The Pigeon Guillemot is considered an indicator species of nearshore health, since this bird feeds heavily on forage fish and other small marine creatures it catches by diving beneath the surface. In May and June, Pigeon Guillemots lay eggs and by end of June, the birds are busy providing fish for the juveniles in the burrows.
In June 2016 Clallam MRC initiated Pigeon Guillemot surveys at two locations near Sequim with collaboration of Island MRC and Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society.
Separate colonies at the two locations near Dungeness Spit and three locations near Port Williams were surveyed by 14 volunteers once a week for one hour between June and September. The 2016 data is currently being compiled with other surveys of colonies in Puget Sound.
Island and Clallam MRCs were awarded a grant from Northwest Straits Foundation to hire a coordinator for the 2017 sampling season. The coordinator will compile and manage the survey data collected by both Island and Clallam MRC. Clallam MRC plans to expand their survey effort with two additional sites.