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Archive for June 22nd, 2014

This week at The Brothers Islands we have been preparing for the hatching of guillemot eggs by locating and numbering each barrow with numbered rocks so we can keep track of the nests we need to visit throughout the week. So far in our island egg hunt we have found 52 nests, and each guillemot can have anywhere between 1 to 3 eggs. This is an example of what a numbered guillemot nest would look like:

Rock and guil

About two weeks ago Sara and Jim from the Milbridge office came to visit our island and needed Baxter and I to help them set out floating razorbill decoys. At the time we were all unsure of how affective these decoys would be because of the strong currents tangling them and the rough waves damaging them. To our surprise the decoys held up nicely and real razorbills started noticing and landing with the floating decoys. Before long the razorbills even started visiting our island. The razorbills landed on the rocks and inspected the decoys that were placed on the island. Here is a picture of a razorbill I was able to snap some pictures of it in the water, and later inspecting our island:

 

Razorbill on water

Razorbill standing

Here is a picture of the floating decoys we put out:

Razorbill decoys

Unfortunately we have not yet had any razorbills nest on our island.

 

 

In my free time I have been trying to catch fish. For the first couple of weeks I did not have any luck catching fish so I didn’t think that I was going to be able to catch any fish off the islands. To my surprise, after searching the coast of the island for different places to fish I started catching pollock. They were fairly small but after catching a few Baxter and I made a delicious meal out of them.

Baxter and fish

Until Next time,

Jason

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Summer Solstice Sunset

Summer Solstice Sunset

Just a quick post today, but plenty of exciting news!

First and fluffiest, we have our first tern chicks!

Almost there - hatching is hard work!

Almost there – hatching is hard work!

Second, we completed our GOMSWG Census, and we have some great numbers. In our colony, we counted 428 nests. After applying a correction factor (essentially an estimation of how many nests we missed) we estimate there to be about 477 tern nests on Metinic this year. That’s an increase of more than 100 nests from last year!

Our 2014 Census Crew at work

Our 2014 Census Crew at work

Special thanks to volunteers Frank and Sandy, Interns Megan and Kim, and Refuge Staff Beth, Michael, Brian, and Jay for helping us with our census.

Finally, we picked up all of our species ratio flags (see my previous entry, Egg Enigmas for more information), and came up with an estimate of 89 Common Terns to every 100 Arctic Terns. When we apply this ratio to our total counts, we get 256 Arctic Tern nests and 220 Common Tern nests. Our estimation of Arctic Terns on Metinic has increased more than 100 pairs, or 200 individual birds, from last year. This is especially exciting because Arctic Terns have been struggling in recent years.

Chicks are cuter when they have a chance to dry out

Chicks are cuter when they have a chance to dry out

Now we just have to wait and see how well all our chicks do!

– Amy

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