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[Sparrows] Working the data mine

November 30, 2012

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

Sparrow monitoring is continuing, albeit with some fits and starts. The last two days have been patchy – despite having someone with me to keep the ladder stable, I was only able to collect data on low-lying nests today because of excessive wind. Yesterday was much the same.

Nevertheless, data collection is proceeding at a fair pace. I have thirteen nests in my dataset now, and the competition for nesting sites seems intense enough that I won’t run out of breeding attempts to monitor any time soon. One nest in particular appears to be the site of a competition between rival sparrow pairs who each throw out the other’s eggs – that is the best explanation I can come up with for the fact that each time I check it, the egg that was in there at the previous check has been thrown out, and there is a new egg laid.

My helper has had to go home today, so there will be no-one to prevent the ladder from blowing over tomorrow. I can but hope the wind dies down.

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From → Scientist

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