Our 25th season comes to a close

During the last two weeks of the season we spent most of our good-weather days out on the water scanning shorelines looking for Black Oystercatchers and stopping in to check on their eggs and chicks. Last week, we headed to Gwaii Haanas for the second BLOY survey in the Hotsprings Island area. Unfortunately, the weather was not as cooperative as it has been in the past, and we were only able to complete three days of surveying, in between southeast storms. We were able to visit 68 territories that we had visited earlier in June. Many territories now had chicks, which makes our task a little harder as the chicks are well camouflaged and can look just like rocks! We have to search the area, and watch and listen to the adult birds for clues as to where their chicks might be hiding. Before the chicks can fly, they are fed small intertidal invertebrates. We find the shells scattered on the rocks, and collect these to see what the chicks have been eating. We mostly find limpits, mussels, and chitons, but sometimes abalone and whelks. We have also been surveying the Laskeek Bay BLOY, so our days have been full of loud BLOY parents and fluffy grey chicks. On July 9th we saw our first fledged BLOY chick of the season, at the territory by Crow Valley on ELI.