Corvus caurinus:NorthWestern Crow, Race Rocks Taxonomy

The Norhwestern Crow closely resembles the American crow being black noisy and having forward facing bristles above its nostrils. The nw crow is smaller in size and has a shorter lower caw. It also has a smaller bill, smaller wings and has a greater wing beat rate.They usually inhabit coastal areas such as Race Rocks and are not thought to be birds which migrate. The crow usually forages for food near coast lines and its diet may include dead fish, crab, mussels or clams. In most regions its nest may be located at high elevations or in the branches of Conifer trees. Here at Race Rocks, the closest suitable nesting sites are on Bentinck Island.

Domain Eukarya
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Subphylum Vertebrata
Class Aves
Order Passeriformes
Family Corvidae
Genus Corvus
Species caurinus
Common Name: NorthWestern Crow
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 Lawson Connor, PC student Dec. 2002

Census Day, Thursday, May 25th

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 Miles
  • Wind:  0-5 NW
  • Sky: clear and sunny
  • Water: calm

Boats/Visitors

  • Many different boats around today

Ecological

  • 14 elephant seals scattered around today, mostly around the jetty to cool off in the water

Other

  • DND blasting continues

Census

  • Stellar Sea Lions: 42
  • California Sea Lions: 44
  • Elephant Seals: 14
  • Harbour Seals: 36
  • Unspecified Gulls: 321
  • Pigeon Guillemots: 120
  • Cormorants: 23
  • Canada Geese: 16
  • Oystercatchers: 8
  • Harlequinn Ducks: 5 males (that I could see)

Notes

  • I have not seen any eagles today but I saw them yesterday and they have been hanging around so I am guessing they are around here somewhere
  • There is another Elephant seal
  • An increase in sea lions as well as gulls

 

 

Census day

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 Miles, a bit foggy this morning but burned off by noon to partly cloudy
  • Wind: 10-15 NW got continuously more calm through the day
  • Sky: partly cloudy throughout the day
  • Water: stayed consistently calm

Boats/Visitors

  • A lot of ecotours came through today
  • Had a couple visitors, come by with Kyle this morning and then had Kyle and Guy come back this afternoon to help me out with a couple things

Ecological

  • Census day!
    1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 35
    2. Harbour Seals: 44
    3. California Sea Lions: 23
    4. Elephant Seals: 13
    5. Seagulls unspecified: 291
    6. Pigeon Guillemots: 152
    7. Cormorants unspecified: 29
    8. Canada Geese: 14
    9. Savannah Sparrows: 0
    10. Harlequin Ducks: 8 (2 female, 6 male)
    11. Black Oystercatchers: 8
    12. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 1 immature)
  • There are 2 more elephant seals than usual! so thats exciting, they stayed scattered today on the path from the lighthouse to the jetty
  • As you can see there have been a decrease in sea lions, they are no longer on the southern rocks and have moved to the main island one group on the north side and another group on the southside
  • There have been an increase in gulls, pigeon guillemots and cormorants, also the harlequins are back, I did not see them last week
  • There has also been an increase in harbour seals, when I counted them they were mostly all on the Middle Rocks but have since scattered about the South Islands as well

Wet and Cloudy today

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 Miles
  • Wind: 10-15 NW Stayed pretty consistent throughout the day
  • Sky: Cloudy, rained consistently but not heavily
  • Water: calm, no waves

Boats/Visitors

  • one or two ecotours today

Ecological

  • the 10 elephant seals I counted stayed around the front of the house today

Cenusus Day

Weather

  • Visibility: 10 Miles
  • Wind: Morning 0-5 NW picked up in the afternoon, varied between 10-20 knots NW
  • Sky: Overcast, bit of rain throughout the day
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  1. Steller (Northern) Sea Lions: 45
  2. Harbour Seals: 30
  3. California Sea Lions: 37
  4. Elephant Seals: 11
  5. Seagulls unspecified: 278
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 125
  7. Cormorants unspecified: 16
  8. Canada Geese: 19
  9. Savannah Sparrows: 12
  10. Harlequin Ducks: 0
  11. Black Oystercatchers: 8
  12. Bald Eagles: 2 (2 adults, 1 immature)

Boats

  • had a few eco tours come through morning and late afternoon

Maintenance

  • Scrubbed some of the solar panels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

First Couple Days on Race Rocks

This Log will cover May 9 and 10 the Photographs are from both days

May 9

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 5-10 knots West during the day, 20-25 W in the evening.
  • Sky: mostly cloudy
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • 10 elephant seals

Boats

  • A few eco-tours came by today.

May 10

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 15-20 NW throughout the day
  • Sky: mostly cloudy
  • Water: calm

Ecological

  • 11 elephant seals

Boats

  • More ecotours came around today

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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

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.

 

A Windy Census

Weather

  • Visibility: 15 miles
  • Wind: 20-25 knots West in the morning, picking up to 30-35 by noon.
  • Sky: overcast
  • Water: 3′ chop

DSC_6368

Ecological

  • I oversaw an enthusiastic day long census with Maya, Tazi, and Ali.
  • Discovered a new Black Oystercatcher nest with 3 eggs!
  • Maya and Tazi discovered a new Canada Goose nest.
  • I begin to suspect that our new elephant seal male is actually Chuckles.
  • If he did nothing but eat for 3 months straight, that would explain his girth.
  • Saw a Steller Sea Lion branded 9628.
  • We found a blood star, and Maya showed us various chitons.
  • Maya and Tazi did a transect.
  1. Harbour Seals: 190
  2. California Sea Lions: 42
  3. Steller/Northern Sea Lions: 39
  4. Elephant Seals: 15 (13 on Great Race, 2 in the Southern waters)
  5. Seagulls: 225 (Glaucous-winged)
  6. Pigeon Guillemots: 82
  7. Canada Geese: 36 (14 on Great Race, 22 flyovers)
  8. Black Oystercatchers: 8 (plus 2 nests with a total 5 eggs)
  9. Harlequin Ducks: 3 (2 male, 1 female)
  10. Cormorants: 3
  11. Barn Swallows: 2

Maintenance

  • We cleaned the solar panels.
  • Finished cleaning the boathouse floor with T.S.P.
  • Repainted some rusty propane tanks.
  • Sanded the westward facing bench by the Students’ house.

Boats

  • Several eco-tours came by in the morning, but as wind picked up they disappeared.