Summer VisitorsIf you've read many of the stories I've posted here on EP, then you no doubt know I live in Vermont. Vermont's a really special place, and attracts its share of visitors, human and otherwise. A good friend of mine is a research biologist with the Vermont Center for Ecostudies, a non-profit organization that does a lot or research as well as education about the natural environs not just within the state but beyond.
Chris Rimmer has been studying a diminutive bird that travels here to an insect-filled habitat to breed every summer on the higher peaks of the northeast, the Bicknell's thrush. He's been studying them for over two decades now, which in the scheme of things no doubt makes him one of the leading authorities on this species. Every summer he's trekking through the alpine forests of Vermont, monitoring the populations and the general welfare of this bird that before his research wasn't really known about very well. As global populations of bird species go, there's not a huge number of them. But on two occasions now, he and fellow researchers have captured two birds in their study plots here in Vermont that they have also captured on their wintering grounds of Hispaniola in the Caribbean. These small birds weighing little more than an ounce make epic migrations twice a year as part of their survival.
I am terminally fascinated with the cycles, rhythms, and mystery of the natural world, how interdependent all if these tiny pieces of the puzzle fit together. As part of life on a living earth WE too, are part of that puzzle. It's because of the dedication and tireless efforts of people like Chris that my awe for the natural world grows every day...
You can see a great short video about Chris and his research with this fascinating species in this piece that aired on the local news recently by going here:
VTMarkus 46-50, M 0 Jun 13, 2012