Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Day 23: The farallon rhinoceros

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.

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