Plantation again, it was partly cloudy that day but still particularly warm at a high of 68 and little to no breeze. We observed various species here from fungi to fish to plants. From the water we observed a couple small Eastern Mosquitofish, a couple crayfish, a Green Frog in the tadpole phase, a Redfin Pickerel and a couple Ray-finned fishes. We also observed a Marbled Salamander which was really neat and kind of cute, along with a fully developed Green Tree Frog. There were tons of the American Sweetgum seeds along with a couple of the trees. There were also a lot of Red Maple trees and their seeds that I used to play with as a kid. Of course we observed several pine trees and Dwarf Palmetto through the woodsy areas. We also spotted a Baldcypress tree which has visually pleasing leaves. Along the water we observed a Black Willow tree in bloom which is beautiful and quite rare to see, it was my favorite part. Also near the water were various types of fungi growing, one was Hooded Sunburst Lichen which had rusty orange color, White-Pored Chicken of the woods which kind of did resemble chicken, and another was Gilled Polypore which kind of reminded me of mushrooms and i'd like to know why they have the name Gilled. An interesting one we observed has still not be identified, it sort of looks like an egg that cracked on the log. Among these organisms we observed various plants like . yellow Creeping Woodsorrel, Heath Speedwell, Water Pennyworts, Downy Milkpea, and a Southern Dewberry. The most intriguing thing about a lot of these plants is their names, I'd love to know how they got them.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por landsb landsb | 34 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Equisetum Taxonomy

E. hyemale L. ssp./var. hyemale = E. hyemale L.
E. hyemale L. ssp./var. affine (Engelm.) A.A.Eat. = E. praealtum Raf.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por radekwalkowiak radekwalkowiak | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Date: 3/2/2019 Time: 1:45 PM Location: Arcata Marsh

This is mine and Ashley's third time to the marsh, it is roughly 52 degrees and it is 1:40 PM as we arrive at the parking lot. We took some pictures on the way to our tree of some different plants for Inaturalist, one of them being a cattail. Once we got to the tree I went into the creek and took the pictures I needed of the branches, canopy, etc… After that we recorded the data. Our Willow is starting to slowly grow some more leaves as the weeks go on. It is slightly cloudy and windy. After we were done with collecting the data of the willow tree we drove over to Jacoby Creek to look for Avocets.
As we arrived we could see that is was low tide as we got to the corner we could see two separate flocks of these birds, Avocets. We sat there for 15 minutes looking at them to see if they were roosting, eating, or if they had any color on them. Majority of them were eating by swiping their beaks back and forth. There was a total of 19 Avocets that we counted while sitting there, some of them even had a cinnamon neck coloring.
After sitting there for 15 minutes we walked back to the car taking pictures of some of the plants along the pathway. I found a snake but wasn’t quick enough to take a picture. I also saw a bunch of different ducks sitting the center of one of the ponds. After gathering the last few pictures we went back to the car and drove back to campus.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por shelbycabral shelbycabral | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Date: 2/16/2019 Time: 4:33 PM Location: Arcata Marsh

This is the third collection or third week we have been collecting data. Our team decided to split up every other week in pairs, so two of us go each week to collect data at the marsh. It was mine and Ashley's turn to go out and collect the data, we arrived around 4:20 PM and walked to our tree. It was about 50 degrees and only partly cloudy. At this time it was low tide at the marsh, it was slightly windy and a few showers occurred while we were there. I took a few pictures of some plants that I saw on the walk to our tree. I took a picture of some sunburst Lichens, alage, and a few other plants. Once we got to our tree I walked into the creek to take pictures of it and to record the necessary data. Once we completed this we got back into the car and drove over to Jacoby Creek Marsh to look for Avocets.
We arrived at Jacoby Creek Marsh and walked to the corner where we were told the avocets would be. After standing around for about 15 minutes we did not see any of the Avocets so we decided to head back to the car. Once again putting all zeros for the Avocet data collection. On the way back I got a few more pictures for Inaturalist one of which were some barnacles that were attached to a side of a rock. After getting the last of the pictures we needed we got into the car and drove back to campus.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por shelbycabral shelbycabral | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Date: 2/2/2019 Time: 11:00AM Location: Arcata Marsh

This is the first day we have been out in the field for our class, Sci 100. It is roughly 11:00 AM as we arrive at the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary, it is slightly windy, but around 58 degrees. It is mostly cloudy and the tide is relatively high. We start off our day with looking at Willow trees and learning what to look for: breaking leaf buds, pollen release, fruit, leaf foliage etc… Kelly showed us what to look for and how to identify certain things, such as the difference between male or female.
After this we went on to looking for plants/animals for our INaturalist accounts. On of the first things I found was a mushroom, I am not sure what kind it is but it is mostly white with a yellowish tint in the center on the top side of the cap. It was growing along side a log that was next to the gravel trail. On the same log there was a patch of moss growing so I also took a picture of that. It was about the size of an orange not very big, but was a decent size. Walking down the path a little ways I found some yellow Lichens growing on the side of an old post. I also found another mushroom that was similar to the one I had found earlier.
We finished up looking for plants to take pictures of and walked over to Jacoby Creek Marsh to look for avocets. Since it was high tide we were unable to see any of the birds as they are most commonly at the marsh at low tide. Due to the high tide the data we recorded was all zeros due to the bird not being there. We did see a few different types of ducks and other shoreline birds sitting in the water. After staying around the Jacoby Creek Marsh for a while we got back on the buses to get our groups willow tree.
After about a five minute drive we reached our trees, we were the second group to get a tree. It was a very small tree that seemed to be underdeveloped, it was in the middle of a creek thus boots are needed to take pictures and get a close look of the leaf buds and flowering buds. We took pictures of the canopy, two different branches, and a picture of the full tree. We marked the two branches with pink tags and also tagged where we took the canopy picture. We then used the Willow sheet to record the necessary data. After everyone got there trees and recorded the data we got back on to the bus and went back to the school, and ended our trip to the Arcata Marsh.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por shelbycabral shelbycabral | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Saturday at Clay Pit Pond State Park

Explore Clay Pit Pond State Park with the state park rangers and record what you find for iNaturalist. Runs from 10-1 on Saturday, April 27 at Clay Pit Ponds Interpretive Center, 83 Nielsen Ave., Staten Island. Clay Pit Ponds is the only New York State Park on Staten Island.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por srall srall | 1 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Square Meadow, Charlotte

I went out to listen for birds from dusk until just after proper dark last night at Square Meadow in Charlotte. It was cloudy, humid, about 50 degrees, and raining lightly. Because of the recent rains, the meadow was very wet, and there was standing water in a few spots. The vegetation is mainly grass (not sure what kind), with some slightly sturdier plants interspersed. The meadow is bounded by dense shrubs on one side, pines on one side, spruces on another, and aspens mixed with shrubs on another.
As I started walking across the field headed northeast, I heard an American Woodcock peenting (even though it sounds more like a beep to me), and adjusted course a little east to see if I could find it. As I headed towards the eastern edge of the meadow, I heard the peculiar whistling sound that Woodcock make with their wings as they're displaying, and realized that there were a few Woodcock. As I reached the eastern edge of the meadow, about three quarters of the way up, a third Woodcock flew out of the shrubs and right over my head. Evidently, I had interrupted a party. So, I decided to impose myself on them just a little more and waited for the first Woodcock I had heard to stop peenting and start displaying again. Once it took off, I walked (very quietly) towards the spot from which I thought it had taken off, and in about 30 seconds, it returned, this time about 15 feet from me.
I spent about 20 minutes listening to, and trying to watch, the Woodcock peenting, dancing, and doing their aerial displays. While I was creeping around their display grounds trying to get just a little bit closer, I heard some owls: two Eastern Screech-Owls, a Barred Owl, and a Great Horned Owl. It seemed as if the Eastern Screech-Owls might have been calling to each other, and although I only heard one of each, I suspect that the Great Horned and Barred Owls were looking for a mate, at the minimum, if not letting their mates know where they are.
Because I was only listening for birds, and mostly unable to see them, all of the behaviors that I observed (calling and displaying) were related to mate selection, although I didn't observe anything that pertained, in particular, to nest selection or territory selection.
Mini Activity: I heard 4 species from my spot near the edge of Square Meadow, the American Woodcock, Eastern Screech-Owl, Barred Owl, and Great Horned Owl. I believe, although it can be hard to tell when going by sound alone, that I heard five Woodcock, two Screech-Owls, one Barred Owl, and one Great Horned Owl.

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por trmcgrade trmcgrade | 9 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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City Nature Challenge Starts this Friday!

Hello All!

Thank you for helping represent Team WNC in the City Nature Challenge! We have several events lined up for those who would like to participate, though participating on your own is also greatly encouraged. For more details on events please follow this link: https://www.ncarboretum.org/event/city-nature-challenge-wnc/?fbclid=IwAR29MkhQqOrMU6aAZVugyFJT-ZG_lETtIUh4X8XvpMh1Ye0miBfnNF8pmkU

We're hoping to have a strong showing for this, the first year our region is participating. There will be prizes awarded for the top adult, youth and youth group that contributes the most identified species. As a reminder, observations must be made between Friday, April 25 and Monday, April 29. They must all be uploaded by May 5, but we'd love to see what you are observing in real time! We can also use some help in identifying the organisms uploaded, which can also occur up to May 5.

Thank you in advance for your efforts! Please encourage others to join in!


Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por jmarchal jmarchal | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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🌏 Happy Earth Day! 🌎

We are less than a week away from the City Nature Challenge and Earth Day is a great excuse (Like you needed one) to add an observation to iNaturalist. Its easy to forget that iNat is indeed a citizen Science project and your observations provide actual data that can contribute to preventing the spread of invasive species here in Hawaii and help resource managers understand the distribution of rare and endangered species to better manage their recovery.
Also, now it a great time to help spread the word about Maui's participation in the City Nature Challenge. Encourage your friends to participate in the Maui Event : https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/city-nature-challenge-2019-maui
or check out the full list of participating cities to see if there is a CNC event near you: http://citynaturechallenge.org/city-list-2019/

🌏Happy Earth Day! 🌎


Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por jstarmer jstarmer | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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New Event - Night Lighting During the Kihei Fourth Friday

We will be doing a night-lighting session next to the pond behind Azeka Mauka during the Kihei Fourth Friday event on Friday, April 26. Come swing by and check out the light station, go enjoy the night market and come by again to see what else has showed up at the light. We will be setting up prior to sunset, but will get started in earnest around 7 PM and hang out for a couple of hours. Hope to see you there. https://www.meetup.com/Maui-Nui-Natural-History/events/260323156/

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por jstarmer jstarmer | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario
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Your Last Challenge!

Good Morning once again!

Thanks to everyone who's sent us their mailing address this last week for their complementary sticker! Remember, this offer is open to anyone who's posted at least one observation. As we move on to our final challenge, don't worry if you've completed a challenge and haven't received your prize yet. We'll yet you know when they're in the mail! Now let's have some shout outs, starting with the 6 most observations:

Terri (taffypull7) remains in first place with 565 observations! Using our in-house team of cyborgs, we calculate that that's 6.92147% of this BioBlitz' total observations! Wow!
Congratulations go to:
zdufran 554 observations
lmm3629 446 observations
jlzachary1 371 observations
tammym4748 357 observations
bothrops07 313 observations.

As far as the most species identified, Zach (zdufran) has edged out the competition to gain first place, with 319 species observed! Following close behind are
lmm3629 294 species observed
taffypull7 261 species observed
arrowheadspiketail 202 species observed
gregsilva 189 species observed
jlzachary1 180 species observed

Now on to your last challenge and overall challenge. Thank you so much for participating in last week's challenge-we've received observations from plenty of state parks. Thunderbird, Eufaula, and Osage Hills were big hits!

If this isn't your first time with inaturalist, you'll know that OK BioBlitz isn't the only naturalist challenge in town. You may also know that we get… competitive. Last year, Tulsa's City Nature Challenge 2018 included observations made in the metro area to their final amount of observations! We here at BioBlitz! checked, and we're certain that Tulsa isn't a part of the metro. While we appreciate their enthusiasm, taking credit for our hard work? How dare they! Our goal for this week is to make 1,208 observations-the amount that City Nature Challenge 2018: Tulsa made last year. Considering that we've already made over 8,000 observations, we know you can do it. This challenge will end on midnight, April 30th (next Tuesday).
Also, everyone who has posted or will post 50 research grade observations during this whole month will be awarded a free BioBlitz! Registration and event t-shirt. At which point we'll blow the warhorns and show the world how mighty we are! BioBlitz! BioBlitz! BIOBLITZ!!!

Robert Gibson
Overly Enthusiastic Spring OK BioBlitz! 2019 Staff

Ingresado el 22 de abril de 2019 por gibsonr041 gibsonr041 | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario