[CT Birds] Common Eiders in CT waters

edward.raynor at maine.edu edward.raynor at maine.edu
Wed Dec 16 15:00:35 EST 2009


Hello,
I am familiar with four remote islands, Falkner(CT), Goose(CT), Great  
Gull(NY), and Little Gull(NY), in Long Island Sound.  Of the four  
islands only one of them, Goose Island, is not protected by rock  
riprapping, which I'm assuming impedes Eider movements from water to  
nesting habitat but offers quality mollusk habitat for foraging. I  
have never been to South Dumpling where the dresseri breed but I was  
curious to know if rock rip-rapping surrounds the island? I am also  
curious to know if anyone has documented the impact of the hypoxia  
occuring in Narangansett Bay, RI on the mollusk community?

Happy holidays,
E.J. Raynor
Currently Destrehan, Louisiana but soon to be in Fairfield for the holidays.


Quoting "Glenn Williams" <gswilliams9 at yahoo.com>:

> I forgot to mention that South Dumpling Island is dominated by  
> nesting Double-crested Cormorants, Herring Gulls, and Black-backed  
> Gulls.  The eider are limited to the heavy vegetation while the  
> others rule the open ground.  The cormorants nest in the trees as  
> well as the ground and become more numerous every year.  I would say  
> that the eider on South Dumpling have maxed out their nesting  
> capacity and nesting numbers may decline as vegetation continues to  
> die off from the guano.
>
> Glenn Williams
> Mystic
>
> --- On Wed, 12/16/09, David F Provencher <david.f.provencher at dom.com> wrote:
>
>> From: David F Provencher <david.f.provencher at dom.com>
>> Subject: [CT Birds] Common Eiders in CT waters
>> To: "CTBirds" <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
>> Date: Wednesday, December 16, 2009, 1:46 PM
>> This is certainly shaping up to be a
>> noteworthy year for Common Eider in CT waters. Glenn does
>> succinctly point out the limitations on nesting sites here
>> however. Additionally, Eiders nesting is usually very
>> negatively impacted by Gull nesting proximity. Population
>> trends on the races of Common Eider seems a bit sketchy with
>> not enough solid census data and what data is available
>> seems a bit contradictory. Eider populations have risen and
>> dropped dramatically over the years, mostly attributable to
>> human caused impacts. Indeed the estimate for Eiders taken
>> by hunters in New England stood at 23,000 for 2004 and in
>> the nineteenth century Eiders were very nearly lost as
>> breeders in all of New England due to hunting and other
>> human caused pressures. Obviously with the protections put
>> in place during the twentieth century there has been a
>> recovery in New England waters. While "American" Common
>> Eider (race dresseri) may be slightly increasing in numbers
>> now by some estimates, the data compilation to date seems
>> less than optimally acquired. However It certainly seems
>> accurate to say the species taken as a whole has declined
>> significantly and the potential for renewed dresseri
>> population loss is real and worrying since there is real
>> economic value in Eider harvesting. My guess on the
>> occurrence of more Eiders in CT waters is that the bird's
>> increased wintering distribution into LI Sound is probably
>> more a reflection of food source changes and other dynamics
>> rather than more birds. In the recent past there have been
>> quite a few Eiders in the vicinity of LI Sound even if they
>> weren't venturing in, other than in very low numbers or in
>> search of calmer waters during major storms. So it will be
>> very interesting to see what happens in subsequent years and
>> I would be very interested indeed to hear any more solid
>> info anyone has on recent/current populations studies being
>> done on dresseri or borealis.
>>
>> Dave Provencher
>> Naturally New England<http://naturallynewengland.blogspot.com/>
>>
>>
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