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Last Tufted Puffin Event on Oregon Coast Looks at Babies, Sept. 8

Published 09/01/21 at 6:06 PM PDT
By Oregon Coast Beach Connection staff

Last Tufted Puffin Event on Oregon Coast Looks at Babies, Sept. 8

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(Cannon Beach, Oregon) – Since winter, the north Oregon coast's Friends of Haystack Rock have been hosting online lectures about the adorable puffins found around the coastline, a series that was extended into summer. Now, the last one takes place on September 8, as the group hosts another live digital event that starts at 7 p.m. The subject will be “A Seabird's Seafood: Investigating the Diet of Tufted Puffin Chicks at Haystack Rock through Noninvasive Community Focused Activities.” (Photo above courtesy Ram Pampish)

Where: Facebook Live @Friends of Haystack.

The lecture will be given by Rachael Orben and Noah Dolinajec, two scientists who have worked extensively in the field.

Since the ‘80s, tufted puffins have seen a dramatic decline in population numbers along the Oregon coast, with the last full census in 2008 showing them under 200 birds. Even so, the tufted puffin was not added to the Endangered Species Act in 2020, due to large gaps in data. One of these segments of data was uncertainties over what they were eating for prey. In collaboration with the US Fish and Wildlife Service and Friends of Haystack Rock, Oregon State University's Seabird Oceanography Lab has developed a suite of non-invasive community-forward projects to both bolster data collection and raise awareness about tufted puffin foraging ecology, chick diet composition and conservation on the Oregon coast.

Noah is a graduate student of Wildlife Management at Oregon State University affiliated with the Seabird Oceanography Lab where he is focused on developing non-invasive community-engaged methods to better monitor and understand tufted puffin and other coastal bird ecology in Oregon. He was born and raised in Portland, Oregon where he eventually attended Portland State University and earned a BSc in Mathematics and Physics. After a foray into graduate level astrophysics Noah made the discipline shift to the ecological sciences. Before joining the Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Conservation at Oregon State University he was a graduate intern for the Geospatial Ecology of Marine Megafauna lab in the summer of 2020.

Photo courtesy Seaside Aquarium

Aside from wildlife, Noah enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, traveling with his fiancé, riding his bike and most of all making friends with any dog that he comes across.

Rachael is a marine ecologist with a background in oceanography and field ecology. She is interested in how individual marine animals interact with their environment through movement: from fine-scale flight behavior to migrations. Rachael's research combines biologging technology and field techniques to link movements to intrinsic individual characteristics, such as body condition, breeding success, and physiology to provide context for how marine animals interact with the environment. Recently, her work has led her to Alaska, the northwest Hawaiian Islands and the Falkland Islands. Rachael leads the Seabird Oceanography Lab and is an active collaborator with the GEMM Lab.

“Friends of Haystack Rock is a nonprofit organization focused on keeping Haystack Rock healthy and thriving,” said event organizer Tiffany Boothe. “Our mission is to promote the preservation and protection of the intertidal life and birds that inhabit the Marine Garden and Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge at Haystack Rock. We do this in cooperation with Haystack Rock Awareness Program (HRAP) and other partnerships.” MORE PHOTOS BELOW

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Photos below courtesy Friends of Haystack Rock

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