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What's that in the sky over Blaine? It's a bird, it's a plane ... it's the WDFW?

A colony of double-crested cormorants congregate inside the rocky breakwater of Blaine's commercial marina at an evening high tide in 2003. WDFW biologists will fly a drone over the Blaine waterfront Friday to help determine how many pair of double-crested cormorant nest in the area.
A colony of double-crested cormorants congregate inside the rocky breakwater of Blaine's commercial marina at an evening high tide in 2003. WDFW biologists will fly a drone over the Blaine waterfront Friday to help determine how many pair of double-crested cormorant nest in the area. Courtesy to The Bellingham Herald

No, Canadians are not attacking, Amazon is not delivering packages, and you don't have to worry that some kid is flying his or her drone where he shouldn't.

Biologists for the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) will fly a remote aircraft over the Blaine waterfront Friday to collect information about a double-crested cormorant colony in the area, according to a WDFW release.

Taylor Cotten, a WDFW scientist, will fly a drone with a camera to help determine how many nesting pairs of the large fish-eating birds are within the Blaine waterfront colony. According to the release, the drone will be flown between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Friday and cover about 8,500 square feet of the Blaine waterfront, where cormorants usually congregate.

Permission for the drone has been secured from the Blaine Marina, according to the release, and it will not be flown over people or buildings. Cotten said the drone will pose less of a disturbance to the birds than more traditional counts by people and will help reduce the cost of long-term monitoring.

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

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