San Francisco Bay NWR Complex
Pacific Southwest Region

The Murre Maniac
The Common Murre Project Update May 2009

 

Over 1,000 murres on Devil’s Slide Rock on May 6th 2009
USFWS Photo
1,000 Murres on Devil's Slide Rock

There have been lots of murres visiting the rock during the month of May. On May 6 th we counted 1,003 murres! This is the highest number of murres that we have ever seen on Devil’s Slide Rock. The murres began laying eggs on May 9 th and each day we find more eggs. There are now 58 eggs in our study plots and the murres are continuing to lay eggs. Murres do not make nests, but instead lay their eggs directly on the rock surface. In fact most murres will lay their egg in the same spot on the rock each year. Murre eggs are narrow and pointed at one end and wide at the other. This pear shape causes the egg to roll in a circle and helps prevent eggs from rolling off the rock.

There are not many Brandt’s Cormorant nests on Devil’s Slide Rock this year. We have only observed four nests on the rock with eggs. However, many Pelagic Cormorants are building nests on the cliffs of the mainland and are starting to lay eggs. So far we have recorded 12 nests with eggs.

 

May 2009 Colony Counts of Devil's Slide Rock
Date #Murres   Date #Murres
May 2
617
May 18
751
May 4
871
May 20
696
May 6
1,003!!
May 22
659
May 8
839
May 24
718
May 10
660
May 26
708
May 12
505
May 28
645
May 14
659
May 30
712
         

*Compiled by Lisa Eigner

 

Last updated: September 1, 2011