Date: 6/13/18 10:46 am From: Range Bayer <range.bayer...> Subject: [obol] Yaquina Head Seabird Nesting Update (6/13)
---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Rachael Orben <Rachael.Orben...> Date: Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 5:09 AM Subject: Yaquina Head seabird update To: [many]
The Seabird Oceanography Lab studies at Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area had an early start this season beginning on the 15th of May, with the first egg seen on Flat Top Rock on the 20th of May which was lost soon after.
Despite the usual disturbances caused by the bald eagles as seen in the past recent years, the Colony Rock murres have been holding on to their eggs more so than previous years. As 8th of June, we have been tracking 52 eggs across 6 plots, for multiple days. The number of disturbance events is similar to last year (32 in 2018 vs 31 in 2017) but less severe with no more than 4 bald eagles seen on any day (2 adults, 2 sub-adults) and no more than 12 eggs taken on any event.
We continue to monitor cormorant nest at several locations (Smuggler’s Cove, Whale Rock, Colony Rock, Lower Colony Rock, Satellite Rock, and Lion’s Head). In total, 88 Brandt’s cormorant nests and 73 Pelagic cormorant nests. Early in this season, we’ve been able to confirm 13 nests with eggs.
In 2018, we’re expanding cormorant monitoring locations to include Yaquina Bay Bridge and pilings (20 Brandt’s, 76 Pelagic, and 44 Double-crested), and Pirate Cove Research Reserve (7 Pelagic and 97 Brandt’s). Interestingly, the nesting phenology follows a strict south-to-north pattern with the first chicks (Double-crested) seen on May 6th, the first eggs at Yaquina Head on May 20th, and Pirate’s Cove cormorants still building nests. We are also monitoring Western Gulls at Cleft-in-the-Rock and nests in Newport. The first chicks have hatched at Cleft-in-the-Rock.
This year, we’re delighted to have Christian Cortez as our new Environment for the Americas intern whom we share with the Bureau of Land Management. Additionally, we welcome back two continuing undergraduate student researchers, Alayna Lawson and Ana Medina, and bring into the fold three new OSU summer research fellows, Melonie Birch, Alyssa Nelson, and Mackenzie Weber.
We’re excited to follow all these stories throughout June and will send another update in early July. Stay tuned!
Let us know if you have any questions.
Sincerely, Christian Cortez Rachael Orben Don Lyons Jane Dolliver Jess Porquez Ana Medina Alayna Lawson Melonie Birch Alyssa Nelson Mackenzie Weber Stephanie Loredo Rob Suryan