CALIFORNIA LEAST TERN STUDIES
California Least Tern Colony Research and Monitoring at Venice Beach
We have conducted the annual monitoring of least terns at the Venice Beach Colony in Marina del Rey, California since 2004. We have collaborated with Los Angeles Audubon on project outreach, training of community interns and a community volunteer program. We have worked with Loyola Marymount University's Center for Urban Resiliency on studying ways to manage the American crows that consume the least tern's eggs each year.
Since 2012, we have been studying the use of light-level geolocators to determine migratory routes and wintering areas of the California Least Tern.
Age Structure Studies
Beginning in 2015 t we undertook an ambitious study to capture as many as 400 known-age, banded least terns to determine the age structure of the current population of the California least tern. We are also applying field-readable alpha-numeric bands to the known-age least terns captures so that they can continue to be studied by biologists and volunteers usting zoom cameras and spotting scopes to "recapture" the birds in the future.
We collaborate with Dr. Peter Auger and LMU's Center for Urban Resiliency in studying chemical and electrical aversion techniques on American crows. This has involved capturing and color-banding crows at the Venice Colony and then studying their reactions to different types of adversive substances.
Collaboration with La Fundación para la Sustentabilidad del Gaviotín Chico in northern Chile. We are assisting the Chilean biologists and rangers with studies of the annual movements of the Peruvian terns as well as collaborative studies using aversion to reduce the impacts of predators on the nest productivity of the terns.
WESTERN SNOWY PLOVER STUDIES
Status and Distribution of Western Snowy Plovers in Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
Working in collaboration with Los Angeles Audubon (http://losangelesaudubon.org) and Sea and Sage Audubon Chapters we are studying the annual distribution and populations of Snowy Plovers on Los Angeles and Orange County beaches. We advise area beach managers about threats to the plovers via annual reports (see publications). We are also currently studying the impacts of recreational activities on the plover as well as studying the total area used by roosting plovers during the non-breeding season.
Surveys of Ridgeway's rail (formerly light-footed clapper rail) at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
Working with biologists at MCBCP we have assisted in conducting protocol-level surveys for the Ridgeway's Rail at marshes with suitable habitat on MCBCP in 2013 and 2015.
RIPARIAN BIRD STUDIES (LEAST BELL'S VIREO, WILLOW FLYCATCHER, YELLOW-BILLED CUCKOO)