Wednesday morning the bird and mammal team introduced their newest member of the Birds and Shores exhibit. Blue Band, or “Ipsen,” is a rehabilitated male common murre (Uria aalge), also known as the common guillemot.
He came to Seattle Aquarium after being rehabilitated at Sarvey Wildlife Care Center in Arlington, Washington. According to the care center’s “patient of the week” blog, the bird was found in May, “not doing well on a beach. It was lethargic and sitting out in the hot sun.” They noted his feet had lesions, with deteriorated webbing in places, but that he quickly began eating and enjoying time in the tub. Since the problems with his feet and legs caused a noticeable limp, he was deemed non-releasable.
Senior Bird Biologist Sara Perry said, “The birds and mammals staff affectionately named him Ipsen, after a U.S. diver who participated in the Rio Olympic Games. As one of the top diving alcid species, common murres are capable of diving to depths of 400 feet.”
His addition brings Seattle Aquarium’s murre total to four: two males and two females. He is currently molting into his non-breeding plumage, so for now, you’ll be able to pick him out of the group by his speckled head and neck.