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Archive for July 24th, 2017

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The milky way over PMI, photo by Jenna Lutes

This past week on PMI has transformed from a tern chick takeover to flight school for fledglings. Over the past few weeks during our feeding studies we could observe our tern chicks flapping their feather-less wings, or at least attempting to. As time passed and they gained more feathers this flapping became a very large jump… and typically a crash landing. However their practice has paid off, our skies are now filled with fledglings getting ready for their migration. As exciting as this is the crew is now racing the clock to band as many chicks as possible before everyone is flying away.

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PMI crew each holding a tern fledgling during a banding sweep.

We also have a few brand new additions to our island family. Last week we found our first Leach’s Storm Petrel chick. LHSP chicks will be brooded by their parents for up to twelve days and after that the adults will only come back every other day and can be gone for up to 3 days based on weather. They will stay in their burrows till they fledge at about 8-9 weeks of age.

Leach’s Storm Petrel chick (Oceanodroma leucorhoa)

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We also found our first Razorbill chick last week and were able to grub him from the burrow on Friday. As of right now we only know of the one chick, but we are hoping to find more. This little bundle of fuzz will head out to sea with its dad at around 18-20 days old!

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Our Razorbill chick (Alca torda), we have decided to name it Jasper

As our tern chicks begin to fledge and the rest of our sea bird chicks put their work into growing so they can head out to sea; we have one more member of our island family preparing to leave. One of our fellow island techs Micaela Griffin (known for her love of puffins and stellar gopro skills) will be leaving us this Friday. We hope you have enjoyed her blog posts as much as we have, she will be missed as we finish the next two weeks here on PMI. Much like many of our birds this is her first island season, and we are so proud of how easily she adapted to island life and field work.

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Micaela weighing a puffin chick on puffin point

That’s all for now!

-Kelby Leary on PMI

 

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