Arctic Ills in California? "Hundreds of Migratory Seabirds Wash Ashore"

"BODEGA BAY — Sara Bogard halted her dog as the two began descending the cliff down to Manchester Beach, along the Mendocino coast.

Below, scores of dead and dying birds littered the beach as far as she could see.

“The smell hit me first,” said Bogard, describing the musty, basement-like odor of northern fulmars scattered along the beach that mid-December morning. The smell, she recalled, was “kind of like a grandmother’s closet.”

What beached these offshore birds is still not known. Researchers and veterinarians who examined them — both the injured and dead — say they tended to be young and emaciated. Many had lesions on their feet, which veterinarians have identified as a papillomavirus — from the same viral family that gives humans warts but is unique to northern fulmars."

Susanne Rust reports for the Los Angeles Times with photography by Carolyn Cole
January 24, 2022.

Source: LA Times, 01/31/2022