News

Updates on BBI's current projects and news that relates to BBI's goals and interests.

New research project in Valais, Switzerland

Announcement from Universität Bern – November 8th 2018:

(Article provided by Prof. Dr Raphaël Arlettaz, Head of the division of Conservation Biology - translated from French/German)

“With the help of the world specialist of Golden Eagles, Dr. Peter Bloom, who traveled especially from California, Golden Eagles will be captured and equipped with GPS tags to track their every move.

The data collected will be used to better define implantation sites of any future wind farms in the Alps, in order to avoid the risk of bird collisions with blades.

In order to preserve our climate, the transition to an economy based on renewable resources is a necessity. Some ‘green’ electricity modes of production however, can cause increased biodiversity risks. Birds and bats pay the price when they collide with the blades of wind turbines.

The construction of wind farms in the Alpine region poses a potential threat to the fauna of the area, in particular for large birds such as Golden Eagles or Bearded Vultures. Both species are long-lived and have a low rate of reproduction, any loss could have dramatic repercussions for the future of their populations.

The reintroduction program of Bearded Vultures in the Alps is considered one of the world’s most successful reintroduction programs.  It would be tragic if green energy destroyed this success, taking a toll on these magnificent birds of prey, especially as they provide a first-class health service in our mountains.

For this reason, the siting of future wind farms in the Alpine area must be planned very carefully. The topographical areas where large birds of prey are more frequent will have to be avoided. To be able to clearly define these zones, researchers at the University of Bern want a spatial usage map to work out a kind of ‘3D model’ of the airspace, from the ground up to about 200m height, at which it is possible to see exactly the areas most used by the birds (e.g., mountain ridges with thermally favorable conditions, etc.). The intention is to prevent wind turbines from being built there.

 There is already extensive data for the Bearded Vulture, as several animals in the past have been equipped with satellite and GPS transmitters. However, such information is still missing for the Golden Eagle in Switzerland. In order to close this knowledge gap, researchers are currently pursuing two approaches:

  •  The first uses high-performance binoculars that can view a bird in the sky and get precise coordinates of its geolocation (latitude, longitude and altitude). These field surveys began throughout the canton in April 2018 and will continue until the end of March 2019.

  • The other technique will be to capture and tag Golden Eagles with GPS tags. The catching campaign is currently underway in the canton, and all necessary permits have been granted. In support of this project, we are collaborating with Dr. Peter Bloom, one of the world’s most renowned specialist of the Golden Eagle, who came especially to Valais, to assist researchers and allow them the benefit of his extensive experience.”

 From left to right: Stéphane Mettaz (field technician University of Bern), Dr. Peter Bloom, Ron Milgalter (doctoral student at the University of Bern).

From left to right: Stéphane Mettaz (field technician University of Bern), Dr. Peter Bloom, Ron Milgalter (doctoral student at the University of Bern).

 A Golden Eagle photographed above Conthey (copyright R. Arlettaz).

A Golden Eagle photographed above Conthey (copyright R. Arlettaz).

Looking for biologists!

Bloom Biological, Inc. is currently looking for qualified biologists interested in on call opportunities specializing in nesting bird surveys and raptor monitoring throughout Southern California. Applicants should have significant and demonstrable birding skills and familiarity with sensitive species. B.S. or master’s degree in biology preferred.

Must be able to work independently and interact positively with project managers, clients, landowners, and other technicians. Candidates with prior experience conducting nesting bird and raptor surveys will be given preference.

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Work requires the ability to identify bird species present in the western U.S. in general and southern California/Nevada desert species specifically, by sight and sound, sometimes at great distances. Must be able to take detailed field notes, collect behavioral and spatial use data according to established protocols, and fulfil daily reporting requirements. Skilled use of topographic maps, GPS units, and other standard field equipment is required.

Work opportunities are available immediately and given preferentially to those who respond quickly to emails or phone calls. Hourly rate will depend on experience.

Qualifications:
Those applying MUST possess the following: Demonstrable birding skills including raptor ID and survey experience. A Valid Driver’s License is required and experience driving a 4 wheel vehicle is preferred.

If you are interested in joining our team please submit a cover letter and resume to Jackie Catino-Davenport with the subject title “BBI: On-Call Position” to jackiecatino@bloombiological.com and CC Ashley Macomber to ashleymacomber@bloombiological.com

Winter trapping

For the past several years we have had the opportunity of hosting an externship with students from Tufts University studying conservation medicine. Generally we host them over their winter break, where they spend time in the field with senior biologist Peter Bloom learning trapping and handling techniques with a variety of raptors. Here are a few great photos from days out in the field.  Pictured is this years amazing extern Cristen Mathews with a Golden eagle and Red-tailed hawk. If you are interested in an internship, contact us through our website. We value sharing our expertise and mentoring the next generation of biologists, veterinarians and conservationists. 

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Career Opportunity at BBI!

Career Opportunities at BBI

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Bloom Biological Inc. is an environmental consulting firm with over 40 years of experience with endangered and sensitive species in California. We are currently looking for an efficient and focused person to work in the main office assisting the president and CEO with administrative tasks and helping the accounting department with basic clerical duties. This is a great opportunity for any budding ornithologist or avian enthusiast with an interest in raptor research and Southern California.  Aside from basic clerical duties there will be a heavy influence on maintaining field records, databases and 40 years of data sets on raptors.

Responsibilities include:

  • Organizing all correspondences that come into the main office including emails, phone calls and mail.
  • Making reservations and managing administrative tasks for the main biologist. Examples Include conference registrations, field access forms, airlines and hotels.
  • Entering hours, recording and archiving time sheets and receipts for any expenditures provided by the main biologist or CEO
  • Filing project papers and archiving historical field data to maintain an organized and efficient office. Locating research, historical papers and data as needed for publications.
  • Managing upkeep of all computers and devices including backups and system upgrades.
  • Preparing and maintaining the main office for meetings and ordering necessary supplies.

Job requirements:

  • Experience in biology and conservation a plus.
  • Strong proficiency in Office 365 (Excel, Outlook, SharePoint, and Word.)  QuickBooks knowledge a plus.
  • Familiarity with both PC’s and Mac’s.  Able to problem solve simple tech issues.
  • Consistent attention to detail and organization. Self-motivated and adept at working without constant direction.  Ability to prioritize tasks during busy periods in the office.
  • Ability to be decisive and resolve simple issues that will allow the president and CEO to focus on major projects.
  • Flexibility with schedule and the capacity to manage time efficiently.

Specifics

Salary will be per hour - $20.00

Three days a week / 8-hour days. with flexibility on exact days

If you are interested in applying please send a cover letter and CV to ashleymacomber@bloombiological.com

Field season 2017 - SHWA banding

We have done a lot this field season at BBI, working throughout southern California with a variety of species on a multitude of projects.  Below is some wonderful footage of a typical day in the field.  The view from a cherry picker after returning some recently banded Swainson's hawks to their nest. Thanks to Mike Kuehn for the video. Greg Tully and Pete Bloom pictured in photo

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Pete Bloom talk at RRF November 2015

Allen Fish and the folks at the Golden Gate Raptor observatory just sent us this link to Pete's talk from the 49th Raptor Research Foundation conference hosted at the Golden Gate Raptor Observatory in November of last year.

Pete's presentation "Fifty Years of California Raptor Conservation — Success, Failure, Works in Progress, & Insights for Future Research" was wonderfully filmed and we are delighted to be able to share it!

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Spotted!

At BBI we receive a lot of pictures of birds we have banded making appearances all over California.  This year we have some turkey vultures and a Red-tailed Hawk.  Thanks to Kat Avila, Joe Valley, and Devon Lang Pryor for the shots

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