As of May 31, we have counted and weighed 106 chicks in the four cabin funnels. This is compared to 96 chicks as of this date last year. There were two peak nights this year (May 17 and 22) both with 14 chicks. The chicks are still coming down the funnels and the season is not over yet!
In April, director Jan Oord and trapper Len Morgan came to Limestone to monitor for raccoons. They did not find any sign of raccoons on Limestone, although they did see many on adjacent Vertical Point. To continue monitoring for raccoons throughout the ANMU season we set up two infrared cameras on Limestone, baited with sardines and cat food. These cameras, along with those from RGIS, continue to capture photos of deer, ravens, and deer mice, but thankfully no raccoons.
After the major blow-down events in 2010/11, we were unable to set up our funnels in the colony in North Cove. Last year we spent two nights in North Cove conducting point counts and listening for Ancient Murrelets, but none were heard. This year, volunteer and LBCS director Keith Moore spent two nights again listening for ANMU, but this time he heard both chicks and adults. We were excited by the possibility of ANMU burrow success here despite the blow-down and set up 2 partial funnels in North Cove with the infrared cameras at the mouths. Surprisingly, we caught six chicks on camera between the nights of May 20th and May 27th.
Thanks to the Habitat Stewardship Program for Species at Risk for funding our raccoon monitoring program and enabling us to purchase these cameras.