Monday, November 16, 2015 More Murres in Trouble
Cold and clear, fierce NNW wind. I checked that sneaky sun; in town, it lumbers over the eastern mountain at 9:41 am and slips away behind the western mountains at 2:03 pm. The day goes quickly!
As the cold intensifies, more and more COMMON MURRES are succumbing, as evidenced by fresh carcasses and blowing feathers in the harbor, along the beaches and around town. BALD EAGLES, including first year birds, are feasting on the easy pickings. Scavengers, including RAVENS, NW CROWS, and BLACK-BILLED MAGPIES pick the bones clean.
It’s very sad to see the lethargic Murres, looking cold and barely paddling along as if in a daze, totally unaware of danger. Their lives are measured in hours if not minutes.
I watched several Murre groups in the harbor today. Some birds were very active, preening, diving, and feeding. That was encouraging! I do not know why they are surviving and not far away, their relations are dying.
While watching the Murres, I also found a RED-BREASTED MERGANSER swimming with COMMON MERGANSERS, first one in a long time. Jim H reported the HOODED MERGANSER at the Stash and Store pond, so that’s all three merganser species in one day.
No luck with the YELLOW-BILLED LOON.
Two sea otters wrestled energetically with each other, enjoying the blustery, sunny day, all splash and teeth without harm. The harbor is always an interesting place to visit.
On the way home, I screeched to a stop: FOUR STARLINGS! They seem to be surviving just fine in this bitter weather!
Seward Sporadic Bird Report Reporter