Date: 7/24/17 7:01 pm
From: Range Bayer <range.bayer...>
Subject: [obol] Yaquina Head Nesting Seabird Update #3 (July 24)
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Suryan, Robert Michael <rob.suryan...>
Date: Mon, Jul 24, 2017 at 2:01 PM
Subject: Yaquina Head seabird update #3
To: [clipped]

Hello again,

On July 7th our first and only murre chick was spotted on Whale Rock
West. Unfortunately, this chick was last seen on July 14th. It is
improbable that the chick fledged, since it was an estimated 8 days
old and chicks are usually at least 15 days old when they fledge.
Even the murre pairs on Lower Colony Rock did not produce chicks so
far this year.

In general, the common murre colony at Yaquina Head has yet to
resettle on the rocks since our last update. When we have observed
murres returning to the rocks, they are flushed by bald eagles,
although the frequency of disturbances has decreased overall, with
fewer eagles observed. It is unlikely that murres will settle and lay
any more eggs at this point, but we will continue to monitor any
changes.

The first set of murre prey photos were taken July 13th. Even though
birds are not feeding chicks, some will return to the rocks holding
fish in their bill for us to photograph. So far, we are seeing fewer
prey items compared to last year (which was already a low year for
prey).

Alayna Lawson has been following Western Gulls at Yaquina Head and
reports that they are not doing very well either. Out of 14 nests
that she originally started monitoring, only 4 had chicks and now only
two chicks remain. Disturbance by the eagles has not appeared to have
a huge impact on these nests. Chicks have been seen being consumed by
other gulls and nests have been overrun by the murres moving around
constantly.

On a happier note, cormorant chicks are still hatching and growing,
with more being counted each day! We are currently monitoring 78
Brandt’s nests and 43 Pelagic nests (we lost a few Brandt’s nests).
There are 82 Brandt’s chicks and 35 pelagic chicks in our plots! Some
Brandt’s chicks on Lion’s Head have been seen leaving their nest and
exploring their surroundings. Some should be fledging soon!

The few murres that we are tracking from Yaquina Head are in
Washington and Canada. One bird traveled to northern Canada (near the
Alaska border!), then returned all the way back to central Oregon and
then back up to southern Washington. An impressive commute! We have
not seen individual murres range so widely in previous tracking
efforts.

Let us know if you have any questions. Thanks for your interest!

Isabel Justiniano
Ana Medina Roman
Alayna Lawson
Stephanie Loredo
Jane Dolliver
Jess Porquez
Don Lyons
Rachael Orben
Rob Suryan

OSU Seabird Oceanography Laboratory,
http://hmsc.oregonstate.edu/research-labs/seabird-oceanography-lab
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