Seabird Island News - Vol. 10 - 30 July 2021

Matinicus Rock researchers with Manx Shearwater chick
Matinicus Rock researchers have confirmed 6 Manx Shearwater chicks on the island this season, all of whom are looking healthy! Pictured are seabird scientists Kate Josephs (left), Ayla Liss (center), and Keenan Yakola (right), observing one of these fluffy chicks. Photo: Matinicus Rock



Maine’s seabird filled skies are quieting down as terns begin to move on.  Researchers having been busy recovering bands from deceased chicks and continuing studies on those that remain. Pesky Peregrine Falcons continue to predate tern colonies, chasing down chicks, fledgings and adults alike. Researchers expect the majority of their studies to be wrapped up next week.


Puffin studies are also winding down with numerous reports of butterfish in puffin diets. One puffin parent re-fed its chick the same butterfish for over 40 minutes, a significant amount of effort put into a meal that went uneaten. JoJo, this season’s burrow cam chick, received its bands this week.  Head over to for more details.  While grubbing on Matinicus Rock, the team found one of the original puffins that was brought as a chick from Newfoundland in 1989 and raised on Seal Island by Project Puffin staff! This individual is now 32 years old!

Other Bird News

  • Eastern Egg Rock was visited by a Glossy Ibis, a new bird for the island this season.
  • Stratton Island had quite the list of visitors this week, including a Long-Tailed Duck, Least Flycatcher, Phoebe, and Kingbirds .
  • Outer Green Island discovered a new Black Guillemot burrow.  The island is now home to 20 healthy and fat guillie chicks.

Island Life - "Chopped Challenge" Week

Seabird Islands "Chopped™ Challenge"- July 2021
Seabird Islands "Chopped™ Challenge"- July 2021 Photo: Don Lyons

This past Sunday, most of our Seabird Island research teams took part in a “Chopped Challenge”, in the spirit of the popular cooking show. Each island was provided a challenge box with mystery ingredients.  Those ingredients turned out to be quinoa, canned squid, chili limón spice, and necco wafers, and the teams had to make a dish in 30 minutes incorporating those 4 with anything else they had on hand. Here’s what they made (some food photos are included above, along with their creators, from top to bottom, left to right):

  • Seal Island: The team succumbed to temptation and ate most of the Necco’s before competition began.
  • Outer Green Island: Sweet and Sour Squid sprinkled with Toasted Pepitas.
  • Jenny Island: Squid Chowder and Necco Wafer Truffles.
  • Eastern Egg Rock: Quinoa Squid Stir-Fry with Guacamole and Sauce and Snickerdoodles with Necco Wafer Crumbles.
  • Stratton Island: Squid Splatter Tacos “Not terrible, but not good.”
  • Eastern Egg Rock: Quinoa Squid Stir-Fry with Guacamole and Sauce and Snickerdoodles with Necco Wafer Crumbles.
  • Matinicus Rock: A dish described as a school of goldfish swimming in a sea of squid ink with a Necco tower and quinoa sprinkles.

For additional news, please visit the Seabird Island News index page.

Learn about birds and take action