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Social media image 7/19/17 - Welcome to Winged Wednesday! Keep an eye out for Double-crested Cormorants this July and August. Unlike most seabirds, Double-crested Cormorants don't have oily feathers for waterproofing. To dry their feathers after a wet swim, they stretch out their wings and face the wind. Good weather isn't required for drying, but it must help - which means Double-crested Cormorants might enjoy the summer sun as much as you do! Learn about California seabirds and what Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is doing to help seabirds thrive. (Photo: Dick Daniels/NPS)
Social media image 7/5/17 - Welcome to Winged Wednesday! Strike a pose! This Common Murre is poised and undeniably beautiful! Learn about California seabirds and what Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is doing to help seabirds thrive. (Photo: Dick Daniels/NPS)
Social media image 7/3/17 - Happy Marine Life Monday! The sea-clown triopha (Triopha catalinae) is a distinctive nudibranch with its pale body and bright orange spots. It feeds on bryozoans in mid to low rocky intertidal areas. The sea-clown is one of the largest nudibranchs that is able to crawl on the underside of tide pool surface films, usually a feat only accomplished by smaller nudibranchs! (Photo Credit: Greg McFall, NOAA/CBNMS)
Social media image 6/26/17 - Happy Marine Life Monday! Despite its appearance, the American Coot (Fulica americana) is not a duck but in the Family Rallidae, which included rails, gallinules, and coots. A unique feature of the coot is that it has lobed toes rather than webbed feet. Coots can be seen running across the water, beating their wings for quite a distance to get themselves airborne! (Photo Credit: Steve Lonhart, NOAA/MBNMS)
Social media image 6/21/17 -Welcome to Winged Wednesday! Point Reyes National Seashore is a treasure for many reasons, not least of all because it’s prime habitat for seabirds, including tens of thousands of common murres. If you haven’t seen them yet, grab some binocs, a windbreaker and check out the colony near the lighthouse - not to mention the big blue expanse of the Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary beyond! Learn more about common murres and what Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is doing to help seabirds thrive. (Photo: Sandy Rhoades/USFWS)
Social media image 6/19/17 - Happy Marine Life Monday! Green Pin Cushion Alga (Cladophora columbiana) may look just like moss, but it is a green alga found in the mid to high intertidal. Its spongy filaments help it effectively hold water, allowing it to survive long periods of exposure to the air and sun. This is one of the species monitored by the LiMPETS program! Find out more about LiMPETS (Photo Credit: Monika Krach, Greater Farallones Association)
Social media image 6/18/17 - Happy Father's Day! We know that there are a lot of incredible fathers out there and Common Murre dads are among them! Did you know that Common Murre chicks leave their rocky, cliffside nests just 3 weeks after hatching? First the fathers coax the flightless chicks to jump from the cliffs down to the sea, then the fathers spend the next 2 months teaching their chicks how to survive life as a seabird. Good job dads! (Photo Credit: OCNMS, NOAA)
Social media image 6/12/17 - Happy Marine Life Monday! The fragile pink urchin (Strongylocentrotus fragilis) is a deep sea species and is usually found at depths of 300-1600 feet. The fragile pink urchin feeds on bits of plants and animals that drift down to its deep environment. Like other urchins, it has tiny tube feet and spines that it uses to pass the treasured food scraps to its mouth which is on the bottom of its body! (Photo Credit: IfAME MBNMS MARE TNC)
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6/8/17 - Happy World Oceans Day! Looking for a way to celebrate World Oceans Day? Come visit Greater Farallones education staff at the San Francisco Zoo from 10am-3pm this Sunday, June 11th! (Photo Credit: Kate Thompson/NOAA)

Social media image The spotted ratfish (Hydrolagus colliei) is a chimaera and has some characteristics of sharks (cartilaginous fish) and some characteristics of bony fish. This deep sea species can be found as deep as 1000 meters and can be spotted cruising along the seafloor looking for shrimp, clams, worms, sea stars, or other fishes to feed on! (Photo Credit: Jean DeMarignac / NOAA MBNMS)
social media imageThe Arctic Tern (Sterna paradisaea) is well known for its amazing annual migration. With a wingspan of 25-29 inches and a weight of only 3-4 ounces, this small bird migrates around 22,000 miles from Arctic breeding grounds to its wintering grounds off of Antarctica! (Photo Credit: Ken Conger, NPS)
social media imageIn 1994, seabird biologist Harry Carter had a vision: to restore the common murre colony at Devil's Slide Rock, which had been completely abandoned as a result of an oil spill and gillnet fisheries. Carter assembled a daring team, piloted zodiacs in rough seas, and climbed the rock to place decoys he hoped would attract the murres back to their old home. Year after year, that work continued, and more birds started breeding on the rock. Thanks to this long term commitment over the past twenty years, the colony today is now home to 2,000 nesting common murres.

social media imageFrom striving to thriving, the Brown Pelican is an endangered species success story! Nearly extinct in the 1970's they have rebounded to healthy numbers since DDT was banned. The Endangered Species Act made this possible and the California Brown Pelican was delisted in 2009. (Photo Credit: Matt McIntosh/NOAA)

 

social media imageThe North American River Otter (Lontra canadensis) population has been rebounding in Northern California in recent years after historic declines due to pressures from hunting, pollution and habitat loss. Although somewhat similar in appearance to their relatives the sea otter, the river otter does not float on its back and is much more agile on land. They reach lengths of about 4 feet (including their tails!) and weigh 10-30 pounds. They can be found in a wide variety of marine and freshwater habitats where they search for fish, sea stars, crabs, mussels, amphibians, and bird eggs to feast on. (Photo Credit: NPS)
social media imageShortly after hatching, common murre chicks stretch their wings for their first... swim! Common murres learn to swim and dive before they fly. In fact, they are such incredible divers and swimmers that they are often described as “flying” through the water. Make sure you give common murre chicks space as they enter Greater Farallones and Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuaries for their very first time. (Photo: RJ Roush)
social media imageThe shag-rug nudibranch (Aeolidia papillosa) can be found in the low intertidal and subtidal zones from Alaska through central California. Their shaggy appearance mimics the sea anemones that these nudibranchs feed on! (Photo Credit: Steve Lonhart, NOAA/MBNMS)
social media imageThe copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus) has pronounced spines and the rear two thirds of its lateral line is distinctly light which helps distinguish it from similar looking rockfish species. The copper rockfish can reach lengths of approximately 26 inches and has been know to live for 50 years!
(Photo Credit: Chad King, NOAA/MBNMS)
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I spy, with my little eye, a giant, soaring black-footed albatross. Welcome to Winged Wednesday! Black-footed albatrosses are “medium-sized” albatrosses, but they're nonetheless huge birds with 7-foot wingspans. These birds can be found off California year-round, but they're more abundant during our upwelling season, April-September, when our coastal waters are most productive and full of yummy seabird food. Please join us in welcoming many black-footed albatrosses back to our California sanctuaries! Learn more about seabirds and what Greater Farallones National Marine Sanctuary is doing to help seabirds thrive. (Photo: NOAA)