Hi, I'm Jennie. World-traveler, photographer, dancer, model, artist, biologist, and founder of JennieoftheJungle.com. This blog is all about my stories, my experiences, and how I can help you. I hope to provide helpful and fun information for people traveling on a budget, especially to tropical destinations, and offer information to other conservation-minded people who are interested in saving wildlife and its habitat.
Feedback and questions are always welcome. Thanks for reading!
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If you've never been to Antelope Island State Park in Syracuse, Utah, then you are missing out on a wonderful wildlife and nature viewing experience. Antelope Island is a preserve made up of a desert shrub and grassland island surrounded by the scenic Great Salt Lake. Standing on the shore of the Great Salt Lake is like standing on the coast of an ocean. Tiny islands dot the view and the lake goes on as far as the eye can see.
On the island you can see all kinds of wildlife, including pronghorn, bighorn sheep, American bison, porcupines, badgers, coyotes, bobcats, owls, and millions of waterfowl. The Great Salt Lake is an important rest and nesting stop for birds migrating through the Western United States.
This all adds up to a beautiful and scenic day at the "beach". Although camping is allowed at a campground on the island so you can extend your stay. The entrance fee to visit the island is $10 per vehicle, and just past the entrance you will drive out on a long causewa…
A few months ago I had the pleasure of performing Flammulated Owl nest surveys with Hawkwatch International.
Biologists with Hawkwatch International have been creating artificial owl nests for quite a few years now, in order to increase flammulated owl presence in Utah and to decrease predation on fledged chicks. Karri Smith and I, representing Great Salt Lake Audubon, were able to spend a day with the biologists and chicks. Together we performed nest checks in order to inventory young. This involved taking each owlet from the nest, cuddling it, weighing it, and measuring its wing length. Tiny owl puffballs so trustingly slept in our hands while we worked.
We checked over 20 nests, hiking to each site, sneaking up to the nest
and blocking the entrance with a pole-and-baseball-cap device in order
to trap the mother and place a radio tracker on her, and carefully
inspected each baby owl to make sure all were healthy and growing.
Sunshine, pine trees, and wildflowers made up our work…
Gunnison Island is a protected pelican nesting island in the North Arm of the Great Salt Lake. I was recently asked to help band juvenile pelicans this July with Utah's Department of Natural Resources and a few other non-profit groups. Here's how it went...
"Hug a Pelican?! Of COURSE I want to hug a pelican! Oh, er...BAND a pelican. Yes, that's what I meant." As I hung up the phone I was still picturing the opportunity to hug one, of course. Seeing pelicans on Gunnison Island, a protected island upon which few feet have trodden, is definitely a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and I was definitely going to take advantage of that by doing all the hugging I could.
My alarm went off at 3:30 am, and after a 10-minute period of groggy confusion, I remembered that today was pelican-banding day! The
morning dawned bright as Karri Smith and I (both representing Great Salt Lake Audubon) pulled up to the meeting spot to
meet the other banders and biologists working on the …
On my recent 4-month volunteer trip to Peru I decided to spend 6 days backpacking the country's beautiful Sacred Valley. The Sacred Valley lies in the mists of the Andes mountains, starts from the Incan capital of Cusco and includes everything between Calca and Lamay, Pisac, and Ollantaytambo. The ancient ruins of Machu Picchu top off the valley and keep a watchful eye over the sacred land.
Surprisingly, I had never been backpacking before. I camp, hike, get lost in the jungle, etc, but have never taken my 10 most essential items, stuck them in a bag, and walked off into the mountains with only ideas to guide me. Well, that's exactly what I did, because I figured, what the hey, I'm in Peru and I tend to be braver in South America than I am in the states. That doesn't make a lot of sense but it's worked for me so far.
Into a tiny school-grade backpack (hey, big ones are expensive), I packed a toothbrush, one change of clothes, some bug spray and sunblock, toilet pa…