Seabird Island News - Vol. 3 - 11 June 2021

Jake Brown with Great-horned Owl
A second Great Horned Owl was captured on Pond Island. Possibly the partner of the owl captured last week, this owl, held by Jake Brown, will be taken to Avian Haven and then released in the northern Maine woods. Photo: Adam DiNuovo



This week brings exciting news from Eastern Egg Rock. Research assistant, Jasmine, spotted this season’s first puffin with fish on June 8th! This feeding marks the hatching of a puffling AND the 40th anniversary of puffins breeding on Eastern Egg Rock. The first puffin with fish in 1981 was reported on the 4th of July, much later than in recent years. Steve Kress shared with the team that, although puffin hatch dates have ranged from May 30 to June 18, June 8 is a surprisingly common hatch date on Eastern Egg Rock. We look forward to more puffin with fish reports in the coming weeks.


Tern activity was on the rise this week. As researchers set out in search of new nests and eggs, they simultaneously run the gauntlet as terns peck at them from overhead. This aggressive behavior indicates that their eggs will soon hatch. Each island continues to report new active nests, one researcher on Seal Island NWR even watched a tern relay in a nest that was predated earlier in the season. Terns on Pond Island NWR have largely spent the evenings elsewhere, but hopefully will make themselves at home after the removal of a second Great Horned Owl. Three Black Terns were spotted out on Matinicus Rock and the Jenny Island team caught sight of a Caspian Tern, the largest of the tern species.

Other Bird News

  • Razorbill chicks have hatched on Matinicus Rock and Seal Island.  The first chick to hatch on Seal Island weighed in at 69 grams!
  • American Oystercatcher nests have been confirmed on Stratton and Outer Green Islands, with one chick hatched on Outer Green.
  • Eider chick numbers are on the rise, with roughly 35 chicks bobbing along in the water along Jenny Island.
  • Researchers on Seal Island counted 41 Great Black-Backed Gull nests with a total of 110 eggs and 244 Herring Gull nests with a total of 754 eggs. Some Herring Gulls have taken over Eider nests, causing two species of eggs to be found within the same nest.

Island Life

Coastal Maine was plagued by hot weather and intermittent stints of fog this week.  To beat the heat, some bold researchers plunged into the Gulf of Maine for a refreshing dip.  Water temperatures in the Gulf are currently hovering around 57 degrees!

With the culinary talents of our intrepid island researchers, a seabird island cookbook should be in the works!  This week’s island updates brought reports of foraged periwinkle-mussel pasta from Stratton Island and a delicious stuffed pineapple boat from Eastern Egg Rock. 


Pineapple Boat
by Researcher Jasmine Eason, Eastern Egg Rock

The Pineapple Boat is (essentially) pineapple fried rice with a mango salsa topping, but you can make it your own.

Here is how we made it:

  • Cut an entire pineapple into equal halves, leaves and all. Cut around the perimeter and dice the inside, making it easier to scoop out.
  • Sautee your veggies of choice, then add rice to the pan. You can also add eggs or soy sauce.
  • Once the rice is heated through, add the pineapple. Cook the pineapple to get the flavor throughout the rice, but avoid cooking until it’s mushy.
  • Scoop the rice into the hollow pineapple and top with Mango Salsa.

Mango Salsa contains: Mango, Cilantro, Red Onion, Avocado, Bell Pepper, Salt and Lime


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

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