Using Duck Eggs to Track Climate Change

Read the full story from South Dakota State University.

Julie DeJong can’t set foot on the ground of an Oregon marsh to gather duck eggs on a spring day in 1875.

But Charles Bendire did. And thanks to a research project that is the next best thing to time travel, DeJong is measuring the duck eggs in several museum collections — from the Smithsonian Institution, in this case, where Bendire was the first curator of the discipline known as oology, or the study of birds’ eggs. When her project is done, DeJong will have assembled and analyzed a metrics database on perhaps 60,000 duck eggs representing at least 40 species and subspecies of ducks found in North America.

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