Molly is Back!
February 1, 2010
Molly, the brant who hangs out with the western gulls on SEFI from time to time, is back after a several-month absence. Welcome back, Molly!
Peak of the Elephant Seal Breeding Season
January 29, 2010
The last days of January are the peak of the northern elephant seal breeding season on the South Farallon Islands. Most cows have already arrived and given birth on the rookeries, which echo with the sounds of cows calling to their screaming pups and males bellowing to intruders. We can hear the cacophony all the
January 20, 2010
The Farallon Islands have been pummeled by a series of major storms over the past few days. The massive swells crashing into the island are awe-inspiring and the intermittent heavy rains are filling our cistern with much-needed drinking water to last PRBO biologists the rest of the year. The huge waves – especially at high
20 Orca seen today!
January 13, 2010
During this morning’s lighthouse watch, I saw 20 Orca swimming west of the island, headed southeast.5 big males were in the group and perhaps 4 juveniles.Very exciting!
The Battles Begin
January 6, 2010
The genus Mirounga comprises the northern and southern elephant seals, the largest pinnipeds in the world. Our large northern elephant seal bulls on Southeast Farallon Island weigh up to 5,000 pounds – some particularly massive ones are even heavier. Northern elephant seals are highly sexually dimorphic, with males weighing 3 to 6 times more than
It's big, it's blue, it's broken!
December 21, 2009
Living on a remote island wildlife refuge is a wonderful experience for the biologists and research assistants of PRBO. However, all food and personnel must come and go via boat, and the ocean is so rough at SEFI that no boat docks exist. Our main facility for getting things and people on and off the
Winter Season Begins
December 11, 2009
The 2010 winter crew has arrived at SEFI, eager to being monitoring this season’s northern elephant seal reproduction. We welcomed the continued presence of California and Steller sea lions at Sand Flat and Mirounga Beach, our main elephant seal breeding beaches. Northern fur seals have even been spotted twice at Sand Flat over the past
COUNTING BIRDS YOU CAN’T SEE?
November 26, 2009
Effective conservation of a species requires that you have some idea as to how many individuals there are in a population, whether the population is stable, growing, or declining, and what factors may influence those trends. The Farallon Islands are home to the largest seabird colony in the contiguous United States and currently have more than
Farallon Update – Nov 8
November 8, 2009
A crew transfer occurred on Oct 25th ushering in a shift from the early and mid season migration to the late season migration. During fall migration, the early migrants include the bulk of the shorebirds, flycatchers, and warblers which pass through mostly during late August and September. During October, these species begin tapering off rapidly
Farallon Update – October 21
October 22, 2009
Well it’s been a quiet week on Southeast Farallon, our home island, out here on the edge of the continental shelf. With September being one of the slowest on record (we banded 90% fewer birds than average), the crew was a bit downtrodden. We had to take joy in the few birds that were showing