Our migratory bird collection permits are in, but the vultures are migrating! We'll soon start the race to collect as many feathers as we can before the weather turns. Unfortunately, a lot of the roosts we identified previously have been abandoned for the winter. I'm hopeful that we'll find a few feathers yet. Even though the feather collection has been sparse, I've had the chance to see some really fun birds like the Northern Harrier Hawk to the right. It's been a great excuse to practice my wildlife photography skills. I think I'm seeing some improvement in my on-the-wing shots, which I've really struggled with in the past. I've uploaded some new pictures to my photography page, which are better quality than those in the blog section. Feel free to check them out.
This week, we had the opportunity to attend the Raptor Research Conference in Cape May, NJ. The conference is put on by the Raptor Research Foundation, the New Jersey Audubon Society’s Cape May Bird Observatory, and the Cape May Raptor Banding Project. We had amazing opportunities to meet many big names in the field of raptor research, discuss the latest techniques in raptor research, participate in a day of raptor banding, and hear true greats such as Ian Newton and Yossi Lesham speak. Overall, I felt excited to get our project up and running so that we can contribute next year! Who knows maybe there is a stable isotope raptor talk in my future!
Alexis L. Brewer
Doctoral student at The City University of New York studying Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior.