Dead birds on Ocean Beach – why?

After I passed the third dead bird on Ocean Beach, I began to think it was abnormal. There were hundreds of people out enjoying the warm and sunny weather among at least 20 decaying sea birds of the same species, within a small stretch of beach at the end of Sloat Avenue. If you know what species of sea bird this is and/or anything about what could be causing this die-off, let me know by commenting below.

Other high strangeness is human behavior: I thought it was odd how people would plant themselves within a few feet of a dead bird. I don’t know… if I was visiting the beach, I would not want the sight and smell of death in the vicinity of my enjoyment of a beautiful ocean. In this case, ignorance is bliss.

Update 9/25/15: I had made an inquiry to Farallones Marine Sanctuary and these birds are “Common Murres”. According to Beach Watch, it is normal to see a die-off during August and September but the rate is higher than average this September of 2015. Kirsten Lindquist of Farallones Marine Sanctuary and the Beach Watch program speculates, “This ‘die-off’ that started last August, is believed to be due to the warm water caused by El Niño and lack of coastal prey the right size for the young murres. The murre chicks still cannot fly so they are limited to prey resources where ever they can float/swim.” Click here to visit Beach Watch for more information.

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One thought on “Dead birds on Ocean Beach – why?

  1. Thanks for this information. I was at ocean beach (cliff house) yesterday and noticed many dead birds of the same species on the beach. Its good to know why!

    Like

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