PELAGIC CORMORANT NESTING SUCCESS AND OCEANIC CONDITIONS IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA.
Jade Morning Sky Little; Undergrad; 1743 Hutchison Drive Apt 338, Davis, CA, 95616; (760) 567-8031; jmorningskylittle@hotmail.com; Daniel Barton, Shannon Brinkman, Claire Nasr
Nesting success is an important component of the growth of coastal seabird populations. Nesting success can be defined as the proportion of nesting or laying pairs that raise young to the age of fledging (i.e., the age when a fully-feathered offspring voluntarily leaves the nest for the first time). This study focused on the nesting success of one coastal seabird species, Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus). Coastal bird species roles can be observed by not only aiming focus to their behavior and physiology but also their interactions with environmental conditions. Upwelling productivity in the California Current system brings abundant food to the ocean surface and increases food web abundance and complexity. Nesting site observations were analyzed and compared to changes in oceanic conditions in the area across a 5 year interval from 2014-2018, a time period which includes an el Nino event and extreme warm water in the northeast Pacific Ocean (the blob). The objective of this study was to examine and analyze the relationship between oceanic conditions and the nesting success of the coastal bird species, Pelagic Cormorants. This study provides information on how local-scale oceanic variations influence coastal bird species populations and provides important context for conservation efforts.
Poster Session   Student Paper