Seabird Migration

10.03.2015 in Education

We hear that Miss. Kushin’s class is learning about migration this week: butterflies; mammals, birds… Don’t forget about Seabirds! Seabirds return to land to build nests, lay eggs and raise their chicks. For those breeding on the Pribilofs this only takes a few months. These birds then spend the rest…

Cold Feet?

02.03.2015 in Education, Kittiwake Behavior

Miron, a student on St. Paul Island, asks, “Why don’t kittiwakes get frostbite on their feet if their legs and feet are in the cold water all the time?”

Red-legged Kittiwake Ecology

09.02.2015 in Education, Kittiwake Behavior, Uncategorized

Red-legged kittiwake photo (above) by Caitlin Kroeger There are two species of kittiwake, the black-legged kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla) and the red-legged kittiwake (Rissa brevirostris). The red-legged kittiwake is a small cliff-nesting gull that is endemic (restricted) to the Bering Sea.

Meet the Team

21.01.2015 in Education, Kittiwake Behavior

Instead of working independently and alone, it is more and more common for a group of scientists to work together to figure out answers to a question they are all interested in. Working together on a project like this is also called ‘collaboration’.

Red-legged Kittiwake Behavior

17.11.2014 in Education, Kittiwake Behavior

The Pribilof Islands are an important site for many seabird species, including 70% of the world’s red-legged kittiwake population. The Refuge’s annual seabird monitoring program provides essential information about population size and how many chicks are raised each summer. Other researchers come to the islands

Bering Sea Days 2014

11.11.2014 in Education, Uncategorized

Veronica Padula (University of Alaska, Anchorage) recently traveled to St. Paul to teach students about seabirds and marine pollution during Bering Sea Days (above photo shows students learning about oil spill clean-up).  Read Veronica’s report (below), and watch her video below: Bering Sea Days 2014. I finally made it! St. Paul…

Yellow-billed Loons

07.10.2014 in Education

The Colville River Teen Video Crew (left to right): Sam Bernitz (Anchorage), Sam Tocktoo (Shishmaref), and Andrew Kennedy (Fairbanks). The trio wrapped up filming yellow-billed loons last week at the Helmericks homestead on the Colville River Delta after an earlier stint, last June, at Bering Land Bridge National Preserve.  

Plastic Pellet Experiment

20.08.2014 in 2014 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

Students attending Seabird Camp set-up a plastic pellet experiment.  Trevor Haynes explains more… University of Alaska Scientist Veronica Padula had a challenge for the seabird camp students – Set up a scientific experiment in their harbor. Veronica’s research focus is on marine debris, specifically the plastics that enter the marine…

After Seabird Camp

31.07.2014 in 2014 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

Work on St. Paul continued for a few days after Seabird Camp. Our intern, Diamond, joined USFWS crew to capture Least Auklets and collect the food they are bringing back to their chicks in the colony. This was the second of three collection sessions that the wildlife refuge does each…

A big day on St. Paul Island.

17.07.2014 in 2014 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

Garbie was safely installed in her new home in the lobby of the Tribal Office. Here she is getting her photo taken with Paul and Dallas from the Tribal Government Eco Office.  Paul and Dallas helped Seabird Camp collect the marine debris to make Garbie. And, the “No Rats Allowed”…

Meet Garbie!

14.07.2014 in 2014 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

Garbie the trash bird was completed today and is looking for a (large) burrow to call home. She already has many friends!  Here she is posing with Ezra (one of the most enthusiastic builders) and some of her fans. Many many thanks to Ram and the creative team!  She’s amazing!

Seabird Camp Day 5

14.07.2014 in 2014 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

The final official day of Seabird Camp 2014. We started the day with a conference call with Sean Russell of the “Stow-It-Don’t –Throw-It” project.  It was good to see a young person from another part of the country doing conservation work.  Sean told us he did a bunch of conservation…

Seabird Camp Day 4

11.07.2014 in 2014 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

Another busy day at Seabird Camp! The campers finished painting their bright blue or green murre eggs to start camp today. We will use them for games tomorrow. Teams of campers used GPS units to navigate between waypoints all over the school yard.  At each waypoint they discovered an activity…

Day 3 of Seabird Camp

10.07.2014 in 2014 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

Here is a blog entry written by our student intern, Diamond, about her trip to the cliffs with Refuge biologists and the third day of Seabird Camp. This morning, Kendra and I went on the cliffs to count birds and nests. First, Kendra and I took a long and bumpy…

Day 2 of Seabird Camp

09.07.2014 in 2014 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

After doing some research, Campers were surprised to find out how long waste items take to biodegrade. We took in the “Stow-It-Don’t-Throw-It” program’s presentation on marine debris, learning about sources of debris and the ways it impacts the environment. Campers then staged a beach clean-up and collected the marine debris…

First day of Seabird Camp

09.07.2014 in 2014 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

We had a very busy, active and messy first day in Seabird Camp! During “Bird Beak Buffet” students learned which “beaks” work best for which food items.  We graphed our results on the spot and saw which beaks belonged to specialists and which belonged to generalists. We got outside to…

Champion Puffin!

09.07.2014 in 2014 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

The St. Paul Mini-Marathon is an annual event put on by the City of St. Paul as part of the 4th of July celebration. It starts at the Coast Guard Station and ends at the St. Paul School. This is the first time a puffin has competed. He finished 3rd…


03.07.2014 in 2014 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

Ram and Trevor have made safely to St. Paul, and everyone is busy preparing for Seabird Camp.  On their first day, they attended a “Kids Don’t Float” safety training. It was a very well attended event organized by the Pribilof Islands Aleut Communities of St. Paul. Over 20 kids took…

How many birds?

11.06.2014 in Education

It’s a POPULATION COUNT YEAR on the Pribilof Islands.   What is a “Population Count Year”? The Alaska Maritime National Wildlife Refuge (AMNWR) counts the number of seabirds breeding on both St. Paul and St. George Island every three years. 2014 is one of those years.   Why do we count…

Marine Debris

09.06.2014 in Education, Uncategorized

“Ophelia” octopus created out of marine debris by Kodiak High School students.   One of the main focuses for the 2014 summer Seabird Camp on St. Paul Island is Marine Debris. We’re going to be doing a beach clean up, conduct an experiment looking at the degradation of plastic in…