|photo by Cari|
In the hot summer months the Quack Patrol conducts almost daily checks of every wetland on Sand Island for deadly bird botulism. If we find a dead duck, we'll collect it carefully and put it in a ziploc bag with information about where and when we found it. Then we put the bag in a freezer until a veterinarian can examine it to find out if botulism poison really did kill the duck.
If we find a sick bird -- good news! -- we wrap it in clean towels and take it into the US Fish and Wildlife Service lab, where the duck is cared for. You can read more about the care of botulism-sick ducks in the July 3 post "Laysan Ducks: Battling Botulism."
As you can see in the picture, I and my bicycle are loaded down with equipment. My binoculars, with sunglasses hooked on, are strapped across me. In my pocket is a pencil...and even a second one, in case I lose the first one. I'll stuff the clipboard with its data table into the bike basket. The net (for scooping dead ducks out of the water) will be stuck through the basket's handle. My metal water bottle is already in the bike basket, along with my backpack. The pack contains clean towels for sick birds...and ziploc bags for dead birds, which I hope we don't find!
We're ready to ride to the first wetland, called Ball Field Big; let's go! After seeing the 5-minute video, perhaps you'd like to check out any of these 3 FOAM Activity Pages:
Bike Ride to Laysan Ducks from Barb Mayer on Vimeo.