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November 2009


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Bob Ekblad <[log in to unmask]>
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Bob Ekblad <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 9 Nov 2009 03:27:15 -0700
text/plain (87 lines)
I noticed a couple of interesting things when viewing the photos of the
Black Guillemot that were taken by Erik Bruhnke around 11:30 AM on the 8th.

First, they showed the birds eyes to be closed.  When we viewed the bird
early in the morning on the 8th (around sunrise but with very adequate
lighting) the eyes were at least half to two thirds open (more like Kim's
photo that is posted on MOU Recently Seen).  There were also some who
noticed what appeared to be some occasional movement of the eyelids.

Second, the photos show the angle of the bird's body/bill to be tipped
forward making the bill less than parallel to the water (making it point
more down toward the water).  Early in the morning the bill appeared to me
to be at least parallel or even slightly elevated.

The differences may be stages of death or progression through rigor.

Congratulations to Kim's MBW group for finding and reporting the bird and to
Mike and others for updates.  I had a very enjoyable (long) day of birding
on the north shore and saw lots of great birds.

Bob Ekblad
Olmsted County in SE Minnesota

-----Original Message-----
From: Minnesota Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Michael
Sent: Sunday, November 08, 2009 10:03 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [mou-net] Black Guillemot

Dear all Birders who saw the Black Guillemot this morning 11/8 that the
Black Guillemot was indeed dead during the whole time we observed it till it
was collected around 11:30am.  The bird was in rigor mortis and that is the
reason the bill was parallel to the water surface and as we all indicated
the bird bounced around like a decoy or a rubber duck in a bath tub in the
small harbor.  

So in my humble opinion the Black Guillemot was most likely deceased when I
relocated it in that small area in the harbor. So I am personally not going
to add it to my life list, MN list and county list.

I would also like to reply Eric Harrold's comments:

There are many aspects to birding that many people get involve with and
today those who went to see the Black Guillemot came to see it because that
is one of the aspects of birding they enjoy = bird listing.  Also those who
were there to see the Black Guillemot for their list or curiosity are also
the same birders I know who are involve in bird conservation as well.  Some
of the North Americans top bird listers ( Kenn Kaufmann and others I know
like him ) are also very active in bird conservation.  Also when a bird such
as a Black Guillemot shows up and people flock there to come to see it, the
scene is also sort of like a reunion where birders we have not seen in some
time can get together to get caught up with each other. I enjoyed seeing all
the folks today who I have not seen in sometime.  To make one other point
the majority of people who were up along the north shore who discovered the
sighting were from a MOU sponsored field trip that poured some
 needed money into lodging and restaurants estabolishments in Grand Marais.
So rare birds can also be a gift to local business in Tofte or Grand Marais
from us birders.

Well it was a great day with great people! I do not regret a thing about
traveling 85 miles to see a dead bird because I learned a lot of stuff about
Guillemots and got to back to Tofte where I use to live.


Mike Hendrickson
Duluth, Minnesota

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