Latest Research: Changes in double-crested cormorants in the San Francisco Bay area. Published in Marine Ornithology. In the San Francisco Bay area the Double-crested Cormorant population has recovered from significant declines to reach breeding population sizes comparable to those from the late 19th century, when only one colony offshore at the South Farallon Islands was known. Point Blue Senior Scientist, Meredith Elliott and colleagues looked at colony numbers in the San Francisco Bay area over a 42-year period (1975-2017) to better understand how the cormorant populations changed through time.

Publication and Report Briefs

Our Science Summarized


Changes in double-crested cormorants in the San Francisco Bay area. Published in Marine Ornithology.

Killer whale presence leads to white shark desertion of Farallon Island feeding grounds. Published in Scientific Reports.

Waterbirds need a mosaic of suitable agricultural fields and wetlands in the Delta. Published in San Franc Estuary Watershed Sci.

Adélie penguins become more efficient at finding food as they age. Published in Scientific Reports.

Fluorescent ornamentation in the Rhinoceros Auklet. Published in the Ibis.

Water and the Future of the San Joaquin Valley. Published with Public Policy Institute of California.

Recent drought may provide a glimpse of the future for the avian community in the Sierra Nevada. Published in Ecological Applications.

Eating in the dark: Ross Sea Adélie Penguin Foraging Habitat. Published in Marine Ecology Progress Series


Trends in abundance of wintering waterbirds relative to rainfall patterns at a central California estuary, 1972-2015. Published in Trends and traditions: Avifaunal change in western North America (W. D. Shuford, R. E. Gill Jr., and C. M. Handel, eds.).

Streamside forests store tons of carbon. Published in Global Change Biology.

Staggering water drawdown in winter-flooded rice increases habitat for waterbirds. Published in PLoS ONE.

Maximizing the carbon and biodiversity benefits of habitat restoration along rivers and streams. Published in Journal of Applied Ecology.

Implications of seabird prey consumption for forage fish management in California. Published in the Journal of Marine Systems.

Managing Drought in a Changing Climate: Four Essential Reforms. Published in the Public Policy Institute of California report.

Multiple double broods within a lifetime associated with higher quality Cassin’s Auklets. Published in Proceedings of the Royals Society B.

Combining seabird diet, acoustics, and ecosystem surveys to assess forage fish. Published in Journal of Marine Systems.

Incentive Programs Provide Critical Support for Waterbird Habitat During Extreme Drought. Published in PeerJ.

Fire leads to complex and dynamic responses by the avian community in Sierra Nevada forests. Published in Ecosphere.

More frequent El Niño Southern Oscillation might not be bad for seabirds. Theoretical Ecology.

Shorebirds seek stability in highly modified and a dynamic water landscape. Landscape Ecology.

Bird populations nearly triple in response to habitat restoration along Putah Creek. Published in Ecological Restoration.

Seabirds Indicate Fish Abundance In California’s Marine Protected Areas. Published in Marine Ecology.

White-crowned Sparrow habitat choices, but not nest success, are influenced by vegetation change. Published in the Condor.


Managing California’s Freshwater Ecosystems: Lessons from the 2012-16 Drought. Published in Public Policy Institute of California report.

U.S. West Coast whale deaths from ship collisions outstrip federal limits. Published in PLOS One.

Conservation objectives for waterbirds in California’s Central Valley. Published in San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science.

Conservation objectives for bird species at risk in California’s Central Valley. Published in San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science.

Conservation objectives for birds along California’s Central Valley rivers. Published in San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science.

Science-based guidelines for defining wildlife population objectives. Published in San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science.

Conservation objectives to eliminate food shortages for migrating and wintering shorebirds in California’s Central Valley. Published in San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science.

Inland-breeding terns’ response to California drought: Trend or tribulation? Published in Western Birds.

Environmental conditions and prey-switching by a seabird predator impact juvenile salmon survival. Published in Journal of Marine Systems.

Age, timing, and a variable environment affect double brooding of a long-lived seabird. Published in Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Modeling non-resident seabird distributions to inform ocean zoning in California. Published in PLOS One.

Can fishing in the Ross Sea be sustainable? Published in Ecological Applications.


Burrowing Owl diet on Southeast Farallon Island, California. Published in Journal of Raptor Research.

Cassin’s Auklet Foraging and Their Euphausiid Prey in a Variable Environment. Published in PLOS One.

Changed prevalence, not absence explains Antarctic toothfish status in McMurdo Sound. Published in Antarctic Science.

Species interactions do not have a strong effect on long-term community dynamics in a changing environment. Published in Ecosphere.

Migratory geography of Golden-crowned Sparrows from two wintering regions. Published in Animal Migration.

Can we reduce greenhouse gas emissions from rice and still maintain waterbird habitat?  Published in Biological Conservation.

When birds of a feather don’t flock together: Hermit Thrushes across the San Francisco Bay region migrate to different breeding locations. Published in Animal Migration.

A shorebirds guide to management of interior, freshwater wetlands. Published in Journal of Wildlife Management.

Private lands habitat programs benefit California’s native birds. Published in California Agriculture.


Where is the water? Using satellites to understand the impact of drought on surface water and waterbird habitat in the Central Valley of California. Published in Journal of the American Water Resources Association.

Waterbirds benefit from crops and field management practices in California’s Sacramento–San Joaquin River Delta. Published in Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems.

As Arctic sea ice melts, animal movement between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans needs to be monitored. Published in Global Change Biology.

Trophic cascades in the western Ross Sea. Published in Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Local and landscape habitat associations of shorebirds in wetlands of the Sacramento Valley of California. Published in Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management.

Improving effectiveness of systematic conservation planning with density data. Published in Conservation Biology.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo at-risk along the Sacramento and Feather rivers, California. Published in PLOS One.

A Quantitative Evaluation of the Conservation Umbrella of Spotted Owl Management Areas in the Sierra Nevada. Published in PLOS One.

The Hidden Nightlife of Wintering Dunlin within an Agriculture-Wetland Mosaic. Published in Waterbirds.

A Bird’s-Eye View of the USA National Phenology Network: An Off-the-Shelf Monitoring Program. Published in Studies in Avian Biology.

Drought-caused delay in nesting phenology of Sonoran Desert birds. Published in The Auk.


Penguins coping with climate change. Published in Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution.

Restoring Native Perennial Grasses by Changing Grazing Practices in Central Central Coastal California. Published in Ecological Restoration.

Occurrence Patterns of Black-backed Woodpeckers in Green Forest of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, California, U.S.A.Published in Avian Conservation and Ecology.

Trends in the Breeding Population of Adelie penguins in the Ross Sea, 1981-2012: A Coincidence of Climate and Resource Extraction Effects. Published in PLOS One.

Waterbird Response to Practices that May Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions From Rice Fields. Unpublished report to Environmental Defense Fund.

Does Restoration Create Ecological Traps by Increasing Brown-headed Cowbird Nest Parasitism? Published in Ecological Restoration.

Avian Response to Mechanical Aspen Restoration in Sierra Nevada Coniferous Forest. Published in Restoration Ecology.

Habitat Suitability Through Time: Using Time Series and Habitat Models to Understand Changes in Bird Density. Published in Ecosphere.

A Method for Estimating Colony Sizes of Adélie Penguins Using Remote Sensing Imagery. Published in Polar Biology.

Extreme Events Disrupt Adélie Penguins’ Ability to Cope With a Variable Environment. Published in PLOS One.

Impacts of Barn Owls on Scripps’s Murrelets on Santa Barbara Island. Report to National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.


Climate Change Winners: Receding Ice Fields Facilitate Colony Expansion and Altered Dynamics in an Adélie Penguin Metapopulation. Published in PLOS One.

Exceptional seabird breeding success. Report to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Population Viability of Western Gulls. Report to the US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Non-lethal hazing can protect gulls from exposure to rodenticide. Report to the Oiled Wildlife Care Network.

Reducing burrowing owl predation to benefit Farallon ashy storm-petrels. Report to US Fish and Wildlife Service.

Agriculture is very important to Long-billed Curlews in California’s Central Valley. Published in Western Birds.

Conservation Reliance Among California’s At-Risk Birds.  Published in The Condor.

Lifetime survival rates and senescence in Northern Elephant Seals. Published in Marine Mammal Science.

Success of captive-rearing for a threatened shorebird. Published in Endangered Species Research.

Rice field management to increase habitat value for waterbirds. Published in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.

Using Seabirds Feeding to Inform National Marine Sanctuary Management. Published in PLOS One.

Black-footed Albatross habitat use in central California Sanctuaries. Published in Fisheries Oceanography.

Parent birds protect young from climate change. Published in Ecology.

Young and adult Song Sparrows will respond differently to climate change. Published in Global Change.

Geolocator tags reveal strong migratory connectivity and within-winter movements for coastal California Swainson’s Thrushes. Published in the Auk.

The Ecology of Yellow Warbler Nest Site Selection at Mono Lake. Four papers published in Oikos, Western North American Naturalist, Journal of Animal Ecology, and Ecology and Evolution.

Assessing migratory stopover site quality for birds during fall migration along two California rivers. Published in Western North American Naturalist.

Modeling climate change impacts on tidal marsh birds: Restoration and conservation planning in the face of uncertainty. Published in Ecosphere.

Snag Density and Black-backed Woodpecker Nesting in Burned Forests of the Sierra Nevada, California. Published in the Wildlife Society Bulletin. We have publication briefs going back to 2009. Please contact our librarian at to request archived copies.

Publications Database

Visit our Publications Database and access our more than 2,000 technical reports and peer reviewed scientific articles. We use these findings to address real-world challenges, working hand-in-hand with land, ocean, and wildlife managers to improve conservation outcomes.

California Avian Data Center

Visit the California Avian Data Center for protocols and data sheets to standardize field methods and contribute data for larger conservation impact.

For questions about how we manage data, please see and reference Point Blue’s Data Sharing Policy.

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