Half Moon

I am currently assisting in the research conducted by Oregon State University’s Seabird Oceanography Lab. A chunk of what I do is to monitor the disturbances and reproductive plots of the Common Murres. As of this week, we have lost a majority of the nests we have observed.  We account for the number of birds we see incubating and count that as a nest in a certain plot, and so forth. Disturbances from Bald Eagles have been extensive, the record by far being 10  eagles at one of the two rocks studied. Western Gulls, Common Ravens and American Crows are benefiting from the presence of the Bald Eagles, since the Common Murres fly away and leave their eggs behind, then those secondary predators consume the protein-rich eggs. We have a couple of birds that are still incubating their eggs, but it’s only a handful. This same outcome has been observed in prior years. No reproductive success for the Common Murres means no increase in population, which may cause the birds to leave this nesting site completely for a better location. We can only stay positive and look at the glass as being half full. Stay tuned for the next update on the Common Murres. 🙂

Denisse Silva
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