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The Peregrine Fund Notes From The Field

"Notes from the Field" provides frequent updates and pictures from our biologists and students who are working in the field or at our headquarters, the World Center for Birds of Prey.

Found 15 entries matching your request:

2005 Autumn Capture and Release of Gyrfalcons in East Greenland

Bill Burnham — in Arctic Program - Greenland

East Greenland
East Greenland
The Peregrine Fund biologists Bill Heinrich, Cal Sandfort, and Jim Willmarth departed the United States arriving in East Greenland in early September 2005. The immediate objective of the trip was to capture, measure, collect blood/DNA, and band as many falcons as possible. The secondary and longer term objective was to determine if we can monitor the conservation status and population numbers and fluctuations of Gyrfalcons in northeast Greenland through annual and eventually periodic capture of autumn migrants. Since the Gyrfalcons depend importantly on numbers of ptarmigan and lemming as prey in northeast Greenland, both of which fluctuate over years, the Gyrfalcon population most probably responds likewise. To achieve this objective we must be able to capture sufficient numbers of falcons to detect trends and allow for comparisons over time, not only of total numbers of birds captured but between ratios of immature to adults caught, and even sexes. For example, changes in the juvenile to adult ratio can be an indicator of reproduction (more adults to juveniles suggests lower reproduction). The effect of near and long term weather/climate can also be examined.

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ARCTIC PROGRAM UPDATE – August 2005, Pituffik, Thule, Northwest Greenland

Bill Burnham — in Arctic Program - Greenland

Harp seals on pack ice in Baffin Bay
Harp seals on pack ice in Baffin Bay
Since my arrival on 23 July we have enjoyed unusually calm weather allowing a great deal to be accomplished in a shorter than usual number of days. Just prior to my arrival a storm with high winds (100+ mph) passed through the area. Since then the only climate-related challenge is pack ice that is remaining longer into the high arctic summer than usual. There are still large ice flows in Baffin Bay but most are to the south of us and causing limited navigation problems although we were stopped by impassable ice a few days ago. A positive related to the pack ice is seeing many seals. Yesterday we saw three (ringed seal, harp seal, and bearded seal) of the four seal species that occur here. The presence of the pack ice is credited to heavy snowfall this past winter resulting in thicker ice taking a longer time to break up and melt.

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ARCTIC PROGRAM UPDATE – June 2005, Kangerlussuaq/ Søndre Strømfjord, West Central Greenland

Bill Burnham — in Arctic Program - Greenland

Gyrfalcon nestlings
Gyrfalcon nestlings
For your possible interest, last week Kurt Burnham and I completed a survey of all known Gyrfalcon nest sites in the Kangerlussuaq/Søndre Strømfjord, west-central Greenland study area. All 74 sites visited were nesting locations found to have been occupied by breeding Gyrfalcons one or more times since 1972. Some are on cliffs with raven nests, possibly used by Gyrs for only a single season, while other nest sites probably have been used for hundreds of years (one site at least 2,500 years) and have thick fecal buildup. This year we found only nine (12%) of the 74 locations to be occupied. Geographically, this is quite a large area and a helicopter must be used. At occupied locations we climbed into the eyries, banded nestlings, and collected DNA samples (feathers and blood) and data related to the nest site. While surveying known sites we also visited other suitable-appearing cliffs along the way but found no additional Gyrfalcons. This is the first time we surveyed 100% of the known Gyrfalcon nest sites. The previous six years we surveyed between 50 to 88% of the known locations, finding between 18 (26%) and 6 (13%) annually occupied. In any given year, the largest number of occupied sites ever known since 1972 was in 1991 when 22 (31%) of the sites checked had Gyrfalcons present.

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News from East Greenland

Kurt Burnham — in Arctic Program - Greenland

Gyrfalcon with satellite-received transmitter
Gyrfalcon with satellite-received transmitter
The Gyrfalcon is the largest species of falcon. It breeds in the Arctic with the more northern nesting birds and has a white plumage while more gray colored falcons nest in the southern portions of its range. In Greenland near the Arctic Circle we see about 50:50 white and gray Gyrfalcons.

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Introduction

(TPF) The Peregrine Fund — in Arctic Program - Greenland

The following pages ard referenced PDF files are accounts relating field research accomplished in Greenland by The Peregrine Fund. Each account is popularly written and combined with representative photographs. Even though field work has been accomplished each year in Greenland only notes from some years are shared here with readers.

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Summer of 2002, Trip III

Bill Burnham — in Arctic Program - Greenland

14 - 15 August 2002 - This time I fly to Thule Air Base, Greenland, thanks to the United States Air Force. Check-in time for the six hour flight to Greenland is midnight and I arrive at Baltimore International Airport a couple of hours before. Just after the restaurants close, so there is no chance for dinner. The good news is the flight is on time. The old DC 8 is operational (based on past experience this is not always the case). We are to clear security at 1:00 am, then are to depart about 2:00. However, they kindly wait for a delayed flight from Dallas-Fort Worth airport containing three passengers for Greenland. One of those is Christopher Cokinos who is coming up to visit the sites where Robert Peary removed the meteorites from Greenland. We will be surveying for falcons in the same area and he will ride along in our boat. We depart BWI about 2:30 am.

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Find more articles about Aplomado Falcon, California Condor, Gyrfalcon, Harpy Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Arctic


Summer of 2002, Trip II

Bill Burnham — in Arctic Program - Greenland

World Center for Birds of Prey 2001.  <br />New Herrick Collections Building has been <br />constructed since this photo was taken.
World Center for Birds of Prey 2001.
New Herrick Collections Building has been
constructed since this photo was taken.
14 July 2002 - It has been a busy couple of weeks since I returned from my first trip to Greenland this field season. Much of the first week back at the World Center for Birds of Prey was spent trying to catch-up, getting ready for the second week's activities. The entire second week was a series of meetings to resolve the organization's plans for FY03 through FY07. We had staff come to Boise from literally all over the world. Even before the week of meetings, smaller gatherings of staff members meet to discuss issues and plans to be presented and work on related budgets to be submitted.

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Find more articles about Aplomado Falcon, California Condor, Gyrfalcon, Arctic


Summer of 2002, Trip I

Bill Burnham — in Arctic Program - Greenland

The Arctic is probably the world's most ecologically sensitive and vulnerable ecosystem. Since it functions as a global barometer, slight shifts in global temperature could have major impacts. A warming trend of the Arctic Ocean and change of atmospheric pressure patterns are already reported. Also, alarmingly high contaminant levels are being found in the most northern Inuit people, whales, polar bears, and seals, believed to result from global atmospheric distillation and fractionation (chemicals transported from the tropics through the atmosphere) and pollution entering the Arctic Ocean from north slope rivers of Russia.

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Summer 2000 (PDF)

Bill Burnham — in Arctic Program - Greenland

This is a PDF archive: Summer 2000 (PDF)

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The Not So Perfect Storm

Kurt Burnham — in Arctic Program - Greenland

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Thule, Greenland - Summer 1998 (PDF)

Kurt Burnham, Jack Cafferty — in Arctic Program - Greenland

This is a PDF archive: Summer 1998 (PDF)

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Thule, Greenland - Summer 1995 (PDF)

Bill Burnham — in Arctic Program - Greenland

This is a PDF archive: Summer 1995 (PDF)

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