Seabird Island News - Vol. 11 - 05 August 2022

Matinicus Rock Late Season Sunset
Teams are soaking in the remaining island sunsets as the season's end draws near. Photo: Matinicus Rock.


The team on Seal Island discovered its first Black Guillemot fledgers this week. The Outer Green Island crew is still discovering new burrows. Puffins on Seal Island have been bringing herring home for dinner, while the Matinicus Rock puffins fed mostly Mackerel and Rough Scad, with Pufferfish brought in by a few peculiar puffin parents. The gang on Eastern Egg Rock is only 2 grubbings away from tying the Eastern Egg Rock record for pufflings grubbed and banded in a season. Way to go!

Researcher with No Drones Sign on Pond Island NWR
The job of safeguarding seabirds sometimes comes with unexpected tasks. Thanks to the Pond Island crew for trying to limit drone use around their island. Photo: Pond Island NWR.


Across the islands, teams have continued to discover their final tern chicks are transitioning to fledgers. An adult Common Tern that was GPS-tagged this season on Stratton Island was spotted this week on Cape Cod with its fledgling in tow. One thing is certain, researchers have enjoyed watching these fledglings glide through the air as they grow accustomed to their new skills.

Other Birds

  • Matinicus Rock researchers discovered a Leach’s Storm Petrel on the island that was banded as a chick by Seabird Sanctuary Manager, Paula Shannon in 2003.
  • Following up on some early season suspicions, the Stratton Island team discovered several Black-Crowned Night Heron nests on neighboring Bluff Island – a first for that island!
  • Ruddy Turnstones and other migrants are showing up more and more on the islands; a group of six were seen hanging around Outer Green Island.
Bird Word of the Week

With the recent extreme heat in the Gulf of Maine, many cameras have overheated causing temporary shut-offs. Cam fans are on fledge watch, as Flo and Pax are expected to leave their burrows any day. Be sure to take a peek before they leave!

Jenny Island team returns to shore after closing
With support from Seabird Institute staff and volunteers, Jenny Island was the first island to close for the season. Welcome back, puffineers! Photo: Kim Keller

Island Life

As the march towards end-of-season continues, “Seabird Sue” Schubel presented the teams with the “Use it Up Challenge,” designed to use up old food items laying around camp. Points are given for using foods which have had the longest island time as well as presentation, umami, and edibility. Winners will be announced next week, so stay tuned!

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