I started my job at Hawks Aloft with a bang, looking for Cooper’s Hawks nests in the Rio Grande bosque. Basically, I was handed a GPS unit with coordinates and told to “find them!” I’m sure you’ve heard about geocaching? This is similar, but the only reward is a glaring hawk or owl!
So my next assignments were to conduct bird surveys on the Rio Grande Bosque, a riparian area that floods some years. Yep, this is one of those years! Try counting birds when mosquitoes are intent on invading every orifice (I can’t spray Deet up my nose!) and tiny frogs are leaping out from every step I take (sounds like a Sting song).
But the rewards are great, seeing birds go about their every day lives (like this Yellow Breasted Chat), and scaring the snot out of meandering coyotes. I’ve seen some bodacious sunrises, which almost makes up for the stars that are out when I have to leave for work at 4 in the morning! And I always love seeing Roadrunners, especially when they pose for me as this one did. He even rattled at me, sounding like a woodpecker on speed dial.
Hopefully I’ll continue to get some decent photos, and I’ll continue to share my fieldwork adventures. If you have any feedback, send it my way!
I’m already getting way too much sun, and the sound of rain on the roof that I fell asleep to so many times in Alaska is a fond memory. But I have the sunshine to keep me company! And birds such as this Summer Tanager….