In April 2011, I once again arrived on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge to start another season of seabird research working with PRBO Conservation Science. In my seventh and perhaps last season, I decided to start a photo a day challenge for myself. The challenge is to share a new and interesting photo for each day I am on the island this year.
Bet you didn't know we had rhinos out here did you? So maybe it's not actually a rhinoceros, but the Rhinoceros Auklet does share one distinctive characteristic with its namesake: a prominent horn. The auklet has a much cooler hairdo though. Rhinoceros Auklets, which are actually closely related to puffins, have begun laying their eggs and it's always a treat to pull one of these out of a nest box. They are quite strong so handling them has to be done with care. That bill can deliver a powerful bite. The farallon rhinos are a conservation sucess story. After being extirpated from the island, they returned to breed in the 1980's and population's have been growing ever since.