Mysterious horseshoe crab egg meiofauna

30Jun

meiofauna

There is much to learn about the interaction of the meiofauna with horseshoe crab eggs. It would stand to reason that the notoriously nutritious horseshoe crab egg would be capitalized on by the creatures living under the sand. Meiofauna drawing © Den Store Danske

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A good shovel is hard to find (or how I count horseshoe crab eggs)

21Jun

shovel

Entrenching shovels are great for counting horseshoe crab egg clusters. They should also be in every zombie hunter's toolkit.

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a stochastic event on the Delaware Bay

03Jun

broke wing

Environmental stochasticity is "unpredictable spatiotemporal fluctuation in environmental conditions".  I think I experienced such a thing when I was caught in a hail storm on the Delaware Bay last week.

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Beetle gets a 1630 mile range extension

18Apr

beetle

(A tiger beetle, although this VW was also sighted on a Brazilian beach)

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The opposite of resilient

16Apr

hand farm before

The practice of salt marsh diking turns a normally resilient system into a very brittle system at the edge of collapse.

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The willet’s winter world

12Mar

willets crop

Finding the willet's winter world in Brazil

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Maranhão

11Mar

camp

Despite the huge numbers of shorebirds using the area, Maranhão, Brazil has received only limited conservation and research attention outside of Brazil.

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Finding Coxe Hall

03Feb

cox hall building

This old house is one of the oldest in the county. In this post I put its original location on the map.

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Cape May Atlantis

22Nov

bg_photography

Shoreline erosion along the Delaware Bay: same as it ever was.

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Putting Cape May’s oldest map on the map

21Nov

shoreline

I explore a 1726 map of Town Bank, Cape May County by using GIS to overlay it on modern maps.

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Why are there so many young birds in Cape May?

16Sep

catbird

A remarkable study that was carried out here in New Jersey has helped clear up the question of why there is a higher proportion of juveniles in Cape May.

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10,000 Willet

09Aug

lots of willets

An account of the return of the willet to New Jersey via ornithological literature. It turns out that the willet was never really gone.

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Bearing witness

14Jul

Byron with ghost forest

Much news is made about the changes to come to coastal landscapes from sea level rise, but there is less talk about what is already happening.

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Secretive Marsh Mammals

29Jun

meadow vole

Small mammals of the salt marsh. Fleeting glimpses of mysterious mice, rats, and voles.

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Scenes from the Delaware Bay

23May

crabs

Shorebirds and Horseshoe Crabs on the Delaware Bay.

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Say no to Farmed shrimp

26Apr

let them eat shrimp

When shrimp farms are constructed, the myriad services mangroves provide are reduced to one: making shrimp. The farms displace people living subsistence lifestyles and displace the many birds, fish, crabs, and shellfish that those people depend upon for their living.

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You can learn a lot from a dummy

10Apr

birds fighting cover

Birds fighting! A book from 1955 that used state-of-the-art photography techniques to catch angry birds in action.

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Shorebird hunting at home and abroad

28Mar

shorebird hunting season is here

There is a long tradition of shorebird hunting in North America that ended at the beginning of the 20th century when laws were passed that banned killing and selling migratory birds. But elsewhere, hunting is still happening.

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harder shores, less beach

11Mar

no beach

Shoreline armoring on the Delaware Bay will result in less beach for us all.

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Sea level rise: leading indicators

02Mar

DSCN6638

As scary maps tell us about the changes to come, subtle indicators like odd combinations of plants tell us about the changes that are happening right now.

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Mad men design a museum exhibit

26Feb

IMG_5296

A vintage museum exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History also portrays vintage views on conservation and environmental issues.

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Salty livestock

12Feb

salt marsh lamb copyright Hazel Hambidge

Farming of coastal wetlands - the story of salt marsh lamb in Europe and salt marsh milk in America.

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A Baymen’s road map

27Jan

SneakBoat400

What old maps tell us about the economic and cultural importance of coastal wetlands.

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The snipe hunt: myth vs reality

18Jan

P1179111

The real bird-catching tradition of something often considered a wild goose chase.

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Book Review: Naming Nature

02Jan

naming-nature

This book explores a profound concept: that there is a difference between reality and the human perception of reality and that this difference can explain some vexing things about human nature.

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Jersey Land

20Dec

charles_tomlin2

Jersey pride, circa 1913

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Eyes on the leaf litter!

12Dec

BATS cover

The ecology of red bats in winter - be careful raking those leaves!

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moth baiting economics

27Oct

river birch

Using molasses, beer, and bananas to lure moths into view.

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Noteworthy Trees of Cape May County

17Oct

davies lake tree

Noteworthy Trees of Cape May County is a compendium of local tree lore, circa 1947.

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Mad Men go hawk trapping

09Oct

levis

I recently came across a 1952 LIFE magazine article profiling a group of falcon banders working on Assateague Island, Maryland. Along with the article is a series of striking photos of the banders and their lifestyle on the coast.

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Be the animal

04Oct

big foot

Testing out a habitat connectivity map on myself!

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Bird banding highlights

10Aug

maps5

Photos of some great birds and great friends.  Warblers, woodpeckers, and more.  See the gallery [link url="http://www.smithjam.com/bird-banding/"] here.[/link]

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Fish prints

01Aug

snout-print

I've never thought about underwater animal tracking,  but this picture tells the tale of a sturgeon foraging expedition.  The image is from a paper I recently came across about sturgeon feeding beha [...]

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Swarms of solitary bees

29Jul

colletes

Last week at Cape May Point, several stretches of trail were swarming with ground-nesting solitary bees!  I think they are Ptilothrix bombiformis, known as hibiscus bees.  Fording the swarm was not [...]

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Yellow Submarine

04Jul

loggerhead-head

The good luck with turtle sightings continues! On a 12 mile kayak paddle along a remote stretch of the Delaware Bay shoreline, we saw an adult loggerhead sea turtle surface ahead of us a short dist [...]

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Warbling in the flatlands

02Jul

wormeating-warbler-2

Here's a Worm-eating Warbler, one of the highlights of our last trip to band birds in the swampy woods  near Cape May.  They are a relatively common nesting species in the deep woods of south Jerse [...]

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‘whoosh’ net

25Jun

net

A whoosh net is a bungee-powered net that launches from the ground over a capture zone.  This is a picture of our net in action today.  We managed to  lure some willets into the capture zone, along [...]

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Loggerhead on the Cohansey

22Jun

loggerhead2

The Delaware Estuary is full of life this time of year. Among the summer residents of the Bay are Loggerhead and Kemp's Ridley sea turtles. It's not clear how many are out there, but enough turtle [...]

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When Wildwood was wild

20Jun

wildwood beach

Above is a view of the beach during summertime at Wildwood, NJ. Click the image below for an idea of what Wildwood, NJ was like when it was truly wild. [image_lightbox url="http://www.smithjam.c [...]

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Catch of the day

16Jun

dopey-in-hand

Here's a portrait of the bird from a few posts ago.  We caught him!  And recovered his geolocator.  Here's a look at the general area where he spent the winter in Brazil: [google_map maptype="terra [...]

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She’s got a gun!

16Jun

girl-hunter-cover

  Check out my review of Girl Hunter in this month's issue of The Nature Conservancy's Science Chronicles at www.conservationgateway.org.   [link url="http://www.conservationgatewa [...]

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Fortescue Fries

13Jun

jerseys-best

Vintage oyster recipes from New Jersey's oyster capital,  Port Norris.  While we we are hard at willet work,  fishing boats motor past us every day bringing oysters and crabs in from the bay. Cl [...]

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Skippers of the salt marsh

09Jun

skipper

This is an Aaron's Skipper.  I found it resting on a Spartina stem on a cool day last week.  Its one of three skipper species that are dependent on salt marshes.  The other two are [link url="http: [...]

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Mama Mudhen

09Jun

clapper-rail

I surprised this clapper rail at its nest.  Rails usually slink off quietly when a person approaches their nest, but when they have chicks or when the eggs are very close to hatching, the adult works [...]

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After the flood

07Jun

full-moon-tide

The tides have been very high at night for the last several days.  The day after the full moon we checked the tide levels using this primitive tide gauge:  powdered cork in a clear plastic tube.  I [...]

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Full moon and flood tides

05Jun

full_moon_02

Full moon is tonight.  The moon brings big flood tides to the marsh, inconvenient for all coastal residents - birds and people alike.  Many of our willet nests have failed due to the high tides of r [...]

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The Home Team

03Jun

the-home-team

Good friends and willet wrangling partners,  Byron, Wayne, and Ashley

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Lots of eggs, few customers

03Jun

horseshoe crab eggs

Last night we had some tremendously high tides.  The marsh was completely flooded, with even the highest spots under 1.5 ft of water.  The horseshoe crabs love high tides for spawning and piles of t [...]

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A willet on watch

03Jun

dopey

Here's a shot of a willet wearing a geolocator tracking device.  We are hoping to catch this one soon!

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Heard the evening song of the …

Heard the evening song of the ovenbird in some local woods at sunset. They save it for the end of the day. listen: http://t.co/zxoDj6X7

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Saw the possum in the backyard…

Saw the possum in the backyard heading into explore the compost pile at sundown. On the menu: Porgy bones and strawberry tops.

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Footprints

31May

horseshoecrab-spiral

Here's a horseshoe crab in a common predicament: upside down and hoping for the next high tide to help make things right.  This crab was working hard to get himself turned over, but only succeeded in [...]

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Terrapin Season

28May

laying-eggs

We saw our first terrapins nesting  on the road on Friday.  By Sunday, the beach was covered with turtle tracks and the nearshore waters are filled with turtles poking their heads up.  The crows an [...]

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A Baymen’s Calendar

23Mar

living right

From the Barnegat Bay area

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Shifting Baselines

23Mar

baselines

A great pictorial example of shifting baselines in recreational fishing

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