Sponsored Research

Osprey Natural History and Research in the Mono Basin

Osprey Researcher Lisa Fields studied the  Osprey natural history including their range, identification, their behavior, and some of the past issues they have faced as a species. She’s been conducting research at Mono Lake since 2004. This includes nesting success as well as investigating local and long distance movements through nestling banding and satellite telemetry. Many aspects of this work have been supported by financial support from the Eastern Sierra Audubon Society.

Lisa Fields is an ecologist for the Southern Service Center of California State Parks. She is based in San Diego but works in parks extending from the Mexican border to central California. Her passion is raptor management, particularly the Osprey at Mono Lake. She initiated the nest monitoring program that began in 2004 and the nestling banding program that was started in 2009, and the use of GPS transmitters in 2013 to track migration.

30 years of California Gull Research on Mono Lake

The islands of Mono Lake are home to one of the largest nesting colonies of California Gulls in the world. The colony was nearly devastated by human-caused water diversions from Mono Lake, which caused Mono Lake to lose over half its volume and allowed coyotes and other predators access to the gulls’ vulnerable eggs and young. This predation triggered major conservation efforts, legal actions, and media coverage to help “Save Mono Lake” and its California Gulls. Following the predation, the gulls abandoned their historic colony location and relocated to smaller islets on Mono Lake, demonstrating “intelligence” and flexibility. The same year, a handful of pioneering breeders began nesting on salt flats in the San Francisco Bay, establishing the first ever coastal breeding attempts, and beginning a remarkable biological shift for the species. Join Kristie for an overview of PRBO Conservation Science’s 30 years of research on Mono Lake’s gulls, from its involvement in the early days with the fledgling Mono Lake Committee, to exciting discoveries being made today.

Kristie Nelson: Kristie has had a nearly obsessive love for birds since some of her earliest memories. She has conducted ornithological fieldwork throughout California, and is an active birder and naturalist. She first came to the Eastern Sierra in 2000 working with PRBO Conservation Science, and has remained on the eastside working with PRBO ever since. She has served on the California Bird Records Committee since 2003, and has been the project leader for the California Gull Research Project on Mono Lake since 2005. When not engaged in bird work, she is busy running a small diversified farm with her husband Joel.

To conserve and restore natural ecosystems.