Field Frame Friday: Come on kiddo, momma needs a snack!

Most seal species have enough stored energy to be able to fast during nursing periods, staying out of the water for up to 6 weeks without food. Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) moms, on the other hand, will take their pups on foraging trips while the pups are still nursing- sometimes even hours after birth! [Photo…

Field Frame Friday: Squirrels vs. snakes

California ground squirrels (Otospermophilus beecheyi) have an immunity to rattlesnake venom which they slowly develop as they become adults. Thus, adult California ground squirrels will fight off snakes to protect their pups from harm. However, when highly stressed, that immunity is lowered making them more susceptible to rattlesnake bites. [Photo and caption by Chelsea Ortiz] Holding, M….

Field Frame Friday: A backpack-ed birdie.

A white-crowned sparrow (Zonotrichia leucophrys) with his spiffy new GPS backpack! These tiny backpacks weigh only 1 gram and take GPS points as the bird goes about its day. We can learn about a bird’s territory at a precise level of detail that we’ve never had before! After 6 days wearing the backpack, we catch…

Field Frame Friday: If you hear this, I am not aMOOsed!

Dairy calves may be adorable and photogenic, but they are also very noisy animals! Research has shown that their vocalizations can indicate their affective state and emotions! [Photo and caption by Isabelle McDonald-Gilmartin] Green, A. C., Johnston, I. N., & Clark, C. E. F. (2018). Invited review: The evolution of cattle bioacoustics and application for…

Field Frame Friday: But first, let me take a selfie!

A young male baboon takes a selfie with a high-resolution thermal camera. Before this teenager got excited about his photo shoot in the middle of the night, the thermal camera was videoing him and his group-mates (background right) as they moved around their sleeping cliff. Baboons face a significant risk of being eaten by leopards…

Field Frame Friday: No hiking gear needed here!

In Iceland, sheep (Ovis aries) are allowed to freely roam the countryside to graze throughout the summer, with everyone from farmers to tourists banding together to round the sheep up and bring them back to their respective owners in the fall. These girls, aka the smattering of tiny white dots in the center of this…

Field Frame Friday: Bird Bling!

When we catch adult white-crowned sparrows they get some extra jewelry. In addition to a metal band with a unique ID number, they get a unique combination of color bands so that we can identify individuals from a distance using binoculars. [Photo and caption by Carly Hawkins] Carly studies how bird songs influence mating strategies…

Field Frame Friday: Field (Research) Advisory!

Throw back! Animal behavior research takes us from the labs to field. While the field can be a particularly fun part of research for scientists like PhD candidate Amelia Munson it brings its own unique challenges. Here, Amelia battles wind, temperature and unstable ground to perform in-the-field dissections to better understand how pesticide run off…

Field Frame Friday: Adorable Intruders

Even though my study species is White-crowned sparrows (Zonotrichia leucophrys), we sometimes catch other hungry birds by accident. This is a dark-eyed junco (Junco hyemalis) that wandered into our research traps for a quick birdseed snack. They’re fun to see and we let them go on their way as soon as they are satisfied with…