30 de marzo de 2014

(mini - bioblitz) John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum PA

Observations from 2 hours walking along the main trail at John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge at Tinicum

Anotado en 30 de marzo de 2014 a las 07:05 PM por marisa marisa | 33 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

18 de marzo de 2014

Elsie Roemer Bird Sanctuary

Came by here and took pictures for a couple of minutes and then went on a proper trip a week or so later.

Anotado en 18 de marzo de 2014 a las 06:16 AM por marisa marisa | 63 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Natural History Story

This past weekend, I was lucky enough to see Northern Elephant Seals. Año Nuevo State Park offers guided public walks to see these beasts, which come to this beach to breed. They are large and quite heavy, with males weighing in around 5,000 lbs. Looking at the seal's skin, you can see many scars and areas of very rough skin on the neck and snout. This is due to the fights between bulls over territory on the beach for breeding. The males arrive before the females and establish a territory on the beach. They use loud snorts and aggressive behavior that can result in confrontation. When the males fight, they charge each other head on and open their mouths so they can hit each other with their teeth. Although blood is shed, these fights don't typically end in deaths. The lesser males will flee and the males that are best at fighting get the best areas and the right to breed. Northern Elephant Seals are polygynous, so earning this territory allows them to breed with a harem of females.

While I was at the park, the tour guide noted an interesting story about how this species was almost extinct. These large seals were hunted for their blubber which was used for oil and were thought to be extinct by 1870's. A population was found in Baja California in the early 1880's but the seals were killed within a few years. Another, much smaller, population was found off the coast of Baja, and like the first group, was promptly killed. In 1892 a eight individuals were found on Guadalupe Island, and killed to be brought back to the Smithsonian. Seals continued to show up on this island in following years, only to be killed by poachers and museum collectors. The species was reduced to very low numbers, but still managed to survive long enough until the governments of Mexico and the United States started to protect them. The species has grown tremendously since then, but has very low genetic diversity since they all descended from the same 50-100 individuals.

Anotado en 18 de marzo de 2014 a las 06:04 AM por marisa marisa | 2 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Briones Regional Park

species seen in one corner of the park

Anotado en 18 de marzo de 2014 a las 04:59 AM por marisa marisa | 18 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

Año Nuevo State Park

Saw lots of species on this trip! I went to this park on the California coast to see the northern elephant seals. Most of the large males and females were gone, but a few were left behind and could be seen amongst large groups of young seals.

Anotado en 18 de marzo de 2014 a las 04:58 AM por marisa marisa | 45 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

17 de marzo de 2014

Characters and traits

For these observations I was careful to take multiple photos. For some I was able to get different angles of the species which is really helpful for identification. For example, the two photos of the Silvery Blue butterfly show what both the top and bottom sides of the wings look like. These clear photos helped in identifying the butterfly and getting the right ID. Initially the consensus was an Echo Azure butterfly which looks very similar except the spots on the wings aren't as uniform as the species in the observation. A very helpful user came by and pointed this out and provided the correct ID.
Multiple photos are helpful for identifying trees as well. In the past I have posted an observation with only a single zoomed out photo of a tree and it wasn't identified because for some trees (like pines) in order to get species level identification you need to look at the leaves, bark, cones etc. On my trips this weekend I was especially careful to take various pictures when I was making an observation for a tree. The observation for a California buckeye exemplifies this, as it has a photo taken from afar as well as close ups of the leaves and bark.

Anotado en 17 de marzo de 2014 a las 09:01 PM por marisa marisa | 10 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

04 de febrero de 2014

Geo-171-2014 Homework #2

I went for a walk along the shoreline near the bay farm ferry in Alameda. First, I went down to the rocks where the water was breaking. After turning over a few rocks, I found a cone shaped thing stuck to a rock. I later learned it was a limpet, representing the mollusk taxa. Afterwards, I walked towards a field of dirt. I've seen rabbits in this area, however it had only ever been at night. Today i was lucky enough to see a rabbit during the day. This rabbit is representative of the iconic taxa of mammals. After seeing the rabbits i walked along a path next to the lagoon where a few different birds were in the water. I saw a Lesser Scaup representing the Birds taxa.

Anotado en 04 de febrero de 2014 a las 10:54 AM por marisa marisa | 3 observaciones | 0 comentarios | Deja un comentario

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