Archive for June 28th, 2020

On Petit Manan, the majority of our tern chicks are going through a rebellious teen phase; snapping at our fingers, climbing out of weigh bags, and being quite unreasonable during wing chord measuring. Most of our productivity plot chicks have hatched and been banded, but finding them is challenge since they prefer to hide in thick vegetation. Playing hide-and-seek during our productivity checks is much easier with the larger chicks though. Our largest chick at the moment is a hefty 92 grams! In the meantime, we are observing what food the chicks are being fed during provisioning watches. At the moment, we are seeing an abundance of hake and pollock being delivered, with the occasional over-sized sandlance; but the terns aren’t the only seabirds delivering food to their chicks.


Measuring the wing chord of a tern chick during a productivity check.

We’ve been watching our puffins zip around the shoreline, diving into their burrows to feed their newly hatched chicks. It’s very entertaining to sit at the puffin blind, camera at the ready, taking split-second photos of passing puffins with mouthfuls of fish. Next week we’ll get the chance to check in on their burrows and hopefully band some puffin chicks!


An adult Atlantic Puffin carrying some hake to its burrow.

A variety of tour boats visit regularly now, among them the massive Bar Harbor Whale Watch vessel, Friendship V, which stopped by to ask us questions on our two-way radio. It’s great to see people enjoying the island’s wildlife, so we point out any loafing seals, eider ducklings, or uncommon birds from the puffin blind to make their tour more entertaining. Speaking of uncommon birds, we finally got to see an American Oystercatcher wading through the shallows at Green Island, slightly obscured by fog during an alcid count at the lighthouse. We’re hoping to see it again, but the strangest birds seem to appear when we least expect them. As the season continues, our spotting scopes are locked on the horizon for shearwaters and other seafaring birds.


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