“This most recent wave of murre strandings is part of a broader seabird die-off in coastal Alaska first reported in March and part of a widespread seabird die-off up and down the Pacific coast, possibly due to shortages of squid, krill and little fish the birds usually eat.” (ADN, January 2016)
Here are some additional links to articles and stories that describe odd seabird behaviors, sightings and strandings of starving birds elsewhere along the West Coast of the USA.
Mass Death of Seabirds in Western U.S. Is ‘Unprecedented’, National Geographic, January 2015.
Lost at Sea: Starving Birds in a Warming World, Audubon Magazine, March/April 2015 “Because the birds usually sink or are eaten before they wash ashore, Parrish estimates that in addition to the 3,500 recorded on land, tens of thousands more have died and disappeared at sea. Cassin’s seem to be the only seabird affected. “It’s curious,” says Parrish. “If the bottom was falling out of the food chain, we might expect to see a wide variety of species stressed. It could be that Cassin’s are dying out early.”
Common Murre Strandings an Uncommon Problem, reported by Pacific Wildlife Care in Morro Bay, California in September 2015
Murre-cy! That’s A Lot of Murres!, from San Fransisco, California, October 2015.