Local reports on bird adventures

09/26/2013

Nora Livingston will do almost anything to catch a glimpse of a rare bird. The 23-year-old college student has spent the last year hopping throughout California as a field biologist; she will discuss her adventures and show pictures at the Stinson Beach Library on Tuesday, Oct. 1, at 7 p.m. Ms. Livingston has spent seasons on the austere and windswept Southeast Farallon Island, down south on the Channel Islands and at a gull colony in Mono Lake. When she sat down with the Light this week, binoculars were slung across her shoulder, just in case anything special should fly by. (Nothing did.) During her time in the Farallones with environmental group Point Blue, she filled her days with wildlife. She hid behind rocks as she spied on dozing elephant seals; she watched intelligent birds, like the raven and the island scrub-jay, carefully watch her; she learned how to recognize songbirds by sound even when they weren’t singing; and she recorded the first sighting on the Farallones of the blue-footed booby, a seabird from the Galapagos Islands. Ms. Livingston said, “It’s one of those places where multiple times a day, you look around and go, ‘This is incredible.’”