Brown Pelicans being seen and a rescue of Nothern Fulmars at Manchester State Beach.


jackson_us
 

12/27/21
 
Hi All,
  Do any of you keep records on when the brown pelicans have migrated south? We are still seeing dozens upon dozens of them in Gualala/Anchor Bay. Last night I looked through my spotting scope at Fish Rocks at sunset (I’m a half mile away from the shoreline). I was surprised to see brown pelicans on all the high spots, with hundreds of gulls and cormorants a little lower on the rocks. It looked like the bigger rock was totally covered in birds!
  Bob Rutemoeller wrote me that yesterday, Sunday, he saw at least 50 to 60 pelicans on the sandbar and in the Gualala River. It seems very late to me to be seeing them. What do you think?
  Also of note, there have been Northern fulmars in trouble at Manchester State Beach. A big rescue of over 20 of them took place. According to International Bird Rescue Center, they are first year birds with lesions on their feet. You can read about them at this IBRC link: https://www.birdrescue.org/puzzling-influx-of-northern-fulmars/ There is a fun photo of these birds in a swimming pool. Looks like most of them will survive thanks to some dedicate people who went the extra mile for these birds.
 
  Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay


Diane Hichwa
 

It varies.  While we think of the numbers tapering off in December………….

I looked on our Gualala Point Island surveys of December and on our Sea Ranch Chr Bird Counts in early January.

Some years we have 0 and other years more than 100.

It is likely that the breeding adults have gone south to nest and what remains are mostly immatures.

 

Diane Hichwa

 

Email: dhichwa@...

 

Telephone: 707-785-1922 (Sea Ranch)

707-483-3130 (cell)

More Tail Wagging!!! Less Barking!!

Millie 2007

 

From: <Mendobirds@groups.io> on behalf of Jeanne & Rick Jackson <jackson2@...>
Date: Monday, December 27, 2021 at 4:05 PM
To: Mendobirds <Mendobirds@groups.io>
Subject: [Mendobirds] Brown Pelicans being seen and a rescue of Nothern Fulmars at Manchester State Beach.

 

12/27/21

 

Hi All,

  Do any of you keep records on when the brown pelicans have migrated south? We are still seeing dozens upon dozens of them in Gualala/Anchor Bay. Last night I looked through my spotting scope at Fish Rocks at sunset (I’m a half mile away from the shoreline). I was surprised to see brown pelicans on all the high spots, with hundreds of gulls and cormorants a little lower on the rocks. It looked like the bigger rock was totally covered in birds!

  Bob Rutemoeller wrote me that yesterday, Sunday, he saw at least 50 to 60 pelicans on the sandbar and in the Gualala River. It seems very late to me to be seeing them. What do you think?

  Also of note, there have been Northern fulmars in trouble at Manchester State Beach. A big rescue of over 20 of them took place. According to International Bird Rescue Center, they are first year birds with lesions on their feet. You can read about them at this IBRC link: https://www.birdrescue.org/puzzling-influx-of-northern-fulmars/ There is a fun photo of these birds in a swimming pool. Looks like most of them will survive thanks to some dedicate people who went the extra mile for these birds.

 

  Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay


Tim Bray
 

On the north coast the departure was fairly sudden this year. There were hundreds on each of the roosting rocks from Mendocino to Westport around November 3-4, but a week later I saw flocks flying south and by the 17th nearly all had disappeared. A few individuals, mostly juveniles, could be seen now and then well into December but the thousands that summered here were gone. By the date of our Raptor Run (Nov 13) there were few left north of Elk but we did see a substantial flock at the mouth of the Garcia. I don't have all the reports yet but so far none reported for yesterday's Fort Bragg CBC (exceptionally poor conditions for seawatching).

I think this is pretty consistent with the normal pattern, it was just a lot more pronounced this year because we had such a huge population of them all summer. It would have been interesting to try surveying to get an estimate of the total number along the Mendocino coast. Certainly it was in the thousands. The total population is estimated to be somewhere in the 100,000 - 200,000 range although there are no formal surveys. So as much as ten percent of the total population might have summered here. They should have been in good condition for migration and breeding, after gorging on anchovies for almost six months. 

I'm always amazed at how different the conditions are north and south of Point Arena.

Interesting about the Fulmars. Given the unusually large numbers of them unusually close to shore in November-December, it's not surprising to find unusual numbers washing up on beaches. (About half of all young-of-year will fail to survive their first winter, and there are millions of them.)  COASST has data suggesting this recurs every 5 to 8 years. This year might be the biggest peak yet though. Is it simply a function of population cycles or is there some ecosystem variable at work? Nobody knows.
Young birds have a difficult time even in years like this when food is abundant. I watched a Fulmar eating a dead jellyfish at Caspar (just off the rocks) about a month ago, and wondered if such a meal could even provide enough energy for the bird to stay warm. Now I wonder about the Fulmar Foot Disease - is it a cause of emaciation, or a symptom?

I did get a chuckle at the "intoxicating smell" remark! Fulmars have a defense mechanism similar to Turkey Vultures... projectile vomiting, reportedly a "particularly vile-smelling" liquid.
--
Cheers,
Tim
Mendocino Coast Audubon Society
Ecology Hour
Oak & Thorn
Facebook: Oak and Thorn



On 12/27/2021 4:05 PM, jackson_us wrote:
12/27/21
 
Hi All,
  Do any of you keep records on when the brown pelicans have migrated south? We are still seeing dozens upon dozens of them in Gualala/Anchor Bay. Last night I looked through my spotting scope at Fish Rocks at sunset (I’m a half mile away from the shoreline). I was surprised to see brown pelicans on all the high spots, with hundreds of gulls and cormorants a little lower on the rocks. It looked like the bigger rock was totally covered in birds!
  Bob Rutemoeller wrote me that yesterday, Sunday, he saw at least 50 to 60 pelicans on the sandbar and in the Gualala River. It seems very late to me to be seeing them. What do you think?
  Also of note, there have been Northern fulmars in trouble at Manchester State Beach. A big rescue of over 20 of them took place. According to International Bird Rescue Center, they are first year birds with lesions on their feet. You can read about them at this IBRC link: https://www.birdrescue.org/puzzling-influx-of-northern-fulmars/ There is a fun photo of these birds in a swimming pool. Looks like most of them will survive thanks to some dedicate people who went the extra mile for these birds.
 
  Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay


Dave Bengston
 

Mike and I had one at Pomo Bluffs.   I haven’t  done the report yet. 


On Dec 28, 2021, at 9:09 AM, Tim Bray <tbray@...> wrote:



On the north coast the departure was fairly sudden this year. There were hundreds on each of the roosting rocks from Mendocino to Westport around November 3-4, but a week later I saw flocks flying south and by the 17th nearly all had disappeared. A few individuals, mostly juveniles, could be seen now and then well into December but the thousands that summered here were gone. By the date of our Raptor Run (Nov 13) there were few left north of Elk but we did see a substantial flock at the mouth of the Garcia. I don't have all the reports yet but so far none reported for yesterday's Fort Bragg CBC (exceptionally poor conditions for seawatching).

I think this is pretty consistent with the normal pattern, it was just a lot more pronounced this year because we had such a huge population of them all summer. It would have been interesting to try surveying to get an estimate of the total number along the Mendocino coast. Certainly it was in the thousands. The total population is estimated to be somewhere in the 100,000 - 200,000 range although there are no formal surveys. So as much as ten percent of the total population might have summered here. They should have been in good condition for migration and breeding, after gorging on anchovies for almost six months. 

I'm always amazed at how different the conditions are north and south of Point Arena.

Interesting about the Fulmars. Given the unusually large numbers of them unusually close to shore in November-December, it's not surprising to find unusual numbers washing up on beaches. (About half of all young-of-year will fail to survive their first winter, and there are millions of them.)  COASST has data suggesting this recurs every 5 to 8 years. This year might be the biggest peak yet though. Is it simply a function of population cycles or is there some ecosystem variable at work? Nobody knows.
Young birds have a difficult time even in years like this when food is abundant. I watched a Fulmar eating a dead jellyfish at Caspar (just off the rocks) about a month ago, and wondered if such a meal could even provide enough energy for the bird to stay warm. Now I wonder about the Fulmar Foot Disease - is it a cause of emaciation, or a symptom?

I did get a chuckle at the "intoxicating smell" remark! Fulmars have a defense mechanism similar to Turkey Vultures... projectile vomiting, reportedly a "particularly vile-smelling" liquid.
--
Cheers,
Tim
Mendocino Coast Audubon Society
Ecology Hour
Oak & Thorn
Facebook: Oak and Thorn



On 12/27/2021 4:05 PM, jackson_us wrote:
12/27/21
 
Hi All,
  Do any of you keep records on when the brown pelicans have migrated south? We are still seeing dozens upon dozens of them in Gualala/Anchor Bay. Last night I looked through my spotting scope at Fish Rocks at sunset (I’m a half mile away from the shoreline). I was surprised to see brown pelicans on all the high spots, with hundreds of gulls and cormorants a little lower on the rocks. It looked like the bigger rock was totally covered in birds!
  Bob Rutemoeller wrote me that yesterday, Sunday, he saw at least 50 to 60 pelicans on the sandbar and in the Gualala River. It seems very late to me to be seeing them. What do you think?
  Also of note, there have been Northern fulmars in trouble at Manchester State Beach. A big rescue of over 20 of them took place. According to International Bird Rescue Center, they are first year birds with lesions on their feet. You can read about them at this IBRC link: https://www.birdrescue.org/puzzling-influx-of-northern-fulmars/ There is a fun photo of these birds in a swimming pool. Looks like most of them will survive thanks to some dedicate people who went the extra mile for these birds.
 
  Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay


Diane Hichwa
 

With your comment:  I'm always amazed at how different the conditions are north and south of Point Arena---

I wonder if a major factor is the upwelling from Pt Arena South?

 

 

Diane Hichwa

 

Email: dhichwa@...

 

Telephone: 707-785-1922 (Sea Ranch)

707-483-3130 (cell)

More Tail Wagging!!! Less Barking!!

Millie 2007

 

From: <Mendobirds@groups.io> on behalf of Tim Bray <tbray@...>
Reply-To: <tbray@...>
Date: Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at 9:09 AM
To: Jeanne & Rick Jackson <jackson2@...>, Mendobirds <Mendobirds@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Mendobirds] Brown Pelicans being seen and a rescue of Nothern Fulmars at Manchester State Beach.

 

On the north coast the departure was fairly sudden this year. There were hundreds on each of the roosting rocks from Mendocino to Westport around November 3-4, but a week later I saw flocks flying south and by the 17th nearly all had disappeared. A few individuals, mostly juveniles, could be seen now and then well into December but the thousands that summered here were gone. By the date of our Raptor Run (Nov 13) there were few left north of Elk but we did see a substantial flock at the mouth of the Garcia. I don't have all the reports yet but so far none reported for yesterday's Fort Bragg CBC (exceptionally poor conditions for seawatching).

I think this is pretty consistent with the normal pattern, it was just a lot more pronounced this year because we had such a huge population of them all summer. It would have been interesting to try surveying to get an estimate of the total number along the Mendocino coast. Certainly it was in the thousands. The total population is estimated to be somewhere in the 100,000 - 200,000 range although there are no formal surveys. So as much as ten percent of the total population might have summered here. They should have been in good condition for migration and breeding, after gorging on anchovies for almost six months. 

I'm always amazed at how different the conditions are north and south of Point Arena.

Interesting about the Fulmars. Given the unusually large numbers of them unusually close to shore in November-December, it's not surprising to find unusual numbers washing up on beaches. (About half of all young-of-year will fail to survive their first winter, and there are millions of them.)  COASST has data suggesting this recurs every 5 to 8 years. This year might be the biggest peak yet though. Is it simply a function of population cycles or is there some ecosystem variable at work? Nobody knows.
Young birds have a difficult time even in years like this when food is abundant. I watched a Fulmar eating a dead jellyfish at Caspar (just off the rocks) about a month ago, and wondered if such a meal could even provide enough energy for the bird to stay warm. Now I wonder about the Fulmar Foot Disease - is it a cause of emaciation, or a symptom?

I did get a chuckle at the "intoxicating smell" remark! Fulmars have a defense mechanism similar to Turkey Vultures... projectile vomiting, reportedly a "particularly vile-smelling" liquid.
--
Cheers,
Tim
Mendocino Coast Audubon Society
Ecology Hour
Oak & Thorn
Facebook: Oak and Thorn

 

 

On 12/27/2021 4:05 PM, jackson_us wrote:

12/27/21

 

Hi All,

  Do any of you keep records on when the brown pelicans have migrated south? We are still seeing dozens upon dozens of them in Gualala/Anchor Bay. Last night I looked through my spotting scope at Fish Rocks at sunset (I’m a half mile away from the shoreline). I was surprised to see brown pelicans on all the high spots, with hundreds of gulls and cormorants a little lower on the rocks. It looked like the bigger rock was totally covered in birds!

  Bob Rutemoeller wrote me that yesterday, Sunday, he saw at least 50 to 60 pelicans on the sandbar and in the Gualala River. It seems very late to me to be seeing them. What do you think?

  Also of note, there have been Northern fulmars in trouble at Manchester State Beach. A big rescue of over 20 of them took place. According to International Bird Rescue Center, they are first year birds with lesions on their feet. You can read about them at this IBRC link: https://www.birdrescue.org/puzzling-influx-of-northern-fulmars/ There is a fun photo of these birds in a swimming pool. Looks like most of them will survive thanks to some dedicate people who went the extra mile for these birds.

 

  Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay


jackson_us
 

That is a very good thought, Diane. We know the upwelling that happens off of Point Arena ignites the entire food chain to our south, fueling the Farallones. Jeanne
 

From: Diane Hichwa
Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2021 9:47 PM
To: tbray@... ; jackson_us ; Mendobirds
Subject: Re: [Mendobirds] Brown Pelicans being seen and a rescue of Nothern Fulmars at Manchester State Beach.
 

With your comment:  I'm always amazed at how different the conditions are north and south of Point Arena---

I wonder if a major factor is the upwelling from Pt Arena South?

 

 

Diane Hichwa

 

Email: dhichwa@...

 

Telephone: 707-785-1922 (Sea Ranch)

707-483-3130 (cell)

More Tail Wagging!!! Less Barking!!

Millie 2007

 

From: <Mendobirds@groups.io> on behalf of Tim Bray <tbray@...>
Reply-To: <tbray@...>
Date: Tuesday, December 28, 2021 at 9:09 AM
To: Jeanne & Rick Jackson <jackson2@...>, Mendobirds <Mendobirds@groups.io>
Subject: Re: [Mendobirds] Brown Pelicans being seen and a rescue of Nothern Fulmars at Manchester State Beach.

 

On the north coast the departure was fairly sudden this year. There were hundreds on each of the roosting rocks from Mendocino to Westport around November 3-4, but a week later I saw flocks flying south and by the 17th nearly all had disappeared. A few individuals, mostly juveniles, could be seen now and then well into December but the thousands that summered here were gone. By the date of our Raptor Run (Nov 13) there were few left north of Elk but we did see a substantial flock at the mouth of the Garcia. I don't have all the reports yet but so far none reported for yesterday's Fort Bragg CBC (exceptionally poor conditions for seawatching).

I think this is pretty consistent with the normal pattern, it was just a lot more pronounced this year because we had such a huge population of them all summer. It would have been interesting to try surveying to get an estimate of the total number along the Mendocino coast. Certainly it was in the thousands. The total population is estimated to be somewhere in the 100,000 - 200,000 range although there are no formal surveys. So as much as ten percent of the total population might have summered here. They should have been in good condition for migration and breeding, after gorging on anchovies for almost six months. 

I'm always amazed at how different the conditions are north and south of Point Arena.

Interesting about the Fulmars. Given the unusually large numbers of them unusually close to shore in November-December, it's not surprising to find unusual numbers washing up on beaches. (About half of all young-of-year will fail to survive their first winter, and there are millions of them.)  COASST has data suggesting this recurs every 5 to 8 years. This year might be the biggest peak yet though. Is it simply a function of population cycles or is there some ecosystem variable at work? Nobody knows.
Young birds have a difficult time even in years like this when food is abundant. I watched a Fulmar eating a dead jellyfish at Caspar (just off the rocks) about a month ago, and wondered if such a meal could even provide enough energy for the bird to stay warm. Now I wonder about the Fulmar Foot Disease - is it a cause of emaciation, or a symptom?

I did get a chuckle at the "intoxicating smell" remark! Fulmars have a defense mechanism similar to Turkey Vultures... projectile vomiting, reportedly a "particularly vile-smelling" liquid.
--
Cheers,
Tim
Mendocino Coast Audubon Society
Ecology Hour
Oak & Thorn
Facebook: Oak and Thorn

 

 

On 12/27/2021 4:05 PM, jackson_us wrote:

12/27/21

 

Hi All,

  Do any of you keep records on when the brown pelicans have migrated south? We are still seeing dozens upon dozens of them in Gualala/Anchor Bay. Last night I looked through my spotting scope at Fish Rocks at sunset (I’m a half mile away from the shoreline). I was surprised to see brown pelicans on all the high spots, with hundreds of gulls and cormorants a little lower on the rocks. It looked like the bigger rock was totally covered in birds!

  Bob Rutemoeller wrote me that yesterday, Sunday, he saw at least 50 to 60 pelicans on the sandbar and in the Gualala River. It seems very late to me to be seeing them. What do you think?

  Also of note, there have been Northern fulmars in trouble at Manchester State Beach. A big rescue of over 20 of them took place. According to International Bird Rescue Center, they are first year birds with lesions on their feet. You can read about them at this IBRC link: https://www.birdrescue.org/puzzling-influx-of-northern-fulmars/ There is a fun photo of these birds in a swimming pool. Looks like most of them will survive thanks to some dedicate people who went the extra mile for these birds.

 

  Jeanne Jackson, Anchor Bay