Beautiful words for a dying species, Blake. It is indeed alarming to hear of all these adults spanning the globe looking for food while the % of juveniles falls off (like MAMU in California).
The tracking of Ivory Gulls via satellite tags may be of interest:
One of the tags (VF 69) is still active and reporting as of last night (Nov 9). The map only carries it thru Oct 21, when it was eastbound north of Siberia and headed toward Alaska.
Wow, what if that's our bird?
Office of Spill Prevention and Response
California Dept of Fish and Game
PO Box 944209
Sacramento, CA 94244-2090
(916) 323-4724 phone
(916) 324-8829 fax
>>> <Lammergeiereyes@...> 11/7/2010 12:11 PM >>>
I'll jump on the bandwagon. Here's a few shots I took yesterday, as well. http://www.flickr.com/photos/34328261@N02/
And thank you to Glen and Mark for reminding us of the extraordinary challenges faced by this extraordinary animal. Watching it feed on seal blubber yesterday I was struck with how its singularly arctic ecology is revealed in its bottomless beauty. The wide dark eyes to navigate the black harsh winter, the stark and ethereal white, the unexpectedly long primaries to battle the wind blasts at the top of the world in the endless whirl of its errant migrations. These things conspire to impress upon us a kind of alien strength and elegance that belongs to another time and place, not our easy temperate climbs and cheap anthropogenic era. Like the Mammoth and the Polar Bear it belongs to a time of crystalline ice and frigid rock when our forebears had barely dreamed of their ascent from Africa. The bird at Pismo is more than a novelty or an empty box on a list, it is a living monument of something far more wonderful, ancient and mysterious.
Blake T. Matheson
President, Monterey Audubon Society
"Men still live who, in their youth, remember Passenger Pigeons. Trees still live who, in their youth, were shaken by a living wind. But a decade hence only the oldest oaks will remember, and at long last only the hills will know." Leopold (1949).
From: Glen Tepke <g.tepke@...
To: CalBirds <email@example.com
Sent: Sun, Nov 7, 2010 6:05 am
Subject: [CALBIRDS] more Ivory Gull photos
Here are some photos of the Grover Beach Ivory Gull taken early
afternoon yesterday, mostly during a brief break in the rain:
On the page there are also some links to information on the conservation
status of this species. It seems to have been lost in the excitement
over this sighting that the species as a whole is declining
precipitously and may become one of the first casualties of climate
change in the arctic.
g.tepke (at) comcast (dot) net
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