Monday, July 21, 2008

Summer Camp Day 1

The first day of Junior Field Biologist camp is in the books! It was a successful day and, apart from my sunburned neck, we all made it through unscathed.

We started the day with introductions at the Audubon Society, then we loaded into the van and drove out to Sauvie Island.

We met with two great ODFW biologists who were trapping ducks for banding and influenza tests.

The first trap held a pair of young mallards. The campers enjoyed up-close views of the ducks and were more than a little shocked to witness the cloacal swabbing techniques used to test for bird flu.

The next trap produced a whopping six ducks. The biologists processed them all and we procceeded to the next trap. This one was empty and the children were getting hungry, so we left for lunch.

After lunch, we observed some osprey and swallow nests while I showed everyone how to fill out a nest card used in nest survival studies. For our last exercise, the campers had a great time plucking western chorus frogs from the roadside vegetation. We conducted a small study to see if frog color types differ in length.

Everyone grabbed their trusty rulers and measured the lengths of the frogs they captured.

We tabulated the data and made a graph. We did not get a chance to run the statistics, but it appears that there were no significant differences in size among color types.

When we finished, we wrapped up the day at Audubon. We awarded beads for good behavior and sent everyone off. The campers seemed to enjoy every activity I planned, which left me extremely happy and satisfied. Tomorrow it is off to Haystack Rock at Cannon Beach where we will tidepool and count nesting seabirds. Stay tuned for details!

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