Every Bird Matters
news and views from international bird rescue

October 17, 2015

Murre-cy! That’s A Lot Of Murres!

Nearly 500 hungry, sick Common Murres have come into care since July. Photo by Russ Curtis

Nearly 500 hungry, sick Common Murres have come into care since July. Photo by Russ Curtis

How many hungry, sick Common Murres have poured into our Northern California center? A lot!

Since July 1, 2015 a total of 460 Murres have been delivered to our clinic. In October alone we’ve received 100+ new patients (updated Oct 25th). Usually this time of the year we receive about 10 of this species each month.

From Monterey to Mendocino the struggling seabirds have been transferred to Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center. The center has deep above ground pools (pelagic pools) to help the affected Murres swim, eat and gain their strength.

Baby Common Murre in care. Photo by Cheryl Reynolds

The starving seabirds has raised red flags among ocean scientists. They believe that as waters warm along the California coast, some diving birds are starving as fish go deeper to reach cooler waters, putting themselves out of the birds’ reach. This past summer Northern California coastal waters have warmed 5 to 10 degrees above historical averages.

Similar strandings with Murres and other pelagic seabirds have been reported from Oregon north to Alaska.

Murres, which to some look like penguins, are wide-spread on the Pacific Coast. They are in the Auk family and will nest on steep cliffs. These seabirds are susceptible to human mishaps, especially oil spills. Following a Northern California ocean spill caused by the Apex Houston in 1986 in which 6,000+ murres perished, a Common Murre Restoration Project began at the Devil Slide area near Pacifica, CA.

You can support the care of these seabirds by adopting: https://www.bird-rescue.org/get-involved/adopt-a-murre.aspx

See: Exhausted, Starving Seabirds Continue To Swamp San Francisco Bay Center

Common Murres float in deep water pools at Bird Rescue’s San Francisco Bay-Delta wildlife center. Photo by Russ Curtis

 

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