Date: 7/3/18 11:30 am
From: Range Bayer <range.bayer...>
Subject: [obol] OSU Seabird Oceanography Lab's Yaquina Head Seabird Nesting Update #2 [July 3]
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Rachael Orben <Rachael.Orben...>
Date: Tue, Jul 3, 2018 at 10:30 AM
Subject: Yaquina Head seabird update #2
To: [many]

Hello all,

The Seabird Oceanography Lab
is in full swing now that it is July! So much so that we’ve checked
out all available keys to our lab space at Hatfield Marine Science

Since the last update, we’ve seen a noticeable drop in disturbances at
Yaquina Head, especially from sub-adult/immature eagles. From 1 June –
25 June 2017, we witnessed 61 disturbances – in 2018 only 32. We still
need to compare observation effort between the years, but we have had
observers at the colony nearly every day. Currently, murres are
incubating eggs at all locations in Yaquina Head except Flat Top rock.
There is a pair of eagles that have claimed the headland as their
primary perching spot and periodically spend time on Flat Top.

We are tracking 188 murre eggs across 27 plots, some since the 30th of
May. We expected chicks to hatch as early as July 1st, but no chicks
have been seen yet. We are also excited to schedule all day activity
watches, allowing us to observe how often adults bring fish to their

Nesting sites for cormorants have also been doing well. As of June
25th, 7 pelagic cormorant and 2 Brandt’s cormorant nests have chicks
at Yaquina Head. As is typical, most of the pelagic cormorants reside
in Smuggler’s Cove whereas the Brandt’s cormorants occupy a large
portion of Whale Rock and have branched out to the east side of Colony
rock. To the south at Yaquina Bridge, chicks from all three cormorant
species (Brandt’s, pelagic, double-crested) on the pilings have become
more active and mobile, flapping and exercising their wings. We hope
to see the first chicks fledge soon! To the north in Depoe Bay, at the
Pirate’s Cove colony, several nesting cormorants continue to salvage
and fight over nesting material. A vast majority of the 135 nests
being monitored at Depoe Bay are still in the incubation phase. Common
murres are also consistently found at this location, and even with
infrequent visits, we have documented eggs laid at this colony.

Of the 19 nesting sites being monitored for the western gulls at
Yaquina Head, half of them have been observed to have chicks! Some
have even begun to walk and explore outside of their nests with the
supervision of their adults nearby.

Our pigeon guillemot nest cameras are up again. Both nests currently
have eggs! The live feed is available here: and here:

At the end of this week, we’ll welcome back Don Lyons from Alaska by
way of Russia, and Alaska, and say goodbye to Rachael Orben who leaves
for the Falkland Islands! Our 6 summer research fellows are all out at
Hatfield, busy thinking of creative ways to present YHONA data at
upcoming conferences this fall and winter.

Tune in next time for updates on forage fish and fuzzy chicks!


Christian Cortez
Rachael Orben
Don Lyons
Jane Dolliver
Jess Porquez
Ana Medina
Alayna Lawson
Melanie Birch
Alyssa Nelson
Makenzie Weber
Stephanie Loredo
Rob Suryan

P.S. If you know someone who wishes to be added to this list please
direct your request to Don Lyons (<Don.Lyons...>). Thanks!
Rachael A. Orben PhD
Assistant Professor (Sr. Research) | Department of Fisheries &
Wildlife | Oregon State University | Hatfield Marine Science Center |
Newport, Oregon 97365 | office: 541-867-0223
Seabird Oceanography Lab
| GEMM Lab | Research Website | SYN Blog
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