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600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091

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June 28, 2018
Contact: Taylor Cotten, 360-902-2505
Paul DeBruyn, 360-466-4345, Ext. 281

WDFW will use drone to collect cormorant data
at Blaine waterfront on Friday, June 29

OLYMPIA – Biologists for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will fly a drone over the Blaine waterfront in Whatcom County on Friday, June 29, to collect information about a double-crested cormorant colony in the area.

WDFW scientist Taylor Cotten said a drone equipped with a camera will help determine how many nesting pairs of the large, dark-colored, fish-eating birds are within the Blaine waterfront colony.

He said the drone will be flown between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. over about 8,500 square feet of the Blaine waterfront, where cormorants usually congregate and where permission has been secured from the Blaine Marina. It will not be flown over people or buildings.

Cotten said the drone will pose less of a disturbance to nesting birds than more traditional counts by people on foot and may help reduce the cost of long-term monitoring.

WDFW biologists have surveyed cormorants at the Blaine waterfront since 2014 as part of a larger effort to assess the status of the species throughout the Pacific Flyway, which extends from Alaska to the southern tip of South America.