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.
This is cheating a bit since it's really 6 pictures but they are all showing the same chick. This is a chick from one of our nest boxes. I took a picture of it every time it got weighed (every 5 days) until it fledged just a couple days ago so we could see the progression of its development. First picture is probably 5-7 days old so this chick fledged between 30-35 days old. As you can see, it was looking good, nice fresh feathers and a fantastic cowlick. Most chicks from the first attempts by Cassin's have fledged and a substantial number of those adults are now incubating eggs again, going for a second chick. This double brooding is rare among seabirds and Cassin's can only do it in the southern parts of their range.
Photo a day (and me) will be taking a two week break starting tomorrow. But never fear, I will return!