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Posts Tagged ‘Black Guillemot chicks’

While most of the other MCINWR islands are winding down for the season, Petit Manan is still going strong with major alcid trapping, island-wide guillemot and storm petrel checks, Arctic tern re-sighting, and our new-this-year project: Atlantic puffin feeding studies.

Atlantic Puffin with bill load

Atlantic Puffin with bill load through scope.

Puffin flying to burrow with fish that we have to identify as part of our feeding study

Puffin flying to burrow with fish that we have to identify as part of our feeding study

During our alcid checks, we discovered two little surprises in the form of Razorbill chicks! Only five pairs are breeding here on Petit Manan, so each new chick is very special to us. We even managed to capture one of his parents bringing food back to the burrow, an unusual sight here on PMI

Freshly banded Razorbill chick

Freshly banded Razorbill chick

Razorbill flying with food

Razorbill flying with food

Here are a few more snapshots of what else has been going on at PMI.

Black Guillemot chick being weighed during our weekly productivity checks

Black Guillemot chick being weighed every 5 days as part of our productivity checks

Leach's storm-petrel chick

Leach’s storm-petrel chick

PMI crew banding a puffin chick, minus Julia who took the photo

PMI crew banding a puffin chick, minus Julia who took the photo

A puffin undergoing the banding process

A puffin undergoing the banding process

Wayne and Julia with their first captured adult Razorbill!

Wayne and Julia with their first captured adult Razorbill!

Until next time,

Wayne and Julia

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The Eastern Brothers Island crew checking in here with one last update before our departure.  Our days are coming to an end for the 2013 season, which brings about bitter-sweet emotions.  I find it hard to believe how quickly the summer has gone by and yet the other part of me thinks “My, won’t it be nice to take a real shower and eat ice cream!”  It has been a wonderful experience living out on this beautiful island and we have definitely come to feel as though the little cabin feels close to home.

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Fresh picked flowers and welcome sign on cabin.

Due to quite a few early storms, as well as the presence of a mink on the island early season, the black guillemots had a wide-range of laying dates.  There are several chicks that have already fledged or will in the next few days, yet there are also a few that hatched just days ago.  Black Guillemot chicks will fledge on average after 33 days in the burrow and do not migrate south and so there is not a huge rush to get them out the door, per se.  Here are pictures of the two stages:

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A one week old chick practicing how to be fierce.

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The oldest chick, just a day or two before leaving the burrow.

As a parting thought, some people believe that a pot of gold lies at the end of a rainbow, but we have reason to believe otherwise (see last photo).  We hope you have enjoyed reading our posts and that you continue to have an interest in seabird colonies and the work we do on the Maine coast!  Cheers!  ~Mary and Jake

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Somewhere over the rainbow lies Eastern Brothers Island.

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Young Barnabas looking not too pleased with the photo shoot

We are happy to announce the long awaited arrival of our first black guillemot chicks!  Our first chick is named Avery William and appears strong and healthy (he is tucked far back in a dark burrow visible only with a flashlight).  His cousins Ally and Barnabas Beal hatched a few days later and are the cutest, 40 gram bundles of black down ever!  We have named them in honor of the folklore legend Tall Barney (Barnabas Coffin Beal, III), who lived and fished in the Jonesport/Beals Island area in the mid 1800’s.  He was known for his tall stature (6 feet 7 inches and possibly taller!) and unheard of strength.  We are hopeful that Barnabas Beal Guillemot and all his relatives to come grow to be strong and courageous like Tall Barney.

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Tall Barney with son Napolean Beal

On another exciting note, despite the hours of fog we have endured this last week, we were able to find an hour of clearing clouds during which we spotted a razorbill actually perched on the eastern tip of the island next to the alcid sound system.  Attracting razorbills to Eastern Brothers Island is one of the main objectives of Maine Coastal Islands National Wildlife Refuge and so having one land and appear interested in the area is very exciting.  We have been seeing one razorbill in the adjacent waters almost every day for several weeks now and decided that it was time for a name.  Seeing as our local common tern is officially named Reginald, we thought that Ronald the Razorbill was a good fit.  Stay tuned for more adventures of Reggie and Ron!

Here is a parting image of the Eastern Brothers cliffs breaking through the fog on a warm, summer morning. ~Mary

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EBI breaking through the fog. Photo by Jake

 

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