News

Seabird Island News - Vol. 7 - 09 July 2021

Terns

Tern tales were bleak this week.  Low feeding rates and lack of ideal food mean chicks are not gaining weight, in fact, some chicks are losing weight. During these desperate times, one older Common Tern chick on Jenny Island attempted to devour its newly hatched sibling, with deadly consequences (both died in the ordeal). The cold, wet weather over the holiday weekend also dealt a blow, spiking mortality rates across all of the islands. It wasn’t all bad news, however, as Stratton and Jenny Islands each saw their first Common Tern fledglings of the season, with more to soon follow.

Alcids

July 4th is always an extra special day for the Seabird Institute.  This year’s holiday marked the 40th Anniversary of puffins nesting on Eastern Egg Rock. On July 4th, 1981, the first observation of a “Puffin with fish!” was recorded, signifying an adult puffin bringing fish back to the island to feed a chick hidden in a burrow deep underground.

In contrast to their tern counterparts, puffin provisions have been adequate so far! Stratton Island had a special treat when a pair of puffins circled and loafed on the island – a new bird for the island list! While the chilly weather took a toll on Razorbills chicks on Matinicus Rock, all Guillemot chicks on Outer Green Island were accounted for when the storms passed. 

Razorbill Chick on Matinicus Rock
A Razorbill chick has emerged from it's burrow on Matinicus Rock. Photo: Matinicus Rock

Other News

2 American Oystercatcher chicks fledged from Outer Green Island, but the biggest non-seabird siting of the week was an ORCA seen off Pond Island NWR! This individual killer whale, reportedly a male that has been seen in the Gulf of Maine before, thrilled the Pond Island crew with a “full on Free Willy” breech. Wow!

Island Life

Researchers found themselves inside throughout much of the holiday weekend, but as the skies began to clear on the 4th of July, they settled in to enjoy fireworks displays along Maine’s coastline. The Outer Green Island team has practiced their knitting and the Jenny Island team has discovered the Merriam-Webster online thesaurus. We look forward to the upcoming wordplay from the Gulf of Maine.

RECIPE

Pufftini
This special cocktail comes to you from the Eastern Egg Rock team in honor of the 40th Anniversary of "Puffin… with fish!"

Here is how to make it:

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 Limes
  • 2 Oranges
  • 3 Lemons
  • 1/3 cup of water
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • Mint leaves (If you’re doing it right, you’ll pick a healthy helping of mint straight from your favorite seabird island. But, if you don’t have access to a seabird island, mint from your own backyard or local grocery store will work just fine, too!)

INSTRUCTIONS:

  • Juice the citrus into a saucepan. 
  • Add water, sugar and mint and bring to a boil for 2-3 minutes.
  • Allow the mixture to cool, and add a decent amount of your favorite tequila, vodka, or soda. 
  • Chill (...in rain water if you're on a seabird island, since you don’t have ice...)
  • Sip and enjoy!

For additional news, please visit the Seabird Island News index page.

Hardy Boat's Stacie Crocetti, Maine Gov. Janet Mills, and Audubon Outreach Assistant, Emmylou Kidder
Congratulations to our partners at Hardy Boat Cruises for earning the 2020 Governor’s Award for Tourism Excellence—and a visit this week from Gov. Janet Mills herself! Thank you for being wonderful partners for over 30 years! Pictured (on left): Hardy Boat Co-Owner Stacie Crocetti and Maine Gov. Janet Mills, and (on right) Maine Gov. Janet Mills and Audubon Outreach Assistant, Emmylou Kidder. Photo: Hardy Boat Cruises

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