Santa Barbara Island

The seabird program on SBI is focused primarily on monitoring the status of the island’s breeding population of Scripps’s Murrelets. Monitoring of murrelet activity involves regular checks of historically active nesting sites over the course of the breeding season, as well as habitat searches to discover new or potential sites.  In addition, live video is being recorded of nest activity at a set of designated sites.  This has given insight into the fate of failed nests (depredation, accidental breakage, neglect) as well as fledging events and breeding behavior.

  • Murrelet populations are currently monitored at six sites throughout the island.
  • Spotlight captures are conducted for banding purposes
  • Spotlight surveys are conducted to gain a sense of population size and growth over time

Colonies of three species of cormorant (Brandt’s, Pelagic and Double Crested) are also regularly monitored, as are colonies of Brown Pelicans. In addition, artificial burrows and natural sites are monitored for presence of Cassin’s Auklets. Mistnetting of Ashy Storm-Petrel’s is conducted for banding and population estimate data. Other species of interest that have been observed during the above monitoring efforts include Pigeon Guillemot and Black Oystercatcher.