An Uncertain Future
An Uncertain Future
Two polar bear siblings investigate an electric fence
Two polar bear siblings investigate an electric fenceThe wind generator and battery bank on Cooper Island always attract polar bears for some reason so we put up a simple three-wire electric fence of the kind used by backpackers. One bear apparently does not touch it sufficiently to be shocked but its sibling does and trots away.
George Divoky: the bird-watcher who saw the future
George Divoky: the bird-watcher who saw the futureFor nearly 35 years George Divoky has been returning to Cooper Island, a small, low strip of desolate land close to Barrow, AK. Initially he went there simply to study Black Guillemots, but as - over the decades - he tracked the dates of their arrival and the new chicks hatching, he realized he was documenting how climate change was affecting both an organism and an ecosystem. As summer ice retreated, food for the chicks was harder and harder to find - and polar bears began to roam the beach.
Polar bears eating Black Guillemot chicks on Cooper Island
Polar bears eating Black Guillemot chicks on Cooper IslandPolar bears, forced to come to land as the Arctic pack ice melts in July, eat newly hatched Black Guillemot chicks, on Cooper Island, Alaska. Black Guillemots nest in boxes on the flat sand and gravel island. Video obtained on Cooper Island, Alaska, in 20009 by Friends of Cooper Island in collaboration with Polar-Palooza, an IPY education and outreach project supported by NSF and NASA.
Guillemots provisioning young
Guillemots provisioning youngAn edited clip of Black Guillemot parents returning to a nest box to feed their young Arctic Cod and Sand Lance. Some interesting behavior by the pair when they are both at the site.
Black Guillemot returning to nest with Sand Lance
Black Guillemot returning to nest with Sand LanceBlack Guillemot providing sand lance to nestling
Polar bear tries to get seabird chicks in plastic nest site
Polar bear tries to get seabird chicks in plastic nest siteA polar bear stranded on a barrier island and looking for food tries to get two Black Guillemot nestlings inside a plastic case nest site. The cases prevented bears from eating the chicks, unlike what happens at wooden nest sites..
Time-lapse from SC-E
Time-lapse from SC-EUsed for examination of colony attendance. Image obtained every five minutes
Guillemot nest attacked by polar bear at end of day
Guillemot nest attacked by polar bear at end of dayA "video" made from stills taken at a Black Guillemot nest site. A pair of nonbreeding birds spend a good amount of time outside the nest. Parents come back with fish to feed the chicks but are only seen as they exit the site. Late in the evening one of the nestlings regularly poops outside the nest and then just after darkness falls a polar bear arrives and eats the chicks before staring into the camera.
Late feed of large Arctic Cod to guillemot chick
Late feed of large Arctic Cod to guillemot chickA post-sunset feeding of a guillemot nestling on Cooper Island, Alaska
Two polar bears try to get a Black Guillemot out of a Nanuk case on Cooper Island, Alaska
Two polar bears try to get a Black Guillemot out of a Nanuk case on Cooper Island, AlaskaTwo polar bears stranded on Cooper Island, Alaska try to get a parent guillemot out of a nest case. Polar bear predation on guillemot eggs and young led to all wooden nest sites on the island being replaced with plastic nest cases made by Nanuk, which happens to be the Inuit name for polar bear.