Friday, February 25, 2005

The Seabird Osteology Pages

[Scopoli’s Shearwater Calonectris diomedea; Mediterranean Sea]

The Seabird Osteology Pages (formerly The Seabirds Skull Gallery) is a website created by Edward Soldaat, a Dutch bird enthusiast. The site contains a great deal of detail on the skulls, measurements, and useful links to articles about each species discussed.

[Brown Pelican; Pelecanus occidentalis ssp. californicus , San Francisco, Cal., USA]

[Wandering Albatross; Diomedea exulans (chionoptera)

Collected by a German whaler, 1907]

Posted by Hello

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Tracking Walk in the Manchester-Essex Conservation Area: Sunday, February 27

[Racoon print from the March 2004 Citizen Science trip]

Gwen just sent me this announcement:
Sunday, February 27, 1:00 pm

This walk is part of the Greenbelt Monthly Walk

Bring a sense of adventure as we search out
the tracks and sign of the many mammals that
make their home in and around the Cedar Swamp
area of the Manchester-Essex Conservation Area.
Families and children welcome.

From Route 128, take Exit 15 toward Essex.
Meet at the pullout area, approximately 1/2 mile
down on the left.

We will be out for about 2 hours, and may be
standing still at we look at and talk about various
things, so dress warmly.

If you wish, bring a pencil and notepad, water,
measuring tape or ruler, binoculars, camera, and
field guides.
...sadly, I may be in Connecticut that day. I hope to be at the next walk, though.
Posted by Hello

Monday, February 14, 2005

Sea Pickles

These are close-up photos of 'sea pickles', taken during the August 2004 Citizen Science trip. Sea pickles (I don't yet know their proper botanical name) grow in marshy areas, in the space between the high- and low-tide marks. They are, I am told, edible.

In these pictures, without a sense of scale, the plants have an nice alien look to them. Posted by Hello

[Tern?] Tracks on the Mud Flats

[bird tracks on the mud flats behind Coast Guard beach, August 2004...are they terns, or some other type of bird?]

I took these pictures during the August 2004 Citizen Science trip, while walking barefoot through the mud at low tide. The mud was the consistancy of a very heavy pudding, the color of cement at the surface, but black underneath. My own feet sank a foot or more into the muck at each step. I noticed the bird tracks above describing weird patterns across the surface of the flats; I was paying attention to the meandering designs the tracks were making, and so I didn't think to take a close-up photo of the tracks in order to identify the species of bird.

Here is a shot I took of my own tracks, behind me:

Posted by Hello

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Introduction to the Boston Tracking Club

[raccoon prints found on the back side of Coast Guard beach, August 2004. Are they front feet, hind feet, or both?]

Hello All,

For those of you who have not yet heard of the Boston Tracking Club: we are an informal group that meets weekly at the Boston Museum of Science in order to talk about animal tracking, natural history, and wilderness awareness. The club has met in one form or another for over a decade. If you'd like to ask questions or attend one of our meetings, send us an email.

I've set up this blog as a sort of bulletin board for the Tracking Club. We can post articles, share pictures of tracks and animals, and link to books or websites that we want others to see. Since some of us can't attend every Tuesday night meeting, this blog can serve as a way to stay in touch and share information. If the tracking meeting is cancelled on a particular week, we can post that here as well.

In order for you to create posts on this blog, I'll have to add you as a 'member' of the blog. If you'd like to contribute posts, just send an email to me at trackingclub[at], and I'll add your email address to the list. You will then receive an email from asking you to start a (free) Blogger account. This should be a relatively painless procedure.

Of course, you can always just post to the comment threads or the message board without having to start an account with Blogger.

As the raccoon prints above indicate, we can also post pictures onto this blog. I have been using a free software program for Windows called "Hello", which seems to work well. Blogger has an article here on what sort of software you can use for posting pictures:

Windows users can download the Hello BloggerBot from Picasa to post pictures to their blogs...Mac users (and anyone else, for that matter!) can use BuzzNet or Flickr to photoblog; we posted another Help article that explains how Flickr works.

The text box on the upper right-hand side of the blog, entitled "Message Board [notes, comments, questions]" is called a 'tag board'. This is a small bulletin board on which any visitor to the blog can post. You can use the tag board to post a message outside the comment thread of any particular posting. Note that the tag board messages are ephemeral, and will not be saved in the long-term.

Some tag boards will create pop-up ads in some browsers. The tag board installed on this blog should not create pop-ups. If you see pop-up ads appearing when you load this page, please send me an email to let me know. Also, don't hesitate to email me if you have questions or problems, or if you think something about the blog should be changed.

Thank you!


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