Murrelet Madness: A Lecture at Nisqually NWR

Illustration by Paul Harris Jones

Next Wednesday, August 12, I will be speaking about Marbled Murrelets at the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. The talk is part of their wonderful summer lecture series at the refuge visitor center. Doors open at 6 p.m.; those in the know arrive early, reserve their seat with a jacket or program, then take an hour's walk around the refuge to watch birds and track the progress of the restoration of the salt marsh.

I spent this morning at Nisqually with filmmaker Bill Ruth (no relation) who is making a film about glass artist Joseph Rossano. Joe is the Mt. Vernon artist whose 250 hand-blown and mirrored glass murrelets hover above one of the outdoor reflecting pools at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma. The film features the creation of these stunning birds and explores the idea of nature's fragility and reflective qualities. Bill Ruth is planning to include an footage of yours truly and ideas presented in my book, Rare Bird, and interviews with murrelet biologists. Bill shadowed US Forest Service biologists on the water, in the forest, and in the air during radio-tagging studies on the Straits of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Peninsula. Bill will be filming part of my talk at Nisqually to capture, in his words, some of my "enthusiasm" for the marbled murrelet.

Enthusiasm does not being to describe it. As soon as I start describing their nesting behavior and the journey of the murrelet chick from its nest to the sea, I become a hyperventilating OMG murreleteer. I can't help it. Marbled Murrelets are OMG awesome.
For more information and directions to Nisqually NWR click here: http://http//