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Archive for July 20th, 2018

From Ship to Petit Manan and, lastly, to Metinic, I am lucky enough to have been able to experience three of the refuge’s seabird restoration islands. Every island so distinctly different from the other, it has been interesting to spend some time on each.

 

Metinic is such a charming island. I was thrilled to be able to walk in a forest again, and the sheep out here are very cute! There are so many birds on the island a well, and Nora and Nick have been extremely helpful in teaching me about the ones I am unfamiliar with. We have spotted some whimbrels hanging around the island the past few days as well, which was really cool to see.

We have been checking our 86 Leach’s storm-petrel burrows that have been marked so far and found chicks in a few burrows! This is the first time a crew has confirmed storm-petrel chicks on Metinic! We have also been monitoring black guillemot chicks, and have done the final check for two near-fledged (~28 days old) chicks. Black guillemots are considered fledged around 36 days old, and these two will be our first to leave their burrow.

As mentioned in the last blog post, the stars out here are unbelievable. I have never seen the night sky so clear and have been enjoying staying up late to see them and listen to the funny storm-petrel calls from under the house. Nora and Nick have been capturing some amazing photos. I will definitely miss seeing the night sky on the islands when I head back to the mainland.

Even though there are a few new nests for terns and guillemots, most eggs have hatched and many chicks have fledged. Our season is wrapping up too, but we still have plenty of final checks, banding and measurements to be taken. It will be sad to leave the island, but the chicks are fledging and birds are leaving on migration so it’s time for us to migrate too.

– Olivia

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