Rhinoceros Auklets Abound

By Joe Behnke. Filed in Bird surveys  |   

In June and early July, rhinoceros auklets outnumbered all seabirds in the area. Tens of thousands of them nested on small islands in the Strait of Juan de Fuca and foraged in our deep-water channels. Gulls and auklets worked together; gulls located sandlance concentrations and auklets drove fish to the surface for the gulls. Marbled murrelets, cormorants, tufted puffins, and common murres also worked bait balls, although in lesser numbers. As June came to an end, the dark-grey Heermann’s gulls arrived from Mexico and, by early July, the first California gulls began to trickle-in.

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