Support
Subscribe
Subscribe to BirdNote

Sign up to receive a weekly email preview of the following week's shows!

Sign Up
Support BirdNote

Help BirdNote tell more stories, reach more people, and inspire action.

DONATE

You are here

Black Guillemot, Part 2

© Jack Stephens View Large

To feed their young, Black Guillemots search for food at the edge of pack-ice. In 1972, this was a just short trip from Cooper Island. Now it's more than 25 miles. Unable to find sufficient food close by, they're abandoning their chicks in order to save themselves and try again the next year. The guillemots provide evidence of a hugely significant phenomenon-the shrinking of the polar ice cap. To learn more about George Divoky and his research, please visit Friends of Cooper Island.org. For more about global warming, the Center for Climate and Energy Solutions is a great place to start.

Full Transcript

Transcript: 

BirdNote®

What the Black Guillemots Are Telling Us

Written by Chris Peterson

This is BirdNote!
 [Wind in the Arctic]
Today, we travel with scientist George Divoky to Cooper Island, in the Arctic Ocean. George started going there in the 1970s, to monitor the breeding activity of a pigeon-sized seabird, the Black Guillemot. [Black Guillemots calling over the sound of constant wind] In time, he realized the guillemots were providing evidence of a hugely significant phenomenon – the shrinking of the polar ice cap.
[Black Guillemots calling over the sound of constant wind]
To feed their young, guillemot parents must search for Arctic cod at the edge of pack-ice. Thirty years ago, this was a just short trip from Cooper Island. Now it’s more than 25 miles. Unable to find sufficient food close by, they’re abandoning their chicks in order to save themselves to try again the next year. The result – a steady decline in the guillemot population.
The warming of the air and water in the Arctic is directly related to our consumption of fossil fuels. The birds are tipping us off to major changes in the large natural systems that we take for granted.
Ironically, on the rare clear days from his campsite on Cooper Island, while he listens to the sounds of the Black Guillemots, George can see barges delivering supplies and equipment to the oil-drilling operations at Prudhoe Bay.
[Black Guillemots calling over the sound of constant wind]
For a link to the Cooper Island web site, come to BirdNote.org. I’m Frank Corrado.
#
Call of the Black Guillemots recorded by Douglas Nelson and used by permission from Borror Laboratory of Bioacoustics, Department of Evolution, Ecology, and Organismal Biology, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, all rights reserved.
Producer: John Kessler               
Executive Producer: Chris Peterson            
© Seattle Audubon 06/24/05             © 2008 Tune In to Nature.org       
Revised 04/08 for 06/08 WNPR              
ID#062405BLGUKPLU

Related field notes:

Home
Shows
Galleries
More