Thursday, March 28, 2013

Day 6: March 28, 2013

Thanks for all of your great questions about mammals during the family meeting yesterday.  It was fun being able to see all of you when I’m so far away.   

Photo Credit: Mr. Peters 2013

 Today’s Temperature in Nova Scotia: Cloudy, then clearing.  High=42 F, Low=32.  Snow at the research site is beginning to melt. 

We all returned to the research site at Cook’s Lake to check our traps.  Dr. Christina said we should have more voles on the second day.   We were excited to see more of our fury friends.

However, that was not the case. For the 100 trap set again, we only caught 2 voles, and those 2 were caught the day before!  We can tell they have already been caught because we cut off a little of their “guard” hair. 
Question: Do we have guard hair?  Why is it important for mammals? 

Already given a clip

Recording data!!

Click here to find out more:  (Ms. Leshinsky will approve of this website!)

While we were checking our traps, I took some video of the stream that flows through the research site.  Enjoy!

After lunch we set out some Passive Infrared Camera.  These are the kind of cameras that are activated whenever they detect motion.  They are good for checking the activity of larger animals at the site.

Dr. Christina explaining the use of a camera trap.

This afternoon, we also created nest for Mason Bees.  These bees are very important in forest ecosystems.  We had to cut sections of logs and then drill holes in them in order to allow the bees to make their nests. 

Why did we have to drill the holes in the logs?
Why are Mason Bees different than Honey Bees? 
Where did Honey Bees come from?
A tree log bee box

Mason Bee

Later in the day we drove to another location for the opportunity to view beavers.  Beaver are amazing engineers.  The build their own homes called a lodge.  They are crepuscular (ask you friends in Latin what that means) animals.  It was a very beautiful setting and we had to set very quietly to watch them. But it was chilly!

Beavers always swim underwater to the middle of the pond, and then come up to breath.  They do this in order to stay away from predators.  I saw a beaver swim out, pop his head above the water, and them swim away.  It was awesome to see this animal in its natural habitat.
Diagram of a beaver lodge.

Signs of beaver taking down trees for their lodges.

Standing near the beaver lodge.

Signs of beaver in the pond.

More signs of beaver in the pond.  You can actually see their teeth marks!

Beavers eat the bark, then use trees for their lodges.

The team and I waiting patiently for the beaver to come out of its lodge.  They do this as dusk.  It was chilly, but beautiful. Krista took this picture of me.  

Tomorrow, we go back to the field site to trap and release more voles or mice.  Then we get to take a fun trip to the town of Liverpool, Nova Scotia.

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