Mother Nature is re-establishing a balance between Murres, Bald Eagles and Pelicans – but frankly, it isn’t pretty
When a two mile stretch of Agate Beach to Nye Beach became littered with dead sea Murres earlier this year, marine scientists knew something was up. And they didn’t have to go far to figure out what it was. Bald Eagles, Pelicans and Seagulls were dive-bombing the nesting grounds of Sea Murres on rocks just offshore from the Yaquina Head lighthouse.
It’s turning out to be a classic story of two species coming back from the edge of extinction – the American Bald Eagle and the Brown Pelican. Both have grown substantially in numbers over the past ten years thanks to environmental protection. The eagles and pelicans have successfully produced more offspring – and boy are they hungry. But for the Murres, which had grown in population over the years as the eagles and pelicans declined, are now, today, the equivalent of “sittin’ ducks.”
The story is to be found in Hatfield Marine Science Center’s news publication, “Currents.” Click here for the full story. There is a video that graphically demonstrates what’s been happening off Yaquina Head which may not be suitable for tender young eyes.