The Murricle of Life!

I cannot believe it is already July! This summer is flying by and I’m enjoying every minute of it. To start, I had a really nice fourth of July made up of delicious food, great friends and amazing fireworks. Also, my work week was pretty relaxing. I conducted my usual monitoring of the common murres and cormorants. There are more and more cormorant chicks every day! They are starting to get pretty big, almost the size of their parents, except with much smaller wings.

This past weekend at Yaquina Head was pretty busy in terms of lighthouse tours. I worked the interpretive center front desk and it was pretty chaotic signing people up for tours, handing out reminders/tickets and informing lighthouse keepers. I gotta say though, once I got the hang of it, I was rocking it! This internship has truly improved my multi tasking skills. I was also at tide pools and I had a great time exploring and showing visitors different critters. Sadly, an injured murre washed up on Cobble beach on Saturday and it passed away right in front of me. I honestly thought it was going to be alright, but then the next minute it was gone. On a happier note, one of my lab mates found our first murre chick! It was found on a rock where murres usually don’t nest, so it was a bit of a surprise. We are all hoping this little guy makes it, but who knows. Those eagles and gulls can be really sneaky. After discovering the dead murre, visitors kept asking why it was on the beach and if we could remove it. We can’t really move any birds, except for their tags if they have any. Since this one didn’t, we just left it on the beach and let nature take its course. It really isn’t easy being a murre, but I’m still really happy there is at least one chick.

Isabel Justiniano
ijustiniano93@gmail.com
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