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The passing of our former light keeper and ecoguardian Mike Slater.

Mikeslater

Mike Slater

Carol Slater has just phoned to tell us that her husband Mike Slater passed away this morning. We extend our condolences to Carol and her family and acknowledge the many contributions made by Mike who was the last lightkeeper at Race Rocks , and the First Ecoguardian of the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve. The following posting profiles the life of Carol and Mike when they lived on Race Rocks. http://www.racerocks.ca/slater/

 

 

Mike and Slash

Mike negotiating with Slash on whether he should be allowed to go on the docks to take the seawater samples for the day!

Christmas Bird Count-1

We had lined up several people to go out today for the annual Christmas Bird Count, unfortunately the gale warning and the increasing wind from the North East made it impossible to get anyone out . With an impending storm the birds often disappear and such seems to be the case today. The following general pictures showing the few groupings of birds were taken from the tower camera 1  at mid-day. Alex will provide on the ground details later.

Scorpaenichthyes marmoratus: Cabezon–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

Scorpaenichthyes marmoratus

cabezonCabezon are normally benthic or bottom-dwellers, living among rocks and seaweeds in tide pools. Sometimes they live just below the water’s surface among the marine plants. Their coloration allows them to remain well camouflaged. Their habitat is most likely rocky, sandy and muddy bottoms, living in areas with a depth range of 0 to 200 meters. Moreover, young cabezon feed on small crustaceans like amphipods, shrimp, and crabs. The adults feed on crustaceans, marine worms and mollusks, including clams and abalone. They can swallow a whole abalone and later regurgitate the indigestible shell; therefore, their tropic level is that of a secondary carnivore. In addition, the limiting factors that will affect the development and growth of this population in a certain habitat will be the presence of enough light, temperature and the availability of food and living space.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Sub-phylum Vertebrata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Scorpaeniformes
Family Cottidae
Genus Scorpaenichthyes
Species marmoratus
Common Name: Cabezon, Scorpion Fish

The cabezon ( literally big head in Spanish ) is a benthic fish that lives among the kelp holdfasts and rocky areas, usually very close to the bottom. It is often so confident of its camouflage that it will not move when approached by divers. Note the multi colored eye. These fish will lunge at almost anything that moves on the bottom. Dissections of their stomachs reveal amphipods and small crabs, pieces of kelp (and even rocks they have grabbed when foraging for other invertebrates.)

Their maximum length and weight are 99.0 centimeters and 14.0 Kilograms respectively. This organism can be seen in the Eastern Pacific, which covers the areas from Southeastern Alaska to Punta Abrejos, in Central Baja California, Mexico. Race Rocks is located in the centre of this range. In this map we can see the range of this fish.

mapReference The National Biological Information Infrastructure (NBII) BioBot
http://www.elasmodiver.com/BCMarinelife/BCML%20Chordata.htm

 

http://www.racerocks.ca/category/species/class-actinopterygii/
Other Members of the Class Actinopterygii at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

 

October,2009 : Original text by Diomedes Saldana Greco

Larus glaucescens: Glaucous-winged gull– The Race Rocks taxonomy

gullfeedLarus glaucescens is omnivorous, feeding on carrion, fish, invertebrates, seaweed and food stolen from other birds. One of the main sources of food for Glaucous-winged gull are the softer bodied invertebrates exposed during the low tide time at Race Rocks. It is also typical of their behavior to take their hard shelled food, such as clams, or gastropods and drop them onto rocks to break them open for eating.

This species is the only species of gull that nests on Great Race Rock. From June to September, there could be over 150 nests on the island. The adults also overwinter at Race Rocks, but occasionally disappear from the islands for a few weeks. They start their complicated behaviours aimed at establishing territories and bonding with mates as early as February or March. Their eggs are laid in June and hatching takes place in early July. In the 2002 season, 100 birds fledged successfully, after several years of failed nesting, probably due to fish shortages in the surrounding waters.

In September, the clean looking feathers of the neck and head take on a mottled gray appearance as they undergo an annual moult.


The following pictures were taken by Ecoguardian Christine Ouradou in July of 2016 and appear in logs from that time.

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gulljuvenIn this picture by Evan Ferrari , the young juveniles, capable of flight, still hang around for a daily feeding from their parent

Domain: Eukarya
Kingdom :Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum :Vertebrata
Class: Aves
Order: Charadriiformes
Family :Laridae
Genus: Larus
Species :glaucescens
Common Name:  Glaucous-Winged Gull

The Glaucous winged Gull,
In June of 2000, David Mesiha and Satoshi Kimura (PC yr 25) made videos of different aspects of gull behavior while staying on the island. Thus started the archiving of videos for racerocks.com

June 1-16 : Aggression between males is frequent. This takes the form of plucking grass in a standoff and in beak pulling. In this way territories are defined as the nests are being built.

May 1: Breeding in the colony has started and will continue throughout May and June.

This video was taken in early July, 2001, from the north window of the Marine Science centre at Race Rocks. It shows the second day in the life of a sea gull chick. The parents feed the chick a small fish, probably herring or needlefish.
In June, 2016,  Lester Pearson College set up a live camera to follow the development of one of the Glaucous-winged Gull nests with eggs in the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve . Also the camera had infrared night vision.

All entries on this website tagged with Glaucous-winged gull

Other Members of the Class Aves at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

Original text by Juan Pablo Hoffmaister, PC student Dec. 2001

Glaucous Winged Gull Live on Cam 3

Lester Pearson College has set up this live camera to follow the development of one of the Glaucous-winged Gull nests with eggs in the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve . Also the camera has infrared night vision. ( see sample below)

Other references and images of Glaucous-winged gulls at Race Rocks can be found here.

All entries on this website tagged with Glaucous-winged gull

 

Ocinebrina lurida : Lurid rock snail–The Race Rocks Taxonomy

snailcol2-1

Ocinebrina lurida : Lurid rock snail. The orange snail on the left is probably Ocenebrina. The others are various litorine snails.

Physical description:
Small,size to 1 1/2 ” (38 mm) solid shell with up to 6 whorls; fine close spiral treads crossing 6-10 axial ribs; Oval aperture with 6-7 teeth or more within outer lip height. Shell height most commonly is up to 40 mm, however usually less, with six to ten large low axial ridges crossed by prominent spiral ridges. Colors range from white, pale yellowish, dark brown, or red. It has a canal well developed, and its aperture is oval.
Classification
Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Mollusca
Class Gastropoda
Sub class Prosobranchia
Order Neogastropoda
Family Muricidae
Genus Ocinebrina
Species lurida
Common Name: lurid rock snail

Global Distribution

Ranges from Sitka (Alaska) to Punta Santo Tomas
(Baja California). 57° N- 32° N, in the Pacific Ocean.

Habitat
Low intertidal zones, visible amongst the fucus and other algae at low tide.It is common on and under rocks and in crevices, commonly, clinging to rocks.

Feeding
The lurid rock snail is the natural predator of the giant chiton, Cryptochiton stelleris . It has been observed feeding on gumboot chitons, where it uses its radula to cut through the dark outer layers on the dorsal surface of the chiton’s girdle in order to eat the yellow tissue beneath. They feed on a number of prey items, ranging from bivalves to other gastropods
Reproduction
They have separate sexes. Fertilization of the egg occurs in seawater. Eggs cases are attached to water.

Interesting facts
It may be confused with Amphissa, because its shell shows a similar mixture of fine spiral lines and axial ribs. It’s less slender than Amphissa,  its canal is better developed, and its aperture is not at all the shape being oval rather than nearly elliptical. The yellow-brown or orange-brown coloration, and the fact that the axial ribs cross the body whorl, enable one to distinguish it from a small specimen of searlesia. Often confused with larger rock snail, Ocinebrina sclera,

References

http://members.shaw.ca/bcshells/bcframe.html

http://people.www.edu/staff/cowlda/KeyToSpecies/Mollusca/Gastropoda/Prosobranchi/
Order_Neogastropoda/Suborder_Rachiglossa/Family_Muricidae/Ocenebra_lurida.html

Peterson Field Guides Pacific Coast Shells Percy A. Morris Houghton Mifflin Company Boston 2nd edition 1980 Canada

Shells & Shellfish of the Pacific Northwest Rick M. Harbo Harbour Publishing 1997
Other Members of the Phylum Mollusca at Race Rocks.

taxonomyiconReturn to the Race Rocks Taxonomy
and Image File
pearsonlogo2_f2The Race Rocks taxonomy is a collaborative venture originally started with the Biology and Environmental Systems students of Lester Pearson College UWC. It now also has contributions added by Faculty, Staff, Volunteers and Observers on the remote control webcams.

 

Oystercatcher Cam – Race Rocks Ecological Reserve

July 3/2016 This camera now is on a Glaucous-winged gull nest

 

 

Recently James and Max from the It Department at Lester Pearson College have set up this live camera to follow the development of one of the Black Oystercatcher nests with two eggs in the Race Rocks Ecological Reserve . Also the camera has infrared night vision. ( see sample below)

Other references and images of Black Oystercatchers at Race Rocks can be found at these links:

2bloy BLOY headshot
The Black Oystercatcher with more videos and pictures in the Gallery of the Race Rocks Taxonomy All entries on this website tagged with Black Oystercatcher:

for a sample of what can be seen at night with the infrared feature, see the video below taken at 11:30 PM June 6 2016

Seawater Data, May 2016

Station Race Rocks Lightstation
Month: MAY Year: 2016
Observer Lester B. Pearson College   of the Pacific
Date Time Sea Jar Hydro-   meter   No. Observed Density YSI Salinity YSI Temp °C
Temp. Temp.
°C °C
1 6:53 31.3 9.8
2 9:23 31.3 10.4
3 12:10 31.1 10.7
4 15:00 31.2 10.4
5 16:00 31.5 10.5
6 20:10 31.7 10.3
7 16:24 32.2 10.1
8 19:33 32.4 9.8
9 20:33 32.2 9.8
10 21:20 32.0 9.9
11 21:05 32.2 10.1
12 21:05 32.0 10.1
13 21:05 31.7 10.6
14 21:05 31.9 10.3
15 21:05 10.4 10,802 1.0232 31.9 10.1
16 21:05 31.8 10.2
17 21:05 31.7 10.3
18 15:30 32.0 10.4
19 16:35 31.9 10.5
20 19:00 31.9 10.6
21 19:55 32.0 10.5
22 19:55 32.1 10.4
23 20:40 31.8 10.4
24 20:50 32.1 10.2
25 21:25 10.1 10.4 10,802 1.0234 YSI didn’t turn on
26 21:50 32.7 9.6
27 22:05 32.4 9.7
28 22:10 32.4 10.1
29 22:07 32.4 10.0
30 7:17 32.2 10.1
31 10:18 32.1 10.5
Submitted monthly to: Inst. Ocean Science, P.O. Box 6000, Sidney, B.C. V8L 4B2
Recorded by Race Rocks Ecological Reserve Guardian for Lester B. Pearson College