chick hatches, it stays in the nest being fed until it is strong enough
to make it on its own. When it is time for the chick to fledge, the
parents will take off one morning, and not come back. When the chick
finally gets hungry enough, it launches off the branch and flies off to find its own food.
No-one knows how the pair know how to locate the nest high enough to give the chick ample room for the inaugural flight, but they must succeed cause marbled murrelets have been around a while.
Glacier Bay also offers an abundance of birdlife; something like 240
species have been identified. On the day boat, you will see colonies
of nesting gulls, guillemots, puffins, and cormorants on the rocky
You’ll also see large flocks of phalaropes, molting sea ducks, and foraging gulls; and we see loons, gulls, murrelets, and sea ducks in the winter.
We’re worried about the Kittlitz's murrelets. Their numbers have declined so drastically in the last 10 years that they may soon be listed as a threatened or endangered. They nest in recently deglaciated mountain areas, so Glacier Bay with the receding ice, offers large areas for them. They are cute to watch because they hop a few times, then skip on the water before they take off.
For more information about them and other species, visit the US Park Service and the Geological Service websites. They have lists of birds, habitat information, suggested locations, and much more.
(Pictures and birdwatching text are compliments of the guests of Good River Bed & Breakfast. Thanks, Sandy!)
Good River Bed & Breakfast
Gustavus, AK 99826
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