October in the mountains

The field season is mostly over. My field assistants are back in classes; my mist nets are packed away. (Many thanks to the people who kept us fed and equipped by donating a total of $1450 to this field season!) It’s grant-writing, lab work, and data analysis season now.

Well, almost. I really want to know what the juncos do when summer ends. Our working assumption is that they migrate down the mountains to escape the worst of the winter weather, but we don’t know how far they go, or when, or, really, if they do that at all. So this week I went back to look for them.

SOSA, photographed on his territory earlier this year, was nowhere to be found. Photo by M. LaBarbera.

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We caught juncos

The first field expedition was a success! Almost exclusively thanks to the ingenuity, good mist netting sense, and all around awesomeness of my three field assistants. Over three sites we banded a total of 18 juncos. And there are many, many juncos still to go!

Since I’m on field time – wake up at 5:30, go to bed at 9:00 – I’m ready to crash, so I’ll leave you with some photos for now, with more info to come in the future.

SSOA, the first junco we banded

ELEA, unintentionally recaptured

Extracting ELEA from the net