Videos

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  • Dolly Varden with partial albinism (whitish) appears to be quite rare.
  • We have examined close to 500,000 Dolly Varden at a weir in Alaska and found only 1 with partial albinism.
  • If you look different from the rest of the group of fish will this affect your survival?
  • If you notice in the video two different Dolly Varden attack the whitish one.
  • I suspect looking different will cause this fish to be more easily preyed upon.
  • Springtails are one of the most numerous macro creatures
  • I have seen estimates of 100,000 per square meter
  • They are not insects but belong to a group of invertebrates called Hexapods
  • They have a tail-like appendage called a furcula, held under tension below the abdomen.
  • When released, the furcula snaps outward, propelling the tiny creature into the air.
  • They are very numerous in the soil and may be important for the health of the soil
  • In winter you can often see them on the snow
  • One study indicated that they do this to move for fairly long distances
  • It indicated they can do this in a straight line by orientating on the sun or dark horizon
  • Several insects come onto the snow to feed on them
  • For information about springtails look at http://www.collembola.org/
  • When I looked up the Rock Sandpiper on Birds of North America the author called it a Pagophilic Sandpiper but did not tell what the word meant.
  • I had to look it up -- fun to learn -- and a perfect name for it.
  • The captions sort of summarize what these sandpipers are about.
  • For more information on shorebirds look at The Shorebirds are coming! by Bob Armstrong and Marge Hermans
  • Porcupines are a wonderful animal to learn about. Take a look at A Prickly Tale (Porcupine) by Bob Armstrong and Marge Hermans
  • In summer they eat a variety of foods.
  • In winter they feed on only a couple of items -- spruce needles and the inner bark of hemlock trees.
  • The winter food would be very hard to digest.
  • How do they do it?
  • For more information about Porcupines look at this article by Mary Willson.
  • This video was taken in late January in Juneau.
  • Studies of rearing Dolly Varden and coho salmon have shown that they often seek out spring areas in streams during the winter.
  • In certain winters many Alaskan streams become so ice bound that spring areas can be crucial to the overwinter survival of young fish.
  • Of interest is juvenile coho and juvenile Dolly Varden are very territorial during the other seasons.
  • This territoriality breaks down in winter and you can usually find them grouped together.
  • How is this beneficial to them?
  • This video is meant to illustrate the large numbers of juvenile fish, such as Dolly Varden and coho, that concentrate in areas of springs during the winter.
  • The value of these areas should be considered critical to the overwinter survival of juvenile fish in Alaska's streams.
  • For more information look at Winter, Ice, and Fish 2011, Brown, Hubert and Daly
  • Huge numbers of Pine Siskins have arrived in Juneau this winter.
  • One of the main attractions for them is the abundance of alder cones.
  • They feed heavily on the seeds within these cones.
  • How many do you think they need to eat in a day?
  • What is the nutritional quality of these seeds?
  • Why do Pine Siskins fight at bird feeders but not (usually) at alder trees?
  • Look at this essay by Mary Willson on Pine Siskins and Redpolls
  • This video shows an American Dipper singing and feeding in winter.
  • Why do dippers sing in winter?
  • To maintain their territory.
  • It is feeding on aquatic insects.
  • Aquatic insects are abundant year-round and very common as larvae in winter.
  • The most likely insect this dipper is feeding on is the Flatheaded Mayfly.
  • This insect in the larval stage has a flat head, long legs and sharp claws.
  • How does this benefit the insect?
  • This allows it to live in fast flowing water -- think about how.
  • To learn more about mayflies go to Aquatic Insects in Alaska -- Mayflies by John Hudson, Katherine Hocker, Robert H. Armstrong

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