Outer space

16.02.2013 in Education, Uncategorized

The first ever penguin census from space has shown there may be twice as many Emperor Penguins living in the Antarctic than previously thoughtThe study, led by British Antarctic Survey, counted penguins from high resolution satellite photos taken from space.  The black and white birds were easy to spot from such…

Flying Fish

15.02.2013 in Education, Uncategorized

Parents of many species of seabird carry back whole prey items to feed their chick at the colony. Researchers can use binoculars, telescopes, or take photos of these “bill-loads” and identify the species, number and size of prey delivered. This information can tell us a lot about what food is…

GPS loggers

13.02.2013 in Education, Uncategorized

Interview with DR. Rosana Paredes What is your job? Research biologist Why do people use GPS loggers to study seabirds? GPS loggers can tell us about the location of seabirds. These loggers provide useful information about where and when birds feed, and these data can then be used for answering…

Plotting a GPS track

13.02.2013 in Education, Uncategorized

Dr. Rosana Paredes has been using GPS loggers to find out where thick-billed murres and  black-legged kittiwakes breeding on the Pribilof Islands travel to at sea.  Read more Here are some GPS locations (latitude and longitude) for a complete foraging trip made by a black-legged kittiwake breeding on St. Paul….

Greek Mythology

12.02.2013 in Education, Uncategorized

Seabirds even play a role in Greek Mythology…. In Greek mythology, Daedalus made wings for himself and his young son Icarus to escape from where they were imprisoned in Crete. He tied feathers together, and secured the feathers at their midpoints with string and at their bases with wax. Daedalus…

Seabird Guano Fertilizer!

01.02.2013 in Education, Uncategorized

The word “guano” originates from the South American Andes, and means “the droppings of sea birds” Seabird guano is a prized fertilizer due to its high phosphorus and nitrogen content.  You can buy it at most garden stores, and I’ve even used it on tomatoes here in Alaska! Waters off…

The smelliest seabird recipe

29.01.2013 in 2013 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

Are seabirds useful, tasty, or economically important for humans?  What are some seabird myths and legends? This month we’re learning about the importance of seabirds in human communities. Kiviaq is an Inuit dish from Greenland. It is made by stuffing a seal-skin with 300 to 500 dovekies. The full skin…

Cooking King Eider Video

29.01.2013 in Education, Uncategorized

This month we’re learning about the importance of seabirds in human communities. The king eider is a spectacular sea duck that breeds along the Arctic coasts of North America, Europe and Asia. King eiders spend their winter in ice-free areas in the Bering Sea, and are a source of fresh meat…

Getting Scientists Out

29.01.2013 in Education, Uncategorized

Looking over the crowd listening intently to someone describe plankton blooms for 15 minutes it was hard not to wonder whether I was trapped in a room full of hard-core nerds, but the majority of people attending looked like regular people excited about their work and not the stereotypical scientist…

Science Fair Project ideas

14.01.2013 in Education, Uncategorized

Science Fairs are just around the corner. Here are some links to some great project ideas related to birds, seabirds, marine biology and conservation. (1) How does a chick breathe inside its’ shell? (2) M&M survival challenge! (3) With a little bread as bait, can you make a bird migrate?…

The weight of 50 elephants

09.01.2013 in Education, Uncategorized

NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) picked up enough marine debris to equal the weight of 50 elephants in only one month. Imagine how much debris that was!  This really gives you an idea about how bad the problem is. Learn more from this video “Our Debris Filling the Sea“

Seabird Bycatch

04.01.2013 in Education, Uncategorized

Fisheries bycatch is the greatest threat to many seabird populations (tuna long-liner pictured above), especially albatross. Seabirds are attracted to fishing boats because of the bait and discarded offal, and are at risk of getting tangled in the fishing gear and drowning. The tubenoses (e.g. shearwaters, albatross, fulmars) are the most…

Marine Plastic Debris

03.01.2013 in 2013 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

We’re leaning about seabird conservation issues this month. Seabirds face a range of dangers, including plastic debris in the ocean. Plastic eaten by albatross chick: © ecogreen4us, Creative Commons. How much plastic do you have in your life? How many bottle tops do you throw away a week? The oceans are…

Seabird Learning expands

20.12.2012 in Education, Uncategorized

Yay!  Students at St. George are starting to learn more about seabirds this winter through regular Skype meetings with the two oldest students – Carmen Philemonoff and William Lekanof Carmen and William have written the below blog introduction about their school. The St. George School is an excellent, small school…

Edible Seabird Nests

17.12.2012 in 2013 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

Students on St. Paul make edible seabird nests. Enjoy! Edible Bird Nest Recipe: 8 marshmallows; 4 regular/4 coconut 2 tablespoons butter ½ cup rice krispies 1½ cup Chinese chow mein noodles 1. Put 8 marshmallows and 2tbs butter in a bowl. 2. Microwave for 35-40 seconds (take out if marshmallows puff real high)…

Answers for St. Paul

14.12.2012 in 2013 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

Great to receive all your questions!  Keep them coming! 1) Jaycee:  Yes, you are right: there are lots of similarities between black guillemots and common murres.   Both species belong to the alcid family, and they both feed underwater using their wings to propel themselves.  Despite their similarities, the two…

Sea-ice extent effects seabird

10.12.2012 in Education, Uncategorized

Black guillemots breeding in an Arctic Alaska colony feed their chicks on polar cod.  These small fish are associated with the polar pack ice, and therefore may become in short supply for breeding guillemots as local sea-ice extent retreats. Read more…

Seabird breeding videos

07.12.2012 in Education, Uncategorized

This month, we’re learning about seabird breeding Below are some links to videos for a number of breeding seabirds.  Look at the diversity in nesting habitat. Which of these species only comes to their nest-site at night? Emperor Penguins Atlantic Puffins Thick-billed Murres Marbled Murrelets Manx Shearwater Wandering Albatross Gull…

Seabird breeding questions

07.12.2012 in 2013 Seabird Camps, Education, Uncategorized

Students on the Pribilofs are learning about seabird breeding this month. Each student has chosen a seabird species that breeds on the Pribilof Islands, and they will be filling in species-facts over the winter as we continue to learn. Do you know the answers to the following questions for your…

Parakeet & Crested Auklet

01.12.2012 in Education, Uncategorized

The Parakeet Auklet and Crested Auklet both nest on the Pribilof Islands. They are similar in size, but you can easily tell these two species apart. Can you describe 2 ways that these species look different?

Bird Island Field Work

23.11.2012 in Education, Uncategorized

Jerry Gillham has recently started a new job studying penguins and giant petrels on Bird Island.  Bird Island is a British Territory in South Georgia.  Thousands of fur seals and seabirds, and a few resident biologists inhabit this small rocky island. You can follow Jerry’s new seabird adventure through his…

Questions.. answers

23.11.2012 in Education, Uncategorized

Answers to a couple of questions asked this week: How many eggs do Fulmars lay?  Fulmars lay a single white egg. How long do Least Auklets live?  7 years, on average. Do Least Auklets Breed? Yes! Seabirds, like most animals and plants, reproduce sexually. Least Auklets lay one egg in…