Monterey Bay pelagic birding

I took a very brief business trip to California last week. Flew in late, had a late dinner at the best Chinese restaurant in the world (Golden Willow in Concord, if you’re curious). Met clients in the SF Bay area on Thursday morning, then drove down to Monterey for Friday morning meetings. The entire trip was very short; I had only 45 minutes at Moe’s, and barely enough time for dinner with Mom coming and going from SFO!

Despite feeling rushed throughout, and having a mild case of sinus congestion and cold symptoms, there was no way I would have [...]

Fish oil

First, thanks to all of you on Facebook for wishing me a happy birthday; I did indeed enjoy a wonderful day. Seeing all your good wishes brought a smile to my face; I understand that’s somewhat out of character for the traditional man turning 40. So be it. I’m smiling, so thanks, y’all! Now, yesterday’s post was about WD40, which is NOT made of fish oil. So today’s post needs to be about, well, fish oil.

What is it good for? Everyone knows, nowadays, that fish oil is high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which apparently we need in order to [...]

Flying fish

Tony Gaston, in his Seabirds: A Natural History, speculates on escape flights of flying fish and flying squid, and it brings up something I need to investigate further:

The herding tactics of tropical tuna and dolphins may be an important factor in the development of short aerial escape flights of flying fish and flying squids, tactics presumably encouraged by the more rapid acceleration available to fish and squid in warm waters. A consequence of these escape flights is that some food becomes available to seabirds without contacting the water and this type of aerial foraging has been noted for tropical [...]

At sea with the birds

I’m getting ready for a pelagic trip in California in October, so I’ve raided the shelves at Broward County’s downtown library for reading material about seabirds. What I know so far:

Seabirds have evolved various strategies for excluding/excreting the salt that is an inevitable part of a life spent at sea. The most familiar such strategy is the development of tubes on the outside of the bill that seem to function as salt excreters and sense-of-smell enhancers. Seabirds all look like gulls, and all gulls look alike. I’m joking, sort of. I’ve gotten pretty good at separating some gulls (ring-billed [...]