Project Updates

From The Blog...

Talkin’ Trash…

A day in the field for our staff can be filled with many different experiences.  Much of our time is spent focusing intently on reading the behavior, tracks, and sign of beach-nesting birds as part of our monitoring and protection program.  Some days are filled with a sense of pride and purpose as we watch […]

Winter Storms Bring Tiny Washashores…

Last sunday, after a winter storm with high winds and heavy rain, a friend mentioned she had found a small injured bird in the middle of a paved road near the beach.  I asked her to describe it, and she said it fit in her hand and was black and white, with a small beak. […]

Otters and the SuperStorm

We recently checked a wildlife camera on a river otter latrine we monitor at Edgartown Great Pond.  This camera was out during the month of October.  In addition to capturing an otter deep into meditation in ‘corpse pose,’ and multiple ‘otterpaloozas,’ it also caught some of the Super storm surge in this coastal Great Pond. […]

Midnight on the pond

People are often amazed to learn that river otters inhabit the ponds, streams, and nearshore waters of Martha’s Vineyard.  The most common questions we are asked are: “How many are there?” and “Why don’t I ever see them?” These photos, taken by a wildlife camera in a secluded section of Edgartown Great Pond, sum it […]

Saltmarsh Bird Surveys

  We recently finished the last round of Saltmarsh bird surveys at 14 randomly selected marshes on Martha’s Vineyard and Chappaquiddick.  We conducted 3 surveys during the breeding season at each site in 2011 and 2012 to contribute data to an Atlantic Coast effort (http://www.tidalmarshbirds.org/)   With sea levels rising, saltmarsh habitat is vulnerable in […]

Chick Season

We have been working long hours since early April, but all of the hard work is well worth it when the first chicks begin to hatch.  American Oystercatchers began hatching chicks in Mid-May, and our first Piping plover chicks hatched this week.  Least terns are courting and incubating eggs. We are currently monitoring 28 pairs […]

Our Flock

This past saturday, we had our first volunteer work day.  Liz and I met 13 amazing volunteers at our storage area to tackle organizing and preparing beach-nesting bird signs and fencing for the weeks ahead. This happy group worked for 2.5 hours in the sunshine and put our stash of signs into ship-shape!     […]

An early spring?

This morning, a local birder reported the first American Oystercatcher in Lagoon Pond.  This is our earliest record of an oystercatcher returning to a breeding territory on the island.  Will the Piping plovers also arrive early after our mild winter?  Keep you eyes on the beaches for their return. Liz and I are busy ordering […]