Date: 6/11/19 8:39 am
From: Gerry McChesney <gerry.mcchesney...>
Subject: Re: [pen-bird] Ancient Murrelets with chick, Brown Booby SE Farallon Island
The Ancient Murrelet trio was seen again yesterday off the east side of the island. We thought they would have moved on by now.

Most days we have one, but yesterday two Brown Boobies were on Sugarloaf.

Its peak of the seabird breeding season and the best time to come out here. Many of the slopes and cliffs, and waters surrounding the islands, are coated with Common Murres (nearly 270,000 breeding birds), Brandt’s Cormorants, Pigeon Guillemots, and other species. Tufted Puffins (late breeders) are attending their rock crevice nest sites on the cliffs.

Manager, Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge

On Jun 1, 2019, at 10:48 PM, Gerry McChesney <gerry.mcchesney...> wrote:

I know this is really a San Francisco County sighting but I’m not on that listserve. Feel free to forward.

To our astonishment, a pair of adult Ancient Murrelets with a roughly half-grown chick spent much of today just off the East Landing at Southeast Farallon Island. Ancient Murrelets are not known to breed south of southern British Columbia or perhaps the Washington coast. This species takes their 1-2 chicks to sea when they are only 2-3 day old downy fluffballs.

The murrelets were seen from both boat and shore. In the late afternoon, we watched from the island as the two adults made repeated dives, coming up with food that was fed to the chick. Very fascinating!

Murrelets take their chicks far distances. Given the size of the chick, I doubt it originated from Southeast Farallon. But the origin will be fun to speculate and discuss.

U.S Fish and Wildlife Service volunteer Michael Pierson got lots of great photos. A couple are included in his ebird checklist from the day, which have birds from the Golden Gate to the island. Attached is a link to Michael’s checklist, shared with me.

Brown Boobies continue out here. One was on Sugarloaf today.


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