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.
Here's another shot from our boat survey the other day. Alcids, the family of seabirds that includes Common Murres, Cassin's Auklets, and this Pigeon Guillemot, have relatively short wings for their body size. This makes their wings ideal for propelling them underwater while diving, but doesn't make them so great in the air. In order to take off from the water, they have run along the surface for quite a ways to get up enough speed to lift off. It always makes me laugh to see them skittering across the surface.