Blog entry by Little Wood Satyrs (Megisto cymela)
Mark Conboy teach us how to identify bird by imitating their sound.
On our fourth day here at QUBS, we were required to wake up early for a special field trip. We headed to the main lodge for 6:00 AM to meet Mark Conboy, who is the Operation and Research Assistant of the station. Apart from learning about avian (i.e. bird) diversity in the region, Mark also taught us how to recognize the calls and songs of some common birds.
Before beginning our trip, Mark showed us some stuffed specimens of bird species from the area. We passed around a Barred Owl (Strix varia) and felt the softness and lightness of its feathers. Mark explained that predatory owls were known for flying silently so they can sneak upon their prey. Then, we learned about American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). Compared to the females of this species, which ate other birds, the males were smaller and ate grasshoppers. This size difference (or sexual dimorphism) helped prevent their diets from overlapping. Among other things, we also held specimens of Belted Kingfishers (Megaceryle alcyon) and American Woodcocks (Scolopax minor).
After handling some specimens, we listened to the calls and songs of birds in the area. First, we heard some Red-eyed Vireos (Vireo olivaceus), which seemed like it was saying “pick it up, put it away” in its high-pitched call. We also spotted some Cedar Waxwings (Bombycilla cedrorum) – a small, crested, and colourful bird. They feed on small berries rich in carotenoids for their feather colouration. Finally, Mark described common bird banding techniques.
In the afternoon, we listened to various presentations on the topic of biodiversity. We learned about its value from Jesse, how to maintain biodiversity in Canada from D.J., and species-at-risk legislation in Canada from Tiara. Kimberly also highlighted the importance of using species as bioindicators (e.g. keystone and umbrella species) for environmental assessments. Furthermore, Jiaqi explored the impacts of economic development in Shanghai to coastal environments while Peiyan demonstrated how to assess and conserve our environment. Overall, the presentations were excellent and taught us the importance of highly diverse ecosystems as providers of various goods and services.
In the evening, we listened to a guest lecturer, Volker Thomson, who is a strong advocate of creating a healthy, sustainable, and equitable world. He talked about creating a new economy based on sustainable technologies of harvesting solar, geothermal, and wind energy. All in all, it was a very informative and interesting day.
出发之前，Mark向我们展示了一些本地常见鸟类的标本。其中有一只横斑林鴞（Strix varia），我们传着这个标本，感受它羽毛的轻盈和柔软。Mark解释说这只野行的鴞的特点是可以悄无声息地飞行，所以可以偷袭猎物。接下来我们看了美洲红隼（Falco sparverius），和它那以其它鸟类为食的雌性相比，靠蚱蜢为生的雄性美洲红隼体型较小。这种体型上的差异（雌雄异型）帮助他们防止了捕食范围的重叠。在其它的标本中，我们还看到了束带翠鸟（Megaceryle alcyon）和鹬（Scolopax minor）的标本。
看完标本后，我们出发到林中去聆听鸟类的鸣唱。我们先听到了红眼绿鹃（Vireo olivaceus），它高亢的叫声听起来就好像“pick it up, put it away”。我们还发现了黄连雀（Bombycilla cedrorum），这是一种体型小，带冠的，颜色鲜艳的鸟儿。它们吃一些小的含有类胡萝卜素的食物，让它们的羽毛有彩色。最后，Mark向我们介绍了关于鸟类环志的一些技术。
晚上的时候，QUBS为我们邀请到了Volker Thomson先生为大家授课，Volker Thomson是一名晚年致力于发展清洁能源技术及推广能源节约观念的环保人士。他向我们讲述了他自己关于创造一个依靠太阳能，地热能和风能创造一个健康，可持续发展的经济社会的设想。它的想法和一些行动非常具有启发性。
A stuffed specimen of Sialia sialis.
Mark Conboy showing the Canada-China field class a stuffed specimen of a barred owl.
Mark Conboy 向我们展示一只大林鸮及其他鸟类标本。