A studio for bird study

Tag: animal

Original watercolor painting available for purchase – Short-tailed Shearwaters (Ardenna tenuirostris)

by Bryce W. Robinson

I have made another original painting available for purchase – this 18×24″ watercolor painting of three Short-tailed Shearwater (Ardenna tenuirostris).

I painted this in 2018 for a paper I wrote, Unusual foraging observations associated with seabird die-offs in Alaska. Robinson et al. 2018 in Marine Ornithology. This painting also currently sits as the banner logo on the Ornithologi website.

If you love seabirds or shearwaters and are interested in this painting, you can purchase it in the shop.

Published in Western Birds: “Further Information on the Avifauna of St. Matthew and Hall Islands, Bering Sea, Alaska”

by Bryce W. Robinson

The feature article in the latest issue of Western Birds, “Further Information on the Avifauna of St. Matthew and Hall Islands, Bering Sea, Alaska” is an update to the bird list of the remote Bering Sea island group, St. Matthew and Hall Islands, written by myself and a great group of folks from USGS, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the University of Alaska Museum, and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. Even more, the cover for this issue features an ‘umbrina’ Gray-crowned Rosy-Finch (Leucosticte tephrocotis umbrina) painted by myself, which might be the first time an illustration has been featured on the cover. It is certainly an honor.

To see the full list of notable findings during our month long stay on this incredible and remote Bering Sea island, click below and read the open access paper.

I also worked with my coauthors to publish a supplement that details a full, annotated bird list for our month long stay on the island. To see the full list of species we catalogued, click on the photo below.

Remembering Tom Cade: 1928-2019

by Bryce W. Robinson

IMG_1449.jpg

Showing Tom Cade an occupied Gyrfalcon nest with a nest camera, recording images for The Peregrine Fund’s Gyrfalcon Conservation Program.

Today I’m remembering Tom Cade, ornithologist and conservation giant. Tom passed away yesterday at the age of 91. His legacy is widespread, not only across the earth but through time, for generations into the future. Rather than describe this enduring legacy, I want to here describe one of my most cherished memories of spending time in the field with Tom as I showed him my study area during my Gyrfalcon work.

While I was conducting my field study on nesting Gyrfalcons in western Alaska, Tom came to visit for a few weeks. He stayed with me and Ellen Whittle, my field partner, in a small apartment in Nome. It’s hard to describe the conditions in such an apartment, but the few photos I’ve included here should be telling. I was so impressed with Tom, since he seemed entirely content to be in this run down shack of an apartment, cramped with two young ambitious biologists. In fact, I think he enjoyed it!

_MG_8479

Tom Cade and Travis Booms, walking along a tundra road on the Seward Peninsula.

Of course, we only spent time indoors when the rain wouldn’t allow otherwise. We made many trips out into the tundra to show Tom around, and Tom also spent time with Travis Booms and Joe Eisaguirre as they flew around the peninsula in a helicopter, accessing Gyrfalcon nesting sites. As we drove the roads with Tom, looking for wildlife and checking on raptor nests, we listened intently as Tom told stories of his last visit to the region nearly 60 years prior. He told us stories of a mid-tundra train wreck, seeing his first Gyrfalcon, and how the Nome area truly was different from his last visit, with more vegetation than he had previously recalled.

_MG_8545.jpg

Tom Cade, a man with an incredible legacy and an excellent sense of humor.

Apart from his unending wisdom and knowledge, I was impressed with Tom’s sense of humor. He was having fun, and wasn’t afraid to let it show. As is appropriate in western Alaska, July is a time for King Crab. With Tom in town, we had a great excuse to occupy our time during bouts of rainy weather with Crab feasts! I’ll never forget having crab with such excellent people, and I could tell from the photo above that Tom was having a great time as well.

IMGP0599.JPG

Crab Feast! Tom Cade, Bryce Robinson, Ellen Whittle, and Joe Eisaguirre. I think Joe was hitting his limit at this point. Photo courtesy of Travis Booms.

After Tom departed Nome and returned to his home in Boise, and I came home following the field season, we saw each other only intermittently. The last time I saw Tom Cade was in a meeting, only a few months ago. He listened, and only spoke when he needed to. But, he was participating. His passion was enduring, so much so that even until the last parts of his extraordinary life, he participated in the work he had set forth.

It is sad to see people go, but it provides us all a perspective on our lives, how we choose to live them, and who we are and want to be. Reflecting on Tom’s life has caused me to reflect on myself, and how I might honor and continue what the man did for multiple species facing extinction, and for the people he inspired, inspires and will inspire. I’ll take that spirit into the future, and do with it what I can.

IMG_0384

Generations of Gyrfalcon researchers: Bryce Robinson, David L. Anderson, Tom Cade, Travis Booms, and Mike Henderson.

If you’re unfamiliar with the legacy of Tom Cade, visit The Peregrine Fund’s website. Everything you see there is a testament to Tom’s legacy, and what he created. Also visit the following link for a great video highlighting Tom’s life: https://www.peregrinefund.org/people/cade-tom