San Juan Island Sea Kayak Report from April 13th:
Today we paddled out to the west side looking for critters, and took a closer look at the Pigeon Guillemot. These glossy black and white birds, chunky in stature, are easily recognizable by their bright red legs and feet. I like these birds as they are especially easy to spot on open bays, and often swim quite close to the docks. When diving underwater looking for bottom fish, the Guillemot propels itself with its wings.
This little guy is related to the puffin, and also nests on rocky cliffs and islands. These are busy parents, feeding their young up to 16 times a day! All that food gets put to good work immediately-- both chicks triple their weight in under two weeks.
Next time you see one swim or fly by, listen for their repeated cry of "cheep"!