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[Sparrows] Foraging

November 12, 2012

[This is the fourth in a series of posts on sparrow nest-monitoring over the 2012-2013 Austral spring and summer]

The pens still haven’t arrived; I still can’t properly start the experiment. Nevertheless, I spent seven hours nest searching today.

I arrived the University campus around 11:00, made a visit to their information centre to get maps of the campus and warn site security that I was on-site and liable to creep people out, and headed out to the grounds. My general plan, lacking a ladder and my markers, was simply to get a handle on where sparrows were nesting on site, and where they would be most accessible. I’ve found thirteen sparrow nests, of which at least nine are active – but I’ll need a ladder to get to all of them. I’ve seen some other probable sparrow nests, in ventilation ducts on the side of an old brick building – but from the ground I can’t identify them, and I suspect I would require abseiling gear to access them.

It looks like I’ll have to jump through the hoops to gain permission to use ladders – otherwise I simply won’t be able to get the nests.

In addition to the sparrow nests, I’ve found Song Thrush and European Blackbird nests – and those are easier to get to. I think I’ll monitor them on the side, and donate the data to the OSNZ’s nest-monitoring scheme. It is about time to set up a proper folder, with a separate page for each nest, I think.

One of the quirks of looking for nest sites is that you end up walking completely around the perimeter of each building you come to. This is in stark contrast to the way most people walk a campus – in as straight a line as possible from one location to the next – and puts you into hidden little corners that only a small number of people would normally access. So it was that I found a place where people had spray cans and spare time…


For all I could tell, the claims of Narnia were ill-founded.

Oh, that naughty sith!

The sith. He has swag, it appears. I wonder if this makes him a swagman?


Colourful boxes

Colourful boxes for people to draw things in.



From → Scientist

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