January 8, 2018
with Don Kroodsma
Don is keeping his ears tuned and recorders humming (silently, of course) through his travels this summer in Alaska and elsewhere. This program will be a joy to our ears, and brains!
For Don’s full and entertaining bio, please click http://donaldkroodsma.com/?page_id=9
February 12, 2018
“Birding from the Edge”: A rare look glimpse into the life of a biologist living off the grid, twenty-two miles from shore, and amongst the birds on Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge, Maine.
with Keenan Yakola
Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge is located 22 miles off of Rockland Maine. The island is home to a large colony of nesting seabirds including Atlantic Puffins, Arctic and Common terns, Razorbills, Black Guillemots, Leach’s Storm-Petrels as well as Double-crested and Great cormorants. The nesting seabird colony is monitored each summer by a team of biologists and interns working for the National Audubon Society’s, “Project Puffin”. The past three summers Keenan has had the privilege to work on the island as the research supervisor overseeing the interns as they study these charismatic seabirds. In addition, the island’s unique geographic location attracts migrant songbirds and shorebirds during the spring and fall. During the past three summers he has accumulated stories, pictures, and has shared his knowledge and passion of seabird conservation. Since Seal Island NWR has restricted access and the public cannot visit the island this is a rare opportunity to get a brief glimpse of the beauty that is seamlessly never ending on Maine’s Coastal Islands.
Keenan Yakola is a native Cape Codder who first got interested in birding and conservation with at Wellfleet Bay Audubon Sanctuary during an internship at Nauset High School. Since then he has received is Bachelors Degree from the University of Massachusetts in Wildlife Conservation, studied songbirds in Kenya and Tanzania, bushwhacked through the Peruvian Amazon, banded songbirds and shorebirds from Cape Cod to Florida and over the past four years has lived out of his tent for four months each summer on islands in the Gulf of Maine. He is now back at UMass Amherst as a Master’s Fellow with the DOI Northeast Climate Center studying seabirds’ vulnerability to climate change in the Gulf of Maine.
March 12, 2018
with Dave Wiley
David Wiley, research director for the Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary, will discuss satellite tracking and other research on Great Shearwaters.
Wiley and other researchers used tiny transmitters, along with analysis of feathers and exhaled gasses, to track the seabirds’ movements and to learn more about the relationship between great shearwaters and sand lance, the main food source for the birds as well as the humpback whales that frequent the sanctuary.
Shearwaters, named for their habit of gracefully trailing a wind tip through the waves, spend their lives at sea, coming to land only when they nest in giant colonies in the tiny Tristan Da Cunha Islands almost exactly midway between southernmost Argentina and South Africa. When winter comes to the southern hemisphere, they migrate north more than 6,000 miles to the rich waters of Stellwagen Bank five miles off Gloucester. Some of the long-lived birds that we see only during our summer have made the round trip between hemispheres for more than 60 years.
The researchers found great shearwaters are capable of remarkably precise long-distance navigation, including the ability to repeatedly retrace migratory paths less than 30 miles wide and more than 1,800 miles long during their seasonal trek. And their current work now includes trying to better understand the shearwaters’ navigation, including how they compensate for wind drift while beating their way across the seas.
Dr. Wiley’s research has appeared in many scientific journals such as Animal Behavior, Behaviour, Biological Conservation and Conservation Biology. He is the recipient of numerous awards and honors including the Department of Commerce’s Gold Medal for scientific leadership, an Ian Axford (Fulbright) Fellowship in Public Policy, a NextGov Bold Award for scientific innovation and the Society for Marine Mammalogy’s award for Excellence in Scientific Communication.
April 9, 2018
with Shawn Carey and Devin Griffiths
May 14, 2018
with Sam Fried.
June 11, 2018
with Lois and Alan Richardson