16 July 2016

Audubon article featuring our Central African Work

On our recent trip to Equatorial Guinea, we were fortunate enough to be accompanied by Alisa Opar and Tristan Spinski who were working for Audubon Magazine. They documented our trip to the Gran Caldera de Luba in southern Bioko, and their article is now available on Audubon's website! Alisa's writing is fantastic, and really captures the atmosphere of the trip, while Tristan's photos are out of this world. Please check it out at the link below:

http://www.audubon.org/magazine/summer-2016/land-lost-birds-searching-life-forests-bioko

12 May 2016

Master of Arts (ABA #600)

The past few weeks have been a roller coaster. I've been stressed, sick, exhausted, elated, depressed, jovial, and somehow managed to get some sleep from time to time. The past three years have been leading to this pivotal time in my life, and its hard to believe I'm here.

On 2 May 2016, I successfully defended my Masters thesis at the University of Kansas, and am now a Master of Arts. I cannot thank my family and friends enough for their support, and I am extremely excited to be where I am now. My wife, who also just got her Masters, is equally excited for our future. We will be moving to Chicago soon, and I will be starting my PhD at the University of Chicago and the Field Museum of Natural History in early July.

This is, however, a birding blog foremostly, so I must also relate my other big news from the past several weeks. This past Monday, despite having a bad cold, I traveled to visit my sister for her graduation from Arizona State University (she also got a Masters degree!). While I dreamed of what birds I could find in the Saguaro-studded desert, I ended up missing half of the graduation festivities as my illness got the best of me. I was, however, able to take enough painkillers and get enough rest to make it to her evening ceremony. Given the parking situation, we had to walk a little ways to get to the facility. Despite my stuffed-up ears, I was able to ear a few of the very close birds such as Great-tailed Grackles and House Sparrows.

Just as we were walking across the parking lot, I heard a call that was new, yet somehow familiar. I immediately realized it was a type of parrot, and remembered that my wife had mentioned seeing one as I was laying sick in bed earlier that day. I quickly scanned the sky with my family, and we were quickly rewarded by not one, but two Rosy-faced Lovebirds flying overhead. I did not fully realize it until later, but this was my 600th ABA species. It was not a life bird, though, as I had seen them twice before: once in Augrabies, South Africa, and once in Marienthal, Namibia.

More soon,

Jacob

26 April 2016

Coming soon...

Lately, I have been bad about updating my blog and getting information out there. Part of this is for one simple reason: information about my trips will be published in other venues very soon, and there is not much I can say.

Our recent trip to Equatorial Guinea was a huge success, and we had two Audubon Magazine personnel with us who are writing a trip about it. As soon as it comes out, I will link it here. In the meantime, feel free to check out my recordings on Xeno-Canto and my photographs on Flickr. We had a lot of great birds, including three first country records for Equatorial Guinea.

I also recently did a bird tour for Tropical Birding; we chased the grouse all around the state. I will be publishing a trip report through Tropical Birding soon, and will link to it here. In the meantime, enjoy videos of dancing grouse as I study for my thesis. I will be defending Monday, and will hopefully make my next blog post as a Master of Arts. More to come...

Jacob


Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) displaying near Coalmont, Colorado.