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  • Blow Flies and Juvenile Birds is a video in progress which tries to show the relationships between salmon, bears, blow flies and their maggots.
  • When several species of birds leave their nests as juveniles they no doubt have a steep learning curve in discovering the best ways to aquire food. Maggots would be one good source of food for them and easy to obtain. Of interest is maggots are usually present on some salmon carcasses about the same time as many juvenile birds leave the nest. 
  • To date I have documented 11 species of birds feeding on maggots and almost all of them have been juveniles.
  • Goldeneyes Taking Advantage of the Surf was filmed on January 18, 2020 in Juneau, Alaska.
  • When looking at the video try to consider and answer the following questions.
  • How could high surf waves benefit the goldeneye ducks getting food?
  • What do you think the goldeneyes are feeding on?
  • The two species of goldeneye ducks that occur in Alaska are shown in this video. What are they? How do you tell them apart?
  • How do they propel themselves underwater?
  • As you play the video you can easily stop it at certain points and ask these questions. 
  • Mallards Taking Advantage of the Surf is a video I made on January 18, 2020 in Juneau, Alaska.
  • Of major interest in this video is what are they feeding on?
  • The high surf and the eddies it creates may concentrate certain food items floating on the water.
  • Also the surf may wash out items accumulated along the shoreline.
  • I took a very fine mesh net and swept it through an area where the Mallards were feeding near shore.
  • I took the results home and looked at it under a binocular microscope.
  • I could not find any invertebrates. The most likely food item were huge numbers of spruce seeds floating on the water. 
  • Gulls Taking Advantage of the Surf shows gulls foraging for items that the surf dislodges in Juneau, Alaska.
  • A good question to ask would be what items could the gulls be eating?
  • How do they deal with the shells?
  • Varied Thrush Feeding on Salt is a video I took this winter on Cohen Drive in Juneau.
  • I am not sure that salt is what this bird is eating -- but the size and color appears to be a salt product.  
  • This winter I have seen several groups of these thrushes feeding on and along our roadways in Juneau. 
  • In the Juneau Audubon Christmas Bird Count a total of 120 Varied Thrushes were counted. This is a record.
  • On occasion dead thrushes have been seen and picked up along our roadways. I suspect most have been hit by cars. But I wondered what effect salt may have on these birds so I did some literature searching.
  • There has been quite a few studies of the effects of salt on the environment and certain creatures. For a list of references look at /sites/default/files/Effects%20of%20Road%20Salt%20on%20Creatures%20and%20the%20Environment.pdf
  • The most common deicer used on our roads appears to be /sites/default/files/CG-90%20Surface%20Saver%20Anticorrosive%20Deicer.pdf
  • Of interest is the number of studies that discuss the harmful effects of deicers on aquatic insects and fish. It would be interesting to look at and analyze the snow that is piled in the bus parking lot at the Mendenhall Glacier. Also to try and learn if any salt products are entering Steep Creek near the glacier visitor center. 
  • A study of the possible leaching of salt into fish streams along the Juneau road system could be a good one for a student or ?