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.
The survey effort of pigeon guillemot breeding colonies was initiated in June 2016. Clallam MRC in collaboration of Island MRC and Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society surveyed separate colonies at two locations near Dungeness Spit and three locations near Port Williams. The weekly surveys were conducted by 14 volunteers between June and September.
2017 Survey Efforts
The 2017 monitoring of breeding colonies got underway in early June. The effort was expanded to 10 colonies surveyed by 19 volunteers. Each survey consists of one hour monitoring of the breeding colony before 9 am, one day a week from June through September.