Friday, November 21, 2008

14-year-old Helps Solve Avian Mystery

At 14 years old, Spencer Hardy has solved an avian mystery and discovered significant evidence for the only bird other than a penguin to incubate its eggs on glacial ice. Hardy's geoscientist father, Douglas, was stationed in southeastern Peru at the Quelccaya Ice Cap in the Andes for long-term research on climate change. He was studying glacier melting rates when his son, in sixth-grader at home in Vermont at the time, identified White-winged Diuca Finches (Diuca speculifera) from his father's photographs taken from the site. Spencer started to realize that these birds could be responsible for mysterious nesting sites his father had found scattered along the edge of a glacier. Like penguins, these small birds endure brutal nesting conditions for weeks on end — low oxygen, bitter cold, heavy snow and high winds. Despite these circumstances, they still nest exclusively on the glacier, the father and son report in the September 2008 issue of the Wilson Journal of Ornithology. Source: US News

1 comment:

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