Nakayla Garner

Field Observations

March 4, 2023

On Friday at Southern 8ths, we put out 40 mammal traps to survey the area behind Brad’s home. Last weekend, we got lucky and caught 8 mice! I had the opportunity to use binoculars and I got to see Killdeer, an Eastern bluebird, and a female Northern cardinal. Saturday morning, we caught two male white-footed mice. We have caught many white-footed mice so we know they are in the area. Their scientific name is Peromyscus leucopus.  I hope we get to catch an Eastern woodrat and cotton mouse.  We are catching more rodents this semester than we did last semester. The weather change caused more rodents to come out.  Sunday morning was very cold and we only caught one male white-footed mouse.

February 25, 2023

This weekend at Southern 8ths was very fascinating! I got to see 5 young deer run through the pasture. We then drove to see Brad burn some of his land.  He said he burns the land to create more biodiversity and it was cool to watch the fire burn.  We set up 40 traps behind Brad’s home and we caught 6 mice Saturday morning. We also got lucky and caught a beautiful Carolina Wren in our traps. It was surprising because we are not trapping birds and the traps we use are only for small mammals such as rodents.

November 19, 2022

The weather on November 19th was great and cool.  Mr.Brad took us around to view more areas for trapping and we decided on an open field and a small pond nearby. We had a total of 27 traps for the area. The field that we were in was huge and you could see the Turkey vultures flying above. We caught one male White-footed mouse near a log pile in the field on November 20th. While putting out traps, I got to see a Red-tailed hawk and an Eastern bluebird. I also heard the call of the Eastern phoebe! I hope that my land in the future will become a beautiful home for many animals just like Southern 8ths!

October 21, 2022

The weekend of October 21 at Southern 8ths was amazing! Mr. Brad showed us more of his beautiful property and we got to explore on our own. The weather started warming up,  which felt good!  Although we didn’t see many mammals, we saw larvae, spiders, and potential trap locations for our surveys. The deep riverine near Thompson’s Creek was so fun to climb down and I got to see the tire dump. I enjoyed hearing the sound of leaves crunching in silence and the birds singing.  Near the learning center, Clay caught a green anole (Anolis carolinensis) and it was docile.  This was the best week at Southern 8ths!

October 14, 2022

We placed 21 Sherman traps in the Piedmont Prairie and near Firework Pond before sunset. The weather was nice with clear skies. We used GPS location tags and flags near our Sherman traps to locate them so we would not leave any traps behind once they are checked in the morning. On the morning of October 15, we did not get any mammals in our traps, but Mr. Knowles mentioned that the mammals may need to adjust to the traps being there. The weather was clear, and the temperature was 6.67 Celsius. Firework pond was beautiful. Brad also showed us his mobile observation deck where we could sit and watch the pond and prairie, which was great!

October 15, 2022

We saw many different species of birds near the learning center such as the Eastern meadowlark (Sturnella magna), Northern Mockingbird (Mimus polyglottos), Killdeer (Charadrius vociferus), Northern flicker (Colaptes auratus), Eastern bluebird (Sialia sialis), and Palm warbler (Setophaga palmarum). We also got the opportunity to use the observation deck and it was peaceful. I spotted a frog that was identified as a Southern Cricket frog (Acris gryllus ) by the pond. Later today, we will put Sherman traps out again before it gets dark to view in the morning.

October 16, 2022

On the morning of October 16, we checked our mammal traps again and the weather was nice! We caught one male Eastern Harvest mouse (Reithrodontomys humulis), and it was so exciting because this was our first capture. Eastern Harvest Mice live in open grassy areas such as meadows and prairie. My group and I took measurements of the mouse such as weight, total length, right hind foot, right ear length, and tail length to the last vertebrae. We also identify the sex of the animal. After the measurements, the mouse should be released where it was captured. This was a great week at Southern 8ths!