• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

High Country Notebook

About This Blog

NOTE: This blog has been discontinued, however, future posts similar to these will appear in Yosemite Ranger Notes.

Ranger-naturalists have been interpreting Yosemite and its natural and cultural treasures for visitors since its early days as a park. In this blog, some of Yosemite's High Country Naturalists share recent observations from areas north of Yosemite Valley. Topics focused on in the blog are:

Wildlife and Other Sightings:

In Yosemite, especially in the high country, we have a unique opportunity to step beyond our cars and the chatter of our daily lives into the realm of the other than human world. The wilder life of animals, plants, fungi, rocks, and even air and water, is ever-changing and fascinating to pay closer attention to.

Roadside Naturalist:

With over 100 miles of paved roads within Yosemite National Park's boundaries, visitors can spend a great deal of time in their cars traveling around the park. Amid all of the grand scenery there are smaller natural wonders to appreciate as well. With a good eye and a few hints from us you can spot these things along the roadside, even while driving the speed limit. If you wish to stop, please do so only where parking is provided off the roadway.

Bird Monitoring and Research:

Yosemite National Park provides essential habitat for over 165 species of migrating, wintering, and breeding birds, in addition to nearly 100 species recorded as transient or vagrant. For nearly two decades, the breeding populations of songbirds in Yosemite have been studied in one of the longest continuous research projects in the Park. Each summer, from late May to early August, researchers work at bird banding stations throughout Yosemite. They collect valuable information about bird populations in Yosemite by capturing, banding, and then releasing birds following a strict scientific protocol. This year, this important work is being funded by the Yosemite Conservancy.

Wildflowers of White Wolf:

The White Wolf area is a botanically-diverse and simultaneously accessible part of the park. We'll give you a taste of what we see blooming throughout the summer. Please help protect the flowers and plants by not picking flowers and staying on trails to observe them.

Mather Musings:

The Mather District of Yosemite National Park includes such diverse areas as White Wolf, Hetch Hetchy, Crane Flat, May Lake, North Dome and Hodgdon Meadow. Here you'll find some collected thoughts of Ranger Naturalists working throughout this unique district.

Bird Monitoring and Research: About the MAPS project in Yosemite

August 18, 2012 Posted by: BW - Mather District Volunteer Interpretive Ranger

Bird banding stations in Yosemite are cooperatively run by The Institute for Bird Populations and National Park Service personnel. They are part of the Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS) Program which include a continent-wide network of over 500 constant-effort mist netting stations. The Yosemite stations are some of the longest-running MAPS stations in the country!

 

Bird Monitoring and Research: July 31 - August 5, 2012

August 18, 2012 Posted by: Yosemite Bird Researchers and BW – Mather District Volunteer Interpretive Ranger

This is the last summer's bird monitoring and research update for 2012 as we are done with research for the summer. Check out the year-end tables.

 

Bird Monitoring and Research: July 20-26, 2012

August 04, 2012 Posted by: Yosemite Bird Researchers and BW – Mather District Volunteer Interpretive Ranger

The numbers of birds processed are up by nearly 16% this year. This is probably due to a correlation between low snowpack levels and high avian productivity. Yosemite got about 30% of its average snowpack this year which means that bird populations should be having more offspring. We were definitely seeing this in the nets this period where 3 out of every 4 birds processed had hatched this year.

 

Bird Monitoring and Research: July 10-16, 2012

July 26, 2012 Posted by: Yosemite Bird Researchers and BW - Mather District Volunteer Interpretive Ranger

Birds are beginning to fledge at the middle elevations of Yosemite and most of the birds caught at Hodgdon Meadow and Crane Flat had recently hatched. This included twelve Anna’s Hummingbirds and many Nashville Warblers and Orange-crowned Warblers. The meadows at higher elevations should begin to increase in activity soon.

 

Bird Monitoring and Research: Summer 2012

July 05, 2012 Posted by: Yosemite Bird Researchers

Each summer, from late May to early August, researchers work at bird banding stations throughout Yosemite. They collect valuable information about bird populations in Yosemite by capturing, banding, and then releasing birds following a strict scientific protocol. This year, this important work is being funded by the Yosemite Conservancy.

 

Did You Know?

Vernal and Nevada Falls

In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.