Los Farallones

Dispatches from Point Blue’s field station on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge

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A Snapshot of the Ending Seabird Season

Now that August is beginning, most of the chicks on Southeast Farallon are grown and fledging. Field work is winding down, and it is with mixed feelings that we say goodbye to the birds we have watched and worked with from egg to fledge. Where are they bound? Most of the Western Gulls (Larus occidentalis) […]

By | August 4, 2017


Photo by Mike Johns

Humpbacks on the Rise

Photo by Mike Johns I am sure most of you reading this are well aware of whaling and the devastating consequences it had for whales around the world. San Francisco Bay and the surrounding area has a long history of whaling. Roger Thomas, who runs whale watching trips on the Salty Lady, recalls when whales […]

By | July 27, 2017


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Great Farallon photo compilation from 1954

We stumbled across the amazing video of compiled photos from a Farallon Light keeper in 1954. How the island has changed! Enjoy!

By | July 20, 2017


Photo by Mike Johns

Record Breaking Whale Numbers Around the Farallones

Photo by Mike Johns Despite being from Wales and a graduate in Marine Biology, I had never seen a whale in my life before coming to the Farallones. Whilst at the Point Blue office, I naively asked Russ Bradley, one of the Point Blue Biologists, whether there was any chance of seeing whales during my […]

By | July 19, 2017


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The Farallon Egg Wars

Check out this recently released podcast by the Kitchen Sisters, of public radio fame, about “the Farallon Egg Wars”. The 18 minute story chronicles the history of Common Murre egging on the Farallones and the amazing recovery of this species on the Refuge. Recordings and interviews on the island with Farallon Point Blue staff were […]

By | June 12, 2017


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The Farallon Library

If you like to read and you’re fortunate enough to stay on the island, this is my advice: don’t bring a book. I’m not necessarily encouraging you to spend your time on activities other than reading. Rather, I say this to encourage you to explore the Farallon Library. The library is distributed between both the […]

By | May 31, 2017


murres

Eggs, eggs everywhere: Common Murre

The MURREacle of life! The Common Murre  (Uria aalge): Since the beginning of the season we have been studying common murres every day. At first we looked for and recorded banded birds in two different plots: Upper Upper: and Shubrick Point: As it is very difficult to read the metal bands from the hides we […]

By | May 22, 2017


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Eggs, eggs everywhere: The Gulls

The Western Gull (Larus occidentalis): Everyone who has worked with breeding Western Gulls can say one thing: These birds are loud. At the beginning of the seabird season (March-April) everything was good. We started sighting banded birds. Each bird has a color band and a metal band with a unique 5-digit number. Many birds have […]

By | May 18, 2017


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Eggs, eggs everywhere: The Rhinos

The Rhinoceros Auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata): The second seabird study species to lay eggs were the Rhinoceros Auklets. On April 17th Viv found the first egg using the Rhino-Cam. This device is used to monitor natural breeding sites of this species (and to look a bit funky). Four days later, the first eggs were seen inside […]

By | May 12, 2017


Cassin's Auklet

Eggs, eggs everywhere: The Cassin’s

So… things are starting to get real on the Farallon Islands. Nearly all our seabird study species have started laying their first eggs! First were the Cassin´s Auklets (Ptychoramphus aleuticus):   There are 446 regular nest boxes distributed all over the island and 32 nest boxes in a study site called the Habitat Sculpture. These […]

By | May 11, 2017