Guillemots

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area NPS, Newport, Oregon. Oregon Coastline 2013: Oregon Coast, Oregon, USA.

Guillemots
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Article by Leaf McGowan/Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions ~

Name: Guillemots

Folk Name: guillemot,

Taxonomy: Animalia, Chordata, Aves, Charadriiformes, Alcidae,

Locality:

Description: Known as the common murre or common guillemot, these birds are large auks, with a circumpolar distribution spending its time at sea except for breeding along rocky cliffs. “Guillemot” is a common name for these sea birds of the auk family. They fall under the genera Uria and Cepphus and the Uria are the Murres while the Cepphus are the Guillemot. They have fast direct flight but are not very agile, they maneuver well underwater diving to depths of 30-60 meters, though maximum depths recorded are around 180 meters. They breed in colonies with high density populations and are often in physical contact with their neighbors, they don’t make nests and lay single eggs they incubate on bare rock ledges which hatch around 30 days of incubation. The eggs are water-repellent and self-cleaning. The infant chick is born downy regulating its own body temperature around day 10, after 20 days they leave the nest for the sea although unable to fly yet upwards of 2 months after birth, they glide with fluttering wings often accompanying the male parent. The female parent stays at the nest upwards of 14 days after the chick leaves. The chick learns to dive as soon as they hit the water. Murres sometimes nest through the winter, though northern populations spend winters farther from their colonies. They often grow to 38-45 cm in length with a 61-73 cm wingspan. Its hard to tell the difference between males and females. The common species during breeding possess black on the head, back and wings, with white underparts. They have a thin dark pointed bill and small rounded dark tail. Face is usually white with a dark spur behind the eye, though some are dark brown rather than black. Legs and bill tend to be grey, though some have been recorded as yellow/gray. Feathers sometimes moult later in the year, but basic plumage occurs as late as may. The Uria together with the razorbill, dovekie, and extinct great Auk are the tribe Alcini with distinct white bellies, thick long bills larger than the Cepphus, with their dense reproductive colonies on the cliffs. The three living species of Cepphus create the Cepphini tribe and are smaller than the Uria with black bellies, rounder heads, and bright red feet.

Uses:

Folklore/Spirituality: The name comes from the Greek ouriaa – a waterbird mentioned by Athenaeus and the Old Norse alka or “auk”.

This is a work in production. It is not complete.

More information:



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Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area NPS, Newport, Oregon. Oregon Coastline 2013: Oregon Coast, Oregon, USA. Friday, August 3, 2013. (c) 2013: Photo by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions. More information, copy of photo, to purchase, or to obtain permission to reprint visit http://www.technogypsie.com/photography/. To follow the adventures, go to http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/ or travel tales http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/

“An Ancient Lava Flow – Fourteen million years ago, lava gushed from huge fissures in Eastern Oregon and Washington and flowed 300 miles (500 km) to the sea. Rugged and eroded – Yaquina Head is a western-most toe of the Ginkgo Basalt flow of the Columbia River Basalts. Erosion and faulitng have shaped this lava delta into its present rugged form. Fossiles remain – Clams, snails, marine mammals and other animals are fossilized in the buff-colored sandstone cliffs known as the Astoria Formation (located behind the sandy beaches). The forests beyond – From here on a clear day you can see perhaps 15,000 acres (6,000 ha) of coastal forests. The Bureau of Land Management manages forest watersheds, wildlife, cultural sites, and recreational opportunities on 2.2 million acres (880,000 ha) in western Oregon. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, NPS, Newport, Oregon. Oregon Coastline 2013: Oregon Coast, Oregon, USA. Friday, August 3, 2013. (c) 2013: Photo by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions. More information, copy of photo, to purchase, or to obtain permission to reprint visit http://www.technogypsie.com/photography/. To follow the adventures, go to http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/ or travel tales http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/

“Bird sounds at sea – While seabirds lack the beautiful songs of the thrushes and wrens, all can vocalize – sometimes loudly and at great length! Birds use their oices to attract mates, to establish territory, and to indentify their offspring, as well as to register alarm, contentment and the location of food sources. Listen to the sounds these birds make. The surf scoter is a duck: the others are seabirds”. “Protecting Seabirds – to encourage nesting sites, BLM and US Fish and Wildlife Service biologists want to keep this area natural. Your role? just stay behind the fences and enjoy watching the birds. ” “Seabirds are here year round – seven species of seabirds nest here on the cliffs or rocky offshore islets. Many more seabirds feed and rest here during their migrations to and from their northern breeding sites.” “Common mures – are the most abundant nesting seabird at Yaquina Head. Over 25,000 common murres breed on Colony Rock. Each pair of murres lays a single, pear-shaped egg on this rocky island.” “Tuffed puffins – arrive in April and nest in burrows (up to 5 feet deep) or in crevics in May. Because there is so little soil on the cliffs at Yaquina Head, only a few pairs have found nest crevices – mostly on the ocean side of Colony Rock, in front of this deck.” “Pigeon guillemots – return to mid to late March and build their nests 10-40 feet above the water. Pairs normally use the same nesting site from year to year.” “Pelagic cormorants – cement their nests of seaweed and grass to the cliffsides with excrement. Compared to many other breeding seabirds, their nests are spaced widely apart.” “Brandt’s cormorants – are highly sociable and breed in large colonies. Their nests are close together – usually only pecking distance apart.” “Glaucous winged gulls and western gulls – both build bowl-shaped nests lined with local vegetation. At Yaquina Head their eggs begin hatching in June”. Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area, NPS, Newport, Oregon. Oregon Coa

Yaquina Head Outstanding Natural Area NPS, Newport, Oregon. Oregon Coastline 2013: Oregon Coast, Oregon, USA. Friday, August 3, 2013. (c) 2013: Photo by Leaf McGowan, Thomas Baurley, Technogypsie Productions. More information, copy of photo, to purchase, or to obtain permission to reprint visit http://www.technogypsie.com/photography/. To follow the adventures, go to http://www.technogypsie.com/chronicles/ or travel tales http://www.technogypsie.com/reviews/

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