Common Murres, like this one, disappeared from the coast of Maine in the 1880s, after years of being hunted. Since 1992, Dr. Steve Kress has been trying to coax the birds to nest there again. And the murres are coming back. In June, 2009, a pair of Common Murres nested on Matinicus Rock. It was the first nesting on an island off the East Coast of the US in 126 years. Thanks to Project Puffin, Atlantic Puffins also now breed on islands off the coast. Be sure to watch the video with Dr. Kress.
Project Puffin - Success with Seabirds
Written by Adam Sedgley
This is BirdNote! And we’re about to hear some sounds of success with seabirds.
[Common Murre breeding colony sounds used by Project Puffin]
Common Murres, like those we’re hearing, disappeared from the coast of Maine in the 1880s, after years of being hunted for their meat and eggs. Since 1992, Dr. Steve Kress has been broadcasting this exact sound from islands in Maine, hoping to attract adult birds from Canada to nest there.
And now the murres are coming back.
In June of 2009, a pair of Common Murres nested on Matinicus Rock (pronounced ma-TIN-i-cuss), the first time in 126 years! Although no murres have nested since then, more murres visit each year – a good sign!
[Sounds of a pair of Common Murres]
This success is one of several for Project Puffin. Project Puffin. Dr. Kress started the program in 1973, to boost the population of Atlantic Puffins. They had dwindled to only two vulnerable colonies on the coast of Maine.
[Atlantic Puffin breeding colony sounds – calls of two Atlantic Puffins]
Dr. Kress transplanted Puffin chicks from Newfoundland to Maine. When it was time for them to breed, he encouraged them to return to Maine. How? By using broadcasts of these sounds of a puffin colony. Today more than 1,000 puffin pairs breed on six islands off the coast.
[Atlantic Puffin breeding colony sounds]
Learn more about Project Puffin and see videos when you visit birdnote.org.
Bird sounds provided by The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York.
Calls of the Atlantic Puffin 62361 recorded by W.W. H. Gunn.
Producer: John Kessler
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson
© 2012 Tune In to Nature.org September 2012 Narrator: Michael Stein
ID# projectpuffin-01-2009-09-17- projectpuffin-01b