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Malibu Die-off?

January 24, 2016

Occasionally at our monthly Malibu Lagoon walks, a birder brings us somewhat mystifying and somewhat unbelievable stories about birds. This morning, the story was mystifying but very believable since the bearer, a Malibu artist of note, also had pictures of her tale. It turns out that Dominique Sanders had gone down to Point Dume beach with her daughter but instead of tide pooling, had found dozens, if not hundreds of dead birds semi-submerged in, and stacked on the sand. And not small ones, either! (my note: these appear to be mostly Brandt’s Cormorants.)

Cormorant in sand copyright 2016 d. Sanders Pt. Dume 1/223/2016

Cormorant in sand. Copyright 2016 D. Sanders          Pt. Dume 1/23/2016

Pallet of cormorants

Pallet of cormorants   Copyright D. Sanders 2016      Pt. Dume 1/23/2016

She tells us that a friend of hers saw a number of dead birds on the same beach already last week. This beach is one of those State/County supervised beaches, however, apparently there has not been active patrolling of that spot in the past week.
Just so you don’t take this as a necropsy article, we have also included her excellent picture of two intergrade American/Black Oystercatchers, one of which is catching a…mussel.

Intergrade American/Black Oystercatchers Copyright D. Sanders Pt.Dume 1/23/2016

Intergrade American/Black Oystercatchers Copyright D. Sanders Pt.Dume 1/23/2016

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