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[Sparrows] An embarrassment of riches and adding tasks.

November 20, 2012

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


So, you remember that I recently spent three weeks soliciting brown marker pens from everyone I know, for vital Science-Related Tasks? It worked. In fact, it worked a little better than expected.

Science Pens!

New pens, in all their internationally-posted glory, have been turning up at pseudorandom intervals for the last week and a bit. Some are clearly from the Principal Investagator. Some are from anonymous sources on the Internet. If future museum curators learn to recognise my contributions by the fact they are labelled exclusively using brown sharpies, this will be why. It is my sincere hope that they will stop arriving now.

The sparrow-hunting protocol has been expanded. The principal investigator also wants to run some chemical analysis on the eggshells of a variety of species (for reasons unknown, presumably science-related), so I am to collect samples from any Blackbird, Song Thrush, Zebra Finch, and Chinese Quail nests I can find, and send them off for analysis. This shouldn’t be a problem – Blackbird and Song Thrush nests are easier to find than sparrow nests, so I am already monitoring several. Zebra Finch and Chinese Quail are kept by commercial breeders and, in captivity, they lay absolute bucketloads of eggs.


From → Scientist

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