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Archive for July 19th, 2017

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Measuring wing chord on a black guillemot chick

It’s hard to believe that we only have one week left on Metinic Island. It seems like yesterday that we arrived in the chilly May weather.  As we count down the days, we have been busy collecting our last stretch of data before the birds too leave the island.  The terns that just hatched weeks ago are taking flight from our productivity plots. The forage fish held out during July and we are expecting a high rate of overall survival. The black guillemot chicks in our study burrows are also doing well. We have been monitoring their weight and wing growth since hatching. Black guillemots tend to gain lots of weight before they shift to wing growth. The chick pictured here is 278 grams and has a wing chord of 84 millimeters.

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Black guillemot chicks attempting to hide in their shallow burrow.

The last few days have been plagued with fog which means limited work out with the birds. But we have been keeping busy from the cabin entering all the data we have collected into excel spreadsheets and Microsoft databases. We have also had to keep an extra eye on the window as the number of nuisance sheep has increased to seven! Herding them away from the tern colony has become a daily routine.  Tomorrow we are greatly looking forward to a day trip out to Seal Island to see some puffins!

Cheers to a wonderful season!

Ravin

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Arctic tern chick approaching fledging!

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