Science Spotlight

Science In Depth:

With the use of remote cameras we are able to study breeding seabirds in colonies in Resurrection Bay area. A sub-colony of about 2,000 nesting pairs of black-legged kittiwakes in El Dorado Narrows are observed in real time, using a remote-control video system. The Barwell Island colony of common murres is studied using still-images from cameras deployed pre-breeding season and retrieved post-breeding season. Videos and images are reviewed for incubating and brooding behaviors and additional variables throughout the entire breeding season. 
Our coastal seabird surveys are conducted monthly along a 44 km transect following the shoreline of Resurrection Bay. The location, sex, age, and behavior of every bird within 200m from shoreline is recorded during the surveys. 
These projects are in the early stages, but have already yielded great results. It was rewarding to learn that live-video and still-images work well in studying the productivity of two local seabird species. 
Several still-images from Barwell Island caught glaucous-winged gulls in the act of stealing common murre eggs! 
After analyzing images from a June survey of the area, we have estimated that 14,300 pairs of black-legged kittiwakes nest in the vicinity of Cape Resurrection.


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