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Gulf Lagniappe Seaside Sparrow Workshop

Gulf Lagniappe Seaside Sparrow Workshop

March 26, 2014

Twenty intrepid bird enthusiasts ventured to LUMCON’s DeFelice Marine center on Saturday, March 8th for a Gulf Lagniappe adult education workshop.  The workshop featured presentations and field activities by Coastal Waters Consortium scientists Dr. Sabrina Taylor and Dr. Phil Stouffer.  Participants learned about life on the edge as lived by Seaside Sparrows, and how scientists are studying the population and lives of these amazing little marsh sentinels after the oil spill.

Dr. Taylor is an assistant professor of conservation biology in the School of Renewable Natural Resources (RNR) at the Louisiana State University (LSU) Agricultural Center. She and Dr. Stouffer, also at RNR, gave presentations about the research that they are conducting on the Seaside Sparrow.  In her talk, Dr Taylor explained that they are studying the Seaside Sparrow because it is a permanent resident of coastal salt marshes that were heavily affected by the spill.  They want to find out if the spill might be affecting these birds, and if so, how.  Dr. Stouffer’s talk told the story of the challenges of a Seaside Sparrow’s life from the bird’s point of view.

Next, the workshop participants ventured outside where Drs. Taylor and Stouffer led them through catching sparrows with a mist net.  Once the birds were captured, the researchers explained how the birds are studied, tagged and then released.
The day’s final activity was a trip into the marsh aboard the Do Gris where workshop attendees had the opportunity to view and photograph a variety of marsh birds.  More photos from the workshop are available here: http://gallery.cwc.lumcon.edu/index.php/Gulf-Lagniappe-Seaside-Sparrow-Workshop

The next Gulf Lagniappe workshop entitled, “What is the “Dead Zone”? And Is It Really “Dead”?” will be held on Saturday, April 12, 2014 and will feature guest speaker Dr. Nancy Rabalais.  For more information, please visit: cwc.lumcon.edu