Pelagic Bird Surveys in June and July 2011
NOAA R/V Tatoosh Pelagic Marine Bird Surveys in 2011
Contact for page content: Liam Antrim
Liam Antrim, PI, and volunteers
Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
Pelagic Seabird Survey 2011 Trip Results (60kb pdf)
Since 2006, sanctuary researchers have conducted monthly surveys from May through September in
sanctuary waters that can be accomplished using the sanctuary's own research vessel the R/V Tatoosh.
These surveys are providing insight into how species composition changes through the upwelling
season and areas within the sanctuary that may prove consistently important to seabirds.
During the 2011 summer season, surveys were completed in June and July along the 150 km long
survey transect that follows a box transect originating in La Push, traversing the Juan de Fuca
Canyon, returning to Cape Alava and along the coast back to La Push. Volunteer bird experts
observed a total of 10,838 seabirds (on transect) on the two successful surveys this season, with
the highest single species count of 4,121 Northern Fulmar on July 25, 2011. A total of 31 species
were identified, with the dominate species observed including Northern Fulmar, Sooty Shearwater,
Pink-footed Shearwater and Fork-tailed Storm Petrel. A rare sighting of the Manx Shearwater
was also documented.
OCNMS researchers recruit and coordinate seabird identification experts, enter data during surveys
and maintain the database. A lack of available expert observers, unsuitable viewing conditions
and vessel propulsion problems precluded surveys in May, August and September, respectively.