I just finished up a week on Ship Island and had such an amazing and unique experience! This summer I have been interning with US Fish and Wildlife up at Moosehorn N.W.R. in downeast Maine as a part of the Career Discovery Internship Program. My whole summer has been a whirlwind of new experiences and this week was no exception. To give the Island Supervisor Mary a break, I jumped right in fulfilling the normal day-to-day duties here on Ship. Having pretty much zero experience with birds, I admittedly arrived a bit nervous not knowing exactly what I would be doing. However, that feeling quickly faded as everyone jumped in to teach me the ropes.
I would have to say my favorite task of all would be productivity plots. It is amazing to physically see and measure the growth of a Common Tern chick. By monitoring the chicks daily I was able to see the different stages in growth from the starring of an egg to using a 300 g scale as the chicks continued to rapidly grow. I even avoided, for the most part, getting pooped on!
Ship Island is a beautiful place with an important goal to protect and to monitor the Common Tern. It’s been great having a chance to take part in that even for this short amount of time. In all, this week was not only a great educational experience but also a time for me to unplug and soak up the “Island life”. I saw the majestic sunset on my own private beach, and I even had the chance to take my first solar shower! It was surprisingly refreshing!
Thanks again for the opportunity!