A Migration North
July 4, 2020
The month of July often brings reflection on the events that have unfolded throughout the seabird season. Here on the Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge, we’ve documented the earliest eggs on record, witnessed extremely high occupancy and chick success, an now wait with anticipation as some fully-feathered chicks begin to exercise their new flight feathers
The Least Expected
June 3, 2020
People often ask when they learn about our work on the Farallones, “So, how are the bird counts going?”. While counting established long-term index plots is one method we use for tracking population change of ground nesting species like Western Gulls, Brandt’s Cormorants, or Common Murres, determining the number of birds that nest underground is
Auklet Class of 2020
May 19, 2020
There are approximately 500 wooden boxes (shown with a rock on top in the photo) scattered around on Southeast Farallon Island that are used as nesting habitat by Cassin’s auklets, the small seabird I’m holding in the photo. These boxes have been checked every year since 1982, where pairs of auklets using each box can
An Invisible Force of Nature
May 5, 2020
Located just off the coast of central California, the Farallon Islands rest within one of the most productive ecosystems on the globe: the California Current System (CCS). Perhaps the most influential force that contributes to the immense productivity of this region is wind. Over the last fifty years, biologists and interns stationed on Southeast
PIGU Shatters Record
April 28, 2020
For the past 49 years, we have been systematically checking natural and artificial crevices used as breeding sites by a charismatic seabird called the Pigeon Guillemot, or PIGU for short. This species breeds throughout the west coast of North America, from Southern California to Alaska, with one of the largest breeding colonies here on Southeast
An early start for Cassin’s
April 9, 2020
The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has unfortunately delayed the arrival of our summer seabird interns, but the birds nevertheless are showing up in big numbers as we progress into the breeding season. The biggest story on the Farallones so far this year is the earliest peak laying on record for Cassin’s auklets. This species is fine
April 2, 2020
This is what happens when a pup gets to nurse off two moms. We like our pups round and chunky here… Here is the same animal after weaning, on the left, compared to a “normal” weaned pup. How many chins can you see?
Pup Weaning is in Full Swing!
April 2, 2020
Pup weaning is in full swing here on the Farallon Islands! These curious weaned pups have much to learn and even more fat rolls. Here is the envious daily schedule of our resident weaners: Wake up; Stretch, Scratch, Scream, Sleep, Repeat!
Happy Holidays from the Farallones! First pup of the season born!!
December 21, 2019
On the morning of December 17th a long-time resident of the Farallones, Shelly, gave birth to a healthy pup. In the past few days, the pup has begun to nurse and is doing well. In the meantime, we’ve been decorating the house and getting ready for the upcoming holidays.
2019-20 SEFI Winter Crew Introductions
December 18, 2019
Garrett is the winter biologist for the Farallon Program, the emphasis of which is to monitor the breeding colony of Northern Elephant Seals. The continuation of our long term data set is not only useful for documenting the species rebound from near extinction in the early 20th century and the recolonization of the Farallon Islands in