Archivos de diario de septiembre 2020

02 de septiembre de 2020

Monthly Themes - August and September

This group began as an offshoot from the International Biodiversity Bioblitz in early August 2020. That was a highlight of the month for us in terms of teamwork and going far and wide in search of observations to showcase our California biodiversity.

Keeping the momentum alive, we created an August theme to make observations of tracks, signs, scat, etc. For September, we are adding observations of plant/pollinator interactions to the California Pollination Project.

Stay tuned for the October theme as it's yet to be determined :)

Ingresado el 02 de septiembre de 2020 por scubabruin scubabruin | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

04 de septiembre de 2020

The Anti-Pollinators

Since I’m spending more time around a patch of flowering plants, to find observations for https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/california-pollination-project, I’m finding the anti-pollinators too, insects large and small that prey on other insects. Check this out:

European Mantis: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/58500450

And also:

European Mantis: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/58386031

Ambush Bug Phymata pacifica, https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/58335578

Ingresado el 04 de septiembre de 2020 por andreacala andreacala | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario

25 de septiembre de 2020

October themes

Two themes have come up for October so far: sound observations, and harvest time.

I’ve always “followed my ears” to find birds, and with bird alarm calls, their predators (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/27187839). Since the Covid-19 lockdown the world has become a quieter place and sounds have become even more noticeable. Once you’ve figured out the technical issues, I promise sound observations will become a valuable and very enjoyable tool to observe wildlife.

How to upload sound to iNat: https://www.inaturalist.org/pages/help#sounds
: "You can add sounds by dragging wav, mp3, or m4a format sound files into the uploader on iNaturalist, in the same way you upload photos."
You can use your cell phone or the movie function on your camera to record sound.

Here's how I do it:

  1. I turn the dial on my Canon camera to the record movie function. 

  2. I place the camera as close to the sound source as possible, on a rock, on the ground, on my backpack, to avoid picking up sound created by handling the camera.
  3. I hit the record button to start and stop the recording.
At home, I download the movie file (.MOV) along with the picture files. 
I'm on Macintosh, so the rest is for Mac users.
  1. I open the .MOV file in Quicktime (look for it in your applications), and via ->file, ->export as, export it as audio only, which creates an .m4a file.

  2. I open the .m4a file in Quicktime and edit it via ->edit, ->trim. Just drag the orange bar to enclose the portion you want to use, and hit trim. 

  3. Save it. 

  4. I upload the m4a sound file to iNat exactly like a photo. Please note, meta data is lost, so you have to go back to your .MOV file for date and time and put that as well as location infos into iNat manually. Hit the calendar for the date, then click on the little clock icon below the date window for the time. 


Kim is on Windows, and she provided these steps:
"I use my android phone or Nikon camera to record a movie.
I convert it to .wav using https://online-audio-converter.com/
Click on upload file.
Select .wav
Hit convert
Save on my computer
Upload to iNat."

The Harvest theme:
This is the time of the year when many plants are fruiting and although the colorful flowers are gone, the seeds they produce are just as beautiful. Trees and shrubs carry berries, nuts, acorns, etc. which provide food for animals. Here are a few examples:
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/60415426
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/59824606
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/59824130
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/59574298
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/59383144
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/60415947
https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/59312889

Plus, animals eating seeds/berries/acorns etc. make for great obs too. There's a related project for birds, https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/california-birds-and-the-plants-they-love, run by a VERY dedicated birder, https://www.inaturalist.org/users/1650762.  I'd be nice to add to that.

Ingresado el 25 de septiembre de 2020 por andreacala andreacala | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario

30 de septiembre de 2020

Choreutis Sexfaciella - metalmark moth

Earlier this month, I found an interesting moth in my yard that I hadn't seen before. Of course, I reached out to my Wild Women friends and asked for ID help. These ladies, who are always a wealth of information, tagged another iNat user for more help and now I'm fully engrossed in observing, catching, and trying to video this little moth which I am now seeing quite regularly.

The first observation took several days to sort out and after finally learning what it was, I saw that someone had an interest in collecting one since it is a non-native moth from across the world. The next day, out in my yard, one of these little cuties flew right in front of me and landed on a Camellia plant. I was able to get a container and collect it. Since then I have been able to collect 4 specimens, three of which are in the freezer awaiting transportation to the CDFA in Sacramento. Meanwhile, the fourth one is now in a larger container with some various foliage and flowers to see if it might exhibit any egg-laying behaviors (if it is a female).

I have also ventured into my neighbors yard (with permission) to examine and photograph the mission fig tree there looking for potential damage done by these moths in their caterpillar state. Those photos were sent to Sacramento and then shared with the world authority on this moth in Finland. Eagerly awaiting word from there.

Oh, and one last point: at first I was intending to share these specimens with an iNat user who I was not acquainted with, but realized he was not in California nor was he affiliated with any regulatory/government agency. I decided I didn't feel comfortable sending it to a collector, no matter their intention. I then reached out to our friends at NHMLA and was put in touch with a very nice contact at CDFA in Sacramento and that is who I am regularly in contact with now.

Citizen/community science at its finest, don't you think?!

Needless to say, what a fun task to do during this lockdown time :)

Ingresado el 30 de septiembre de 2020 por scubabruin scubabruin | 1 comentario | Deja un comentario