Weekend Birding: BioBlitz and NatureFest
What is a BioBlitz?
A BioBlitz is a 24-hour event in which teams of scientists, naturalists and volunteers work together to find and identify all the living species within a designated area to create an ecological snapshot of the plants and animals that live there.
I participated in the BioBlitz as a volunteer citizen scientist on the bird counting team. There were also people surveying plants, butterflies, reptiles, insects, amphibians, snakes, and mammals. At the same time, NatureFest was open to the public with hands-on exhibits, field-study demonstrations, lectures and other educational programs.
Eastern Kingbird in the Meadow
The ‘bird people’ divided into teams, and my group met at our designated area at 6:30am. It was a beautiful morning; clear and cool but warming up fast. The mosquitoes were already ferocious; one of the downsides of a very rainy spring. But the plants and grasses were brilliant green and the marshes were filled with water.
Black-crowned Night Heron
One of the highlights of the day was finding a Black-crowned Night Heron fishing at the edge of the marsh. He would patiently wait, hiding in the leaves of a fallen branch. When a fish swam past, he would pounce. Here he is with a catch. He ate that fish in one gulp!
Fritillary Butterfly on Milkweed
I wasn’t counting butterflies, but I couldn’t resist stopping to get a photo of this Fritillary Butterfly. A robin was busy chasing the butterfly, so I was also able to count a bird!
I saw a lot of this dreaded vine but was careful not to touch any of it.
The officials results of the BioBlitz won’t be in for a few months, but when they are, we will find out if any new species were discovered. My team didn’t find anything unusual or discover any unexpected birds, but we had a good time searching for them.
Saturday Snapshot is hosted by Melinda of West Metro Mommy. Visit her blog to see more great photos.
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