Eurooppaan! Osa 10: Perhepäivä

Location: Bielefeld, Germany. ”It’s my father’s birthday, and he’d like to celebrate by spending a day in the zoo with the family.” //
”I hope you don’t mind coming along?” ”I hope you don’t mind me telling you interesting animal facts all the time?” //
”These people will come: Goldfish… my father and mother… my big sister… her husband… and their two children.” //
On the way to Münster. //
”Coffee?” ”More juice?” ”Yes please.” ”Could I have a spoon, please?” ”Strawberries?” ”This is the most chaotic and the most fun breakfast I’ve ever had.” //
”I’ve been accepted into the family.”
”He hee!” ”Don’t run away from me, my friend’s sister’s toddler!” //
”Oooh! They have a secretary bird!” //
”Did you know that octopuses have three hearts?” ”They do?” //
”Bye bye, Whale and Goldfish!”

Eurooppaan! Osa 2: Havaintoja ja superkykyjä

Observations from the world: ”Oh, you can see our camping island from the plane!” //
”The floor of Arlanda airport in Stockholm is made of stone with orthocone fossils.” //
”You can find that kind of a floor in for example the Ateneum art museum and the entrance hall of Viikki library.” //
After sleeping two nights in a tent and then wake up at half past four, even the most devoted tea drinker starts to think about coffee. //
”(Shouts instructions with broad Scottish accent!)” ”That accent always makes me laugh. It doesn’t give him much authority, though…”

Location: St Andrews, Scotland. ”Yay, my friends from St Andrews!” ”Yay, our friend from Finland!” //
”Oh, a dead blackbird.” //
”The earthly remains of a dove.” //
”This has probably been a guillemot.” //
”There’s a gannet carcass down there.” //
”Is noticing dead birds your super power or something?” ”Uh… Yes, I guess.”


”Because my thesis is 40 pages of scientific text I made a more easily digestible version. The topic is the effect of color morph on the habitat selection of tawny owls.” //
The brown and black colors of birds are caused by melanins. Their amounts are genetically coded. Light feathers have little melanin. Dark feathers have lot of melanin. //
Some species are color polymorphic which means that there are differently colored individuals. Color morphs are often different from each other. For example, darker individuals are more aggressive than lighter ones. //
”Coloration affects behavior, too. On exothermic species, such as vipers, pale individuals have to bask in sun longer than darker individuals. //
Differently colored individuals may also prefer different environments: dark barn owls nest on more open areas… than lighter ones that prefer more forested environments. //
”Tawny owl has two color morphs, darker melanistic brown morph and lighter grey morph.” //
”Even though tawny owl is a widely studied species, little is known about their nest site choice. Therefore I studied it in my thesis.”

”Tawny owls have been studied in Finland for decades so there is plenty of ringing data. One year I assisted with the field work, too.” //
”In addition to the ringing data I needed data on what kind of places tawny owls nest.” //
”Nowadays there’s plenty of electronic map data so I could make myself a map that suited my needs. From it I could see forests, fields and water bodies among other things.” //
”In the end I had an electronic pixel map… and tawny owl ringing data from South Finland from 2006-2017.” //
”After that I hit my head in the desk.” //
”I mean… made different statistical analyses to find out possible interactions between owl coloration, number of eggs and chicks, timing of nesting and the surroundings of the nests.” //
”And here’s what I found out:”

”First: tawny owls prefer to nest in places with plenty of open and urban areas in the surroundings.” //
”Secondly: brown females prefer old forests and open areas more that grey females. There were no differences between differently colored males.” //
”And thirdly: the surroundings of the nest site did not affect the number of eggs or chicks or the timing of nesting.” //
”So that’s what I found out. By why are things like that?” //
”according to one hypothesis, animals should choose to live in a place where they get as many offspring as possible. Tawny owls, however, do not seem to do so. Possibly they favor open areas because there is more prey there than in the woods which may help them survive the winter.”

”Brown females may prefer old forests because they have a better camouflage there. All in all, tawny owls like to have open areas in their territory, perhaps because there in plenty of prey…” //
”…but also lots of human-caused noise. Brown females may stand it better than grey ones!” //
”But why are there no differences between grey and brown males when there are differences between differently colored females? This remains a mystery.” //
”Many other things are still unknown, such as how tawny owls survive winters in different environments.” ”Why don’t you just go back to the woods and find out?” //
”It would also be interesting to study how owls actually use their territories. It would have to be done with some sort of a radio-tracking device. But despite of all the new questions that arose, my study brought up new information on the nest site choice of tawny owls!”

”Many people have helped me with the making of my thesis, and I’d like to thank them…” //
My thesis supervisors, who guided me with patience and kindness through the whole process. //
The owl doctor, who gave me lots of good advice and told me to go to talk to my supervisor in the first place. //
The map maker, without his help I could never have made the map. //
The statistics teacher, who helped me with statistics so that I didn’t hit my head in the table too badly. //
”And of course I’d like to thank all differently colored tawny owls. Thanks to them we ecologists will have a lot to study in the future!”

Onko joku yllättynyt, jos kerron, että tieteen popularisointi on minusta kiinnostavaa?
Is anyone surprised if I say that I find popularizing science interesting?

Ahvis 5: Kotiinpaluu

(Åland’s pancakes) //
”What shall we do during this ship journey?” ”I’m tired, so I could go for a nap.” ”Me too.” //
”I’m not tired, so I’m going to see the ship. See you later!” //
”Damn it’s boring to hang around a ship all by myself…” //
”I rather lie awake in a dark room.”

”I’m going to get a ride back to Helsinki from a friend of mine. How are you going to get back?” ”I’ll spend the night at my aunt’s and come by some bus tomorrow.” ”I’m just trying to figure that out. All trains are full-booked.” //
”And there’s only one bus tonight – fifteen minutes after this ship comes to the harbor!” //
”It’s about a kilometer from the harbor to the bus station so you just might make it. I’ll come to show you the way.” ”Thanks! It would be nice to get home for the night.” //
”C’mon! These are the seventh red lights within a kilometer!” //
”I missed the bus by one minute. Thanks a lot, traffic lights.” ”I guess my aunt would let you stay at her house.” //
”I really don’t…” ”Take off your hat and beg.” //
”I don’t have a hat.” ”Take off your helmet and beg.”

”…so that’s what happened.” ”Sure you can both stay here for the night. Come on in.” //
”Sorry, I don’t think I can take two bikes in this bus.” ”No problem, we’ll wait for the next one.” //
”Yes, I think we can fit those bikes in here.” ”Great, thanks!” //
”Bye bye!” ”Buy, then!” //
”Ahvis was a pretty nice adventure after all.” ”You’re right. By the way… can I get the recipe for those rosemary biscuits of yours?” //
”Of course. First mix 50 grams of butter with 50 grams of sugar…” ”I don’t remember it if you just tell it to me!” ”Oh.” THE END

Bonusluku – Bonus chapter
”Sorry for the bumpy ride.” ”That’s what he said!” //
”Hit me.”

Ottaen huomioon, että tämä oli 15-sivuinen arjakuva lintubongaamisesta, se kertoo yllättävän vähän lintubongaamisesta. Myös: polkupyörien piirtäminen on kamalaa.
This comic tells surprisingly little about bird watching considering it was a 15-page comic about bird watching. Also: drawing bikes is terrible.

Ahvis 4: Tuulta ja lintuja

”Hey, it’s those box bike people!” //
Royal waving

”Wake up, it’s half past four. Time to go bird watching again.” //
”Brrr, it’s cold!” //
”Look, two white-tailed eagles!” ”Again?” ”I never thought seeing white-tailed eagles might get boring but, apparently, that can happen, too.”

It was windy on Åland. ”Can we please go down? I’m actually a bit scared.” ”Wait… A northern shoveler.” ”Yes, I see him too.” //
”I need to keep pedaling so that we won’t stop.” ”But… we’re going downhill.” //
”I know!” //
”My trash!” ”My pizza!” //
”Hey guys! We saw 76 different bird species, one of which was an ace species!” ”So no-one else saw that (probably) lesser spotted eagle!” ”Neither did I… But good job, we!” TO BE CONTINUED…

Ahvis 3: Matkalla

The drivers at the bus station looked at my bike in a weird way… ”Please don’t come into my bus, please…” //
…but the driver of my bus was just the best: ”What is that tank?” //
My aunt who lives in Turku accommodated me for the night. I also met one of my cousins after a long time. //
”I wonder how I’m going to get the cargo bike into the ship?” //
”Apparently the same way all the other bikes get there.”

”What shall we do for the next six hours?” ”We could get something for lunch.” ”And take a nap. We won’t be sleeping that much next night.” //
”Three tickets to the lunch buffet, please.” ”Will you pay separately?” ”Yes, we will.” //
”I don’t think we’re as stylish as all the other restaurant customers…” //
”Excuse me, there are plates for only two in our table but there are three of us…” ”I see…” //
”It might be because one of you is a child.” ”!” //
”Oh, no… I think you’re an adult after all.”

”Where are we going to meet Kalla?” ”At the Sports Center. She gets a ride from some friend of hers.” //
”It’s 16 kilometers… that way!” //
”Hey, it’s five o’clock! The competition begins!” ”Let’s watch some birds!” TO BE CONTINUED…

Ahvis 2: Laatikko

”Mankind’s best invention since the wheel: cargo bike. Kalla can travel in it.” //
”Where are you going to get a cargo bike from?” ”Friends of the Earth, Nature League and 4H have one you can borrow for free.” //
”Just sign there, and here are the keys.” ”Thank you! I’ll bring it back next Monday.” //
”Let’s go!”

”Ow, my butt.” //
”Well, let’s try again!” //
”Now we’re talking!” //
”I could go for lunch…” //
”…and buy some food.” //
”And now home.”

”Wait a second…” //
”…there’s a hole in my trouser butt. And blood.” //
”I probably got a wound and tore my trousers when I fell over. …and then I went for lunch and to the grocery store wearing bloody and torn trousers.” //
”How am I always this elegant?” //
”The ship to Åland leaves from Turku. So I have to get the box bike first from Helsinki to Turku. I can’t take a bike this big to a train.” //
”Bus company, hello.” ”Hi. Can I take a cargo bike into your bus?” ”Uhh… Yes?” TO BE CONTINUED…

Ahvis 1: Suunnitelma

”Oh, hi, Kalla!” ”Hello, Kati and Brony! Mind if I join you?” ”Not at all.” //
”So, what’s up with you?” //
”I’m trying to find myself a team for Ahvis.” ”Ahvis? What’s that?” //
”Åland’s bird watching competition.” ”Biology students have it every year.” //
”It’s in mid-April but I still don’t have a team.” ”Hmm…” //
”It sure sounds like fun. Can non-biology students attend, too?” ”Sure!” //
”I’ve always wanted to go Ahvis but there has always been something else… And now I’m about to graduate so this might be my last chance…” ”What do you say – would the three of us make a good Avis team?” ”Why not!”

”Brony has a telescope too, don’t you?” ”Yes, and I can borrow my dad’s tripod.” ”Awesome!” //
”But are we going to be a bike team or a car team? It’s easier to move around with a car but I don’t have one.” //
”Neither do I, and I wouldn’t want to drive, either.” //
”I don’t have a driver’s license.” //
”Bike team it is.” ”Hmph…” //
”I don’t want to ride a bike. I’m just not fit enough.” ”How about renting a tandem bike?” //
”I really don’t want to pedal!” ”What are we going to do then?” //
”Guys. I have an idea that will solve every problem we have. Alternatively, it will kill my legs. Maybe both.” TO BE CONTINUED…