Tuesday, September 6, 2011
Today on campus there were hundreds of Chimney Swifts flying around the chemistry department. It was like my dream come true...birds and chemistry. Then, later on this evening, a Cooper's Hawk flew over the drillfield and was mobbed by some crows, which made for an exciting walk in the rain. Last but not least, I heard a House Wren in a nearby tree, so of course I stalked over to it in the middle of a crowded sidewalk, probably gaining some odd stares from my peers. I don't see House Wrens on campus very much (or ever really) though so I couldn't resist. Good thing I have a boyfriend who accepts my random stares into the distance at the first note of a bird song. I also saw a rain-drenched, bedraggled cardinal looking forlorn that I just couldn't leave out of this post. All of this, along with Bird Night (we watched Raptor Force videos in an empty classroom), and along with The Big Year trailer coming out made for a wonderfully busy Tuesday. I ALMOST FORGOT...this morning I got to learn how to take a blood sample from a canary! I'm doing undergraduate research in the ornithology lab, and I got to learn how to hold them properly so as not to stress them out, how to sterilize their bracheal vein and pierce it, then use a capillary tube to get a small amount of blood for later use. We'll be doing this on captured house finches once the experiment starts, but I got to practice on canaries (who were very docile and patient with me, bless their hearts) before we get the finches. A VERY BIRDY DAY TO YOU ALL.