Los Farallones

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


The weather looked promising today with overcast skies and light east winds, but there were very few arrivals.  Two birds of interest were the two Red-breasted Mergansers that were found in Mirounga Bay.  The mean arrival date for this species is 24-Nov so these two were on the early side. 

Another arrival was of a juvenile tundrius Peregrine Falcon.  Tundrius peregrines breed on the arctic tundra and winter from Mexico to southern South America.  They differ from the other two subspecies of North American peregrines by being distinctly paler with a thin, dark eyeline and malar stripe.  Unfortunately for this individual, there are a male-female pair of adult peregrines of the continental subspecies, anatum, that forceably evict any peregrine that happens to stopby and look for a meal.  This pair has been defending the island since the first of September.  In 1932, peregrines were reported to have successfully nested on the cliffs below the lighthouse.  Perhaps this pair will stick around into next spring and raise its young on the abundant seabirds that will nest here.

Another bird that has been on the island for a while is this House Wren.  It arrived in late June and has managed to successfully avoid our mistnets the entire fall.  It’s funny to watch it fly up and over or out and around the nets.  It probably has flown into all them and managed to escape them so it knows where they all are.  We hope that this bird will find a mate next spring and start a Farallon population of House Wrens.  In fact, this species has done this on a few islands already where some have evolved into separate species such as the Clarion Wren that breeds on Isla Clarion over 700 km off western Mexico.

Location: Southeast Farallon Island
Observation date: 10/30/08

Number of species: 45

Greater White-fronted Goose 1
Green-winged Teal (American) 1
Red-breasted Merganser 2
Pacific Loon 2
Eared Grebe 82
Western Grebe 1
Pink-footed Shearwater 5
Buller’s Shearwater 1
Black-vented Shearwater 3
Brown Pelican 158
Brandt’s Cormorant X
Double-crested Cormorant 2
Pelagic Cormorant X
Peregrine Falcon (Continental) 2
Peregrine Falcon (Tundra) 1
Black Oystercatcher 41
Wandering Tattler 2
Willet 1
Whimbrel 4
Black Turnstone 58
Heermann’s Gull 2
Western Gull X
California Gull 278
Herring Gull 7
Thayer’s Gull 1
Pomarine Jaeger 1
Common Murre X
Rhinoceros Auklet 1
Barn Owl 1
Burrowing Owl 2
Black Phoebe 6
Say’s Phoebe 2
Rock Wren 1
House Wren 1
American Robin 1
European Starling 13
American Pipit 4
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Myrtle) 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler (Audubon’s) 2
Palm Warbler (Western) 1
Chipping Sparrow 1
White-throated Sparrow 1
Dark-eyed Junco (Oregon) 2
Western Meadowlark 4
Brown-headed Cowbird 1

This report was generated automatically by eBird v2(