Date: 2/6/19 4:56 am
From: 'Donald Glasco' via mbbirds <mbbirds...>
Subject: [MBBIRDS] Fwd: Año Nuevo Island seabirds update
Some good birding news

Sent from my iPhone

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Ryan Carle <ryan...>
> Date: February 5, 2019 at 12:28:59 PM PST
> To: undisclosed-recipients: ;
> Subject: Año Nuevo Island seabirds update
> Reply-To: <ryan...>
>
> Dear friends,
>
> As I write today, there is a major storm rolling through Santa Cruz and the drops pound down deafeningly on my tin roof. It makes me wonder what it’s like to be an auklet, far out at sea all winter, riding out giant swells in storms like these.
>
> We still don’t know much about what it’s like to be a seabird in a winter storm, but 26 years of research at Año Nuevo has shed a lot of light on their lives: what seabirds eat, how well they reproduce under various ocean conditions, and most importantly what they need to thrive into the future.
>
> A good deal of this information is contained in our comprehensive 2018 Año Nuevo seabirds project report (click on the hyperlink to download), which is hot off the press. I am delighted to let you know that the report offers a feel-good story amidst the current seemingly endless stream of bad news.
>
> A Rhinoceros Auklet parent and chick in a clay nest module on Año Nuevo. Both parents equally share duties of raising the egg and chick. Photo by Tara Johnson Kelly.
>
> The great news is that record-high numbers of Rhinoceros Auklets and Cassin’s Auklets nested on the island year! Nearly 500 Rhinoceros Auklets nested, shattering our previous population records, which had hovered around 200-300 for over a decade before major growth in 2017 and 2018. Likewise, the number of Cassin’s Auklets nesting on the island was also a record, at 156 birds.
>
>
>
>
> A Cassin's Auklet chick, also from a clay nest module. Auklet pairs only lay one egg and raise one chick a year.
>
> Along with our dedicated, amazing partners (CA State Parks, Go Native, California College of the Arts, UC Natural Reserves, Morelab, Rebar and many more), we have worked hard to improve the habitat for these unique burrowing seabirds by protecting their homes from sea lion trampling and damage from erosion. It’s gratifying to see the work pay off. Ocean conditions were favorable for the birds in 2018, with lots of anchovy to be eaten.
>
> With safe nesting habitat secured on the island, they were able to take advantage of the bounty and produce a healthy new cohort of young “Rhinos” to sustain the population in the future.
>
>
> Oikonos staff, California State Parks Natural Resource Crew, and California College of the Arts students building a retaining wall to halt erosion near a section of the "Habitat Ridge," a eucalyptus-post barrier that protects the auklet colony from sea lion trampling
>
> So give a thought for the seabirds riding out the storm, and celebrate with us that hard work does pay off, and the birds are thriving at Año Nuevo Island.
>
> Hope to see you all soon out at Año Nuevo!
>
> Ryan, Jessie, Michelle, and the whole Año Nuevo crew
>
> P.S. for more project updates, photos, and links to scientific papers, check out our recently updated project website www.oikonos.org/ano-nuevo-island
>
> We depend on the support of our community. Donations to the project can be made at: https://oikonos.org/donate/ (write that it is for the Año Nuevo Project in the note)
>
>
>
> Project biologists from left to right: David Calleri, Emily Coletta, Ryan Carle, and Jessie Beck
>

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