Nesting season is in full swing here on Metinic, and we are excited to share what we are seeing!
During these last few weeks of May, we have been conducting nest surveys for many of the seabird species on the island, including Herring and Great Black-backed Gulls, Common Eiders, and Black Guillemots. These surveys are conducted by walking the island searching for nests. When a nest is found, it is marked and the clutch size is recorded. These surveys will provide accurate estimates on the number of seabirds nesting on the island and where their nests are located. For some seabird species, like the Black Guillemot, we will monitor the nests found during the survey throughout the rest of the season in order to determine the success of the nest based on the hatching and fledgling rates.
We conducted our initial gull nest survey earlier this week, finding a total of 23 Herring Gull nests, each of which had 1-3 eggs, however many were still in the process of building their nests, and a second census will have to be done soon.
While walking the island we also located several Common Eider nests, all with 4-5 eggs. We will have a better estimate on the total number of eider nests by the end of the week when we conduct the eider census.
We have also been busy conducting Black Guillemot nest searches. So far we have only located 3 active burrows, however, we were excited to find our first Black Guillemot egg!
Lastly, we have been seeing more and more migrants on the island. We have observed over 50 different species of bird so far, and the list is growing everyday! We have continued conducting morning bird count surveys and are happy to see that the Common and Arctic Terns are finally starting to settle into the colony. Just today we located the first scrapes, and hope to find tern eggs within the next few days!
Until next time,