East Beach - deceased birds

Cuyler Stapelmann

Hi all,

Sorry for the slightly morbid post. This morning, I was on a run with my dog, noting shorebirds along the way. Near Mission Creek outflow, I noticed a sick looking surf scoter on the wet part of the sand. It struggled to get into the water, getting tossed around by the small shore break. I considered trying to capture it at that time, but I determined that trying to walk it home with my dog would have been too much stress for the ill bird. I went back to look for the scoter at lunch, with the intention of trying to capture it and take it to a rescue center. While searching for the bird, I noticed a fairly-recently deceased Aechmophorus grebe on the dry sand near the outflow; it seems like it got washed up with the wrack. Then, I saw the scoter from this morning floating on the water lifeless. The scoter is now in the Museum of Natural History's research collection--thanks Krista!

Not sure if two recently dead birds at the same location is just a coincidence, or a symptom of some condition offshore, so I thought I'd mention it to the group.