Meet Pepperoni the Robin, and Friends

by |April 22, 2016
Pepperoni is an adult female. Her name was chosen by Mrs. Rudin’s 4th grade class at at the Cottage Lane Elementary School in Rockland County, N.Y. Photo: Ruthie Oliver

Pepperoni is an adult female. Her name was chosen by Mrs. Rudin’s 4th-grade class at at the Cottage Lane Elementary School in Rockland County, N.Y. Photo: Ruthie Oliver

Natalie Boelman and colleagues are tagging American robins near Slave Lake, Alberta, Canada, as the birds migrate north to nesting grounds. In a recent blog post for NASA, she put up videos about their work. You can watch some of them below, or go to the blog page at NASA’s Earth Observatory to see and read more.

“This morning we woke up to a lot more bird songs in the forest compared to what we’d been hearing in the days before,” Boelman writes in her latest post. “We were pretty excited. We waited and watched for any of them to fly into our nets.”

An ecologist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Boelman and her group are tying GPS devices onto the birds to track their movement. Her work is part of a larger project to study animals and plants that are feeling the effects of warming climate, particularly in North America’s arctic tundra and boreal forests, where the climate is changing faster than the global average.

With the help of a new app, 4th- and 5th-grade students at Rockland County’s Cottage Lane Elementary School are naming the tagged birds and watching where they travel after they’re released. (The latest four are Zee, Big Mac, Pepperoni and Billie Jo).

Here are two of the videos Boelman has posted to explain how they do their research:

To follow all of Boelman’s posts, visit NASA’s Earth Observatory.

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