Mindy Mathenia of Downer's Grove, IL (west of Chicago) was just the type of individual CVWO had in mind when the banding intership at FLSP began in 2009. A recent recipient of a M.S in Biology from Northern Illinois University, Mindy had the desire yet little opportunity to gain field experience because of logistics and academic course load. Her thesis is entitled “Effects of Rainfall and Spatial Variation on Small Mammal Populations in North-Central Chile”.
Since her arrival at First Landing in mid-March, Mindy has developed the keen eye necessary to age and sex passerines and the dexterity and care necessary to extract and handle small birds. She is also a good field companion whether there are few birds or many birds at the Station.
My goodness, that looks like a new species for the Station in Mindy's left hand on the "bridge" crossing the tidal creek to White Hill Lake!! Get out your field guide (or shotgun). I think it is a game bird. Could it be a Virginia Rail?