Los Farallones

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

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:

Upper Upper plot at the beginning of the season

and Shubrick Point:
Shubrick Point site

As it is very difficult to read the metal bands from the hides we are in, we record the band color pattern, which is unique to each individual. In the case were the color bands are no longer there, the reading of the metal numbers is essential.
The bird on the left has a White band over a blacK band on its left leg and a Gray band over a Metal band on its right leg. This color pattern is recorded as: WK GM. The bird on the right is Red-White on the left leg and unknown on the right. Color code: RW ??.

This bird has Red-Blue on the left and Metal greeN on the right. Color code: RB MN.

Since April 16th we started looking for laid eggs and on May 4th the force was with us and we saw our first common murre egg.
P1130716 P1130703 P1130713 P1130665
Every day after that has been a challenge to look under each bird in search for their eggs. We are now half way there and are expecting to see some chicks at the beginning of June.