This weekend, we surveyed our two beaches for washed-up seabirds. The surveys lasted for several hours each, as we found 48 birds between the two beaches.
We found this pair of wings at Bob Straub State Park in Pacific City. The wing cord was 18.5 cm and it looks like they belonged to a cinnamon or blue-winged teal, but we are not sure which. Anyone know how to tell the two apart? The wings had a light blue patch between the elbow and the wrist, white spots on the secondary coverts, and some green coloring on the secondary coverts.
The most common birds by far were juvenile common murres that fledged during the last few months. The carcasses were near adult size, but their measurements were a little short of adult averages.
The sternums of the birds were mostly cartilage, in various stages of ossification progressing from the anterior end downward. In previous years, the dieoff occurred when fledglings were much younger, so it was interesting to see them in this stage of development.