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Archive for January, 2011

Santa Barbara Island

I finally got myself back on another island! Phew! I was going a bit stir crazy on the mainland.

I’m working for the California Institute of Environmental Studies and Channel Islands National Park with a lovely grad student, Sarah Thomsen, who is studying Barn Owl habitat use and predation of Xantus’s Murrelets. Seabirds and raptors in one job! Pretty awesome in my opinion. We’ll also be doing some plant restoration so we’ll be plenty busy both day and night.

We took the helicopter here last Wednesday and have been enjoying a full week of the island all to ourselves. More people will be showing up in 2 days, then a week later we’ll be heading off for a break. Around here people are expected to leave the island after 1 week… Sarah and both think that’s a bit odd and will be trying to stay for 2-3 weeks at a time.

So far we’ve been scoping out owl roosts and Sarah has been familiarizing me with the island and field station maintenance. We set out 5 traps tonight and are waiting by the staticy transceiver hoping to hear that a trap has been set off. Also occasionally going out for midnight stroll and visual check. I’ll post pics if we catch one! Until then here are some pics of the new home:

If you look closely, you can see our house in the back.

The other side of the island... and Sutil Island (which I think should be named Reebok)

Hiking up to Signal Peak

Sunset

Sarah setting a trap

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