In this week’s field report, George talks about specific birds as well as the overall report of his 2018 Black Guillemot census on Cooper Island.
Nature, when observed or monitored for any extended period, typically provides a predictability that is reassuring in its consistency and sufficient surprises to keep one engaged.
For over four decades, my first task after I set up camp was a census of the Cooper Island Black Guillemot colony. This year was an excellent example of this balance of the expected and unexpected.
Read more at Proteus.
Science writer Jenny Woodman of Proteus writes about Cooper Island research and the current field season.
George Divoky frets–with good reason. In 2016, CNN Correspondent John D. Sutter called him the man who is watching the world melt. The description is as distressing as it is apt.
George sends us regular dispatches from a small field camp on Cooper Island, about 25 miles east of Utqiaġvik, where he has studied a colony of nesting Mandt’s Black Guillemots for the last 44 years. Since his work began in 1975, the research has morphed into one of the longest-running studies of seabirds, sea ice, and climate change.
Read the full post and latest update on the 2018 field season here.
As of July 6, egg laying ended at the Cooper Island colony and the number of breeding pairs is the lowest it has been in four decades. Only 50 guillemot pairs have laid eggs, down from 85 pairs last year, 100 pairs in 2016 and 200 pairs in the late 1980s.
Read the full field report at Proteus.