The Farallon Islands National Wildlife Refuge is well known for the many species of seabirds which roost and breed here. Maybe the most charismatic of these species (and the one most sought by visitors on the sightseeing boats) is the Tufted Puffin (Fratercula cirrhata). However, on the morning of June 30th, the crew was treated to a sighting of a Puffin of a different persuasion. While sitting on Lighthouse Hill during a Pigeon Guillemot diet watch, one of our biologists spotted a HORNED PUFFIN (Fratercula corniculata). This close relative of our Tufted Puffins is a rare sighting this far south and has been a thrilling addition to our usual collection of seabirds on the Farallones.
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 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!
The Farallon Islands are uniquely situated for people interested in the act of finding and identifying birds, otherwise known as “birding”. The cluster of jagged rocks that make up the Farallones are located just far enough offshore to provide a stable platform for spotting rare pelagic species like the Cook’s petrel, and close enough to
By Farallon Island seabird intern Sophie Bennett As mid-July comes to Southeast Farallon Island, the chicks of the Island’s most dominant breeding seabird species, the Western Gull, are beginning to fledge. Over 8,500 pairs of Western Gulls breed across the island, which equates to >30% of the global population, making Southeast Farallon the most important
GARRETT DUNCAN: WINTER FARALLON PROGRAM BIOLOGIST Garrett Duncan graduated from Humboldt State University with a degree in Geology but has since applied himself to ecology and conservation. He participated in several avian research projects including a Cloud Forest Ecology Project in Colombia and a Grassland Songbird Productivity study in Montana. In 2016, he was a
Winter on the Farallones is coming to an end; the winter team are collecting the last of their data, packing bags, saying goodbye, and looking forward to hot showers at home. Having been on the island from mid-December, they have been closely monitoring the ups and downs of the Elephant Seal colonies throughout
Greetings from the Farallon Islands. We’ve been dodging raindrops since our arrival but the last few days have been pure sunshine and we’ve been trying to soak up the rays as much as possible. No pregnant female elephants seals have arrived to the island as of yet but we are hopeful the sunshine will start
While the winter season here at Southeast Farallon Island usually focuses on the soap-opera-esque, high stakes drama of elephant seal pupping and mating season, there are many other marine mammals that utilize the high productivity and unique location of the Farallon islands in their ocean travels. These islands are a regular stopover for other seals
For the first few decades that PRBO worked on the Farallones, a powerful rotating light on the lighthouse acted as a beacon to lost ships, birds, and bats. An analysis of 38 years of hoary bat arrivals on the island revealed that nights during the dark phases of the moon had a greater likelihood of
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