Seasons in the Sea - A month-by-month guide to Central California sea life

Section contents:

Cormorants: Image credit-Mary Hollinger - NOAA


for October

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Diver-at-work symbol (c) Kim Fulton-Bennett This page under construction.
Here are some of the topics that will be covered in this chapter. More text and images will eventually be added to this section. Thank you for your patience.

Seabird events in October:

  • Many seabirds return to Monterey Bay in October after breeding at Farallones or elsewhere, and will spend the winter in Monterey Bay. These include storm petrels, rhinoceros auklets, common murres, marbled murrelets, California gulls, Bonapart's gulls, Western gulls, Pacific loons, Arctic loons, and western grebes.
  • Some seabirds that winter in Monterey Bay, such as common murres, Arctic loons, and rhinoceros auklets, switch from hunting juvenile rockfish to feeding on market squid, which begin to congregate in the bay in October to spawn (not as many market squid gather to spawn during winter as during spring and summer, but those that do provide a much needed source of food during the winter months).
  • In fall, and especially in October, virtually the entire world's population of ashy storm petrels (Oceanodroma homochroa) gathers in Monterey Bay (in the middle of the bay, over the deep waters of Monterey Canyon) to molt [and perhaps feed?].
  • These open-ocean birds are joined by black petrels (Oceanodroma homochroa) that migrate up from the south.
  • Although the immense flocks of sooty shearwaters are beginning to leave the Central Coast in October, some flocks still remain, They are joined by a wide variety of other shearwaters in the open waters of Monterey Bay.
  • Other non-resident birds, including South polar skuas, Pomarine Jaegers, and parasitic Jaegers, congregate in the open waters of Monterey Bay.
  • In addition to birds that spend the winter on the Central Coast, waves of migrating seabirds make "pit stops" here during their southerly fall migration. These migratory birds include water birds such as Pacific Loons, grebes, terns, and Jaegers, as well as shore and wetland birds such as least sandpipers, western sandpipers, black-bellied plovers, marbled godwits, willets, curlews, and whimbrels.
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