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November 2009


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Michael Hendrickson <[log in to unmask]>
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Michael Hendrickson <[log in to unmask]>
Sun, 8 Nov 2009 18:06:11 -0700
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What a wild Saturday evening and Sunday morning.  I thought I share some time line information for those that did not see the Black Guillemot and for those that saw it this morning.

- I got a call from Kim Eckert about the sighting at 3:10pm or so and the bird was seen right up to sunset by Jim Lind and Kim Eckert MBW Group.

- At 6:30pm Dave Bartkey, Ben Fritchman and John Hockema saw the bird at night using car head lights and flashlights. The bird was actively swmming inside the boat ramp area as reported by Kim Eckert.

-9pm - 9:45pm Tony Hertzel came up and relocated the bird still actively swimming around inside the boat ramp area and Tony reported two beavers in the boat ramp area that seem to be territorial towards the Black Guillemot.

-1:30am - 1:45am Dedrick Benz and Chris Hockema drove up from SE MN and found the bird in the same area as reported actively swimming around inside the boat ramp area.

-Then at 7:10-15am I relocated the Black Guillemot in the SW corner behind two rocks. The bird had its head up, bill parallel to the water surface, one side of the head the eye looked link it half close and the other side the eye looked open.  The bird did not move during the time I observed. When I saw move I mean no head movement, no wing movement, no leg movement and no eye movement.  The bird was beign pulled towards the rocks by the water and times the bill would bounce off the roack slightly and the bird never reacted to these bumps. To me it looked like a decoy just bobbing around inside this small area behind the rocks.

-Around 9:30am I left and with talking to Erik Brunke, Dave Cahlander and others at the site no one really had a definite eye movement and no movement of any kind and talks sparked wondering if either the bird is dead or was it severely sick and in a state of shock of some kind. 

-At 11:30 Bob William collected the bird from the water and it was found to be dead.  The bird was being delivered to the Bell Museum from what I was told.

So I have some questions:  ( well someone has to ask these questions since these questions were brought up several times during the viewing by birders )

1. When Bob Williams collected the bird, was the bird lying on its side or its bill and head drooped in the water? Was there any change to the bird appearance since 9:30am to say it was dead?

2. The last time the bird was seen actively moving around was at 1:45am Sunday morning.  Since there is no way for sure to say if the bird was a live or not from 7:10-15am to time of collection (11:30am) how should birders count this bird on their MN list if they are following MOU rules?  Minnesota/MOU rules state you cannot count dead birds to your MN list or county list if you are using and following MOU rules.  I heard from good sources that this will be up to the observer if she/he wants to add the bird to her/his MN List or Cook Co. List.  I would like to hear some responses on this to see what should be done in this very situation?

3. Do we: A. Leave it to the observer to add the bird to MN list /county list from time of discovery to time of collection B. add the bird to your MN/county list from time of discovery to 1:45am ( last reported time the bird was actively moving all body parts ) 

Remember these questions are for those birders that follow MOU listing rules and if you do not follow any rules of any kind you can do what you want with the sighting. I am only asking these questions because this is a real odd situation on should you count it or not count it.

In any case the sighting created a lot of excitement and I like to thank Kim Eckert and MBW group for getting the word out right away on this amazing discovery.  


Mike Hendrickson
Duluth, Minnesota

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