Monday, September 23, 2013

Summer Visit to the Pribilof Islands

Just got back from another great trip into the field. As always, the Pribilof's did not disappoint. Here are a few of my favorite pictures from the trip.
Here is a nice close-up shot of a least auklet. They are extremely striking, particularly when you see them this close.  We were collecting diet samples from them as part of a long-term study of seabirds diets in the Bering Sea.  Getting the sample is pretty easy, when we catch them they typically puke, and we scrape the puke up off the rocks and let them go!
This surly young fellow is a sub-adult male fur seal.  He is letting us know that he's there, and that we should not leave the safety of our observation blind! 
I had the great pleasure of meeting three Japanese colleagues that are conducting research on St. George for the Japanese Polar Institute. Dale, Nabuo, and Taka (from left to right) are putting tags on a sample of birds to track their movements, both during the summer (fine scale) and over the winter (broad scale). I'm looking forward to seeing their results.
When the sun comes out, the picture taking can be pretty awesome. This was on my last day, right before I flew out. Later that day the clouds rolled in and stayed around for over three weeks!

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