As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Common Murre die-off has died down after 40K carcasses found this winter

Beth Verge, Reporter and Multimedia Journalist
POSTED: 05:20 PM AKDT Mar 19, 2016    UPDATED: 05:39 PM AKDT Mar 19, 2016 

For now, a crisis has been averted for the massive seabird die-off that concerned scientists this winter, according to officials with Anchorage's Bird Training and Learning Center.

"We were afraid that this was going to carry on through the spring," said Bird TLC Director of Operations Guy Runco, referring to the thousands of Common Murres found exhausted and starved hundreds of miles north of their natural habitat near the sea. 

"We didn't know when it would end, so when February came around and we stopped getting calls, we were very happy with that," he said.

U.S. Geological Survey research wildlife biologists told the Associated Press that an estimated 6,000 to 8,000 carcasses of the penguin-like bird had been counted last month on the shores of a southwest Alaska lake, contributing to the total count of nearly 40,000, which could actually be a fraction of the true number.

But, for the last month, Bird TLC has not received any calls regarding Common Murre carcass discoveries.

"It's not just Anchorage," Runco said. "We got birds sent to us from as far north as Fairbanks. We were finding them inland throughout Alaska, and now that's just not the case."

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