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Glacier Bay:
South Marble Island

Skagway-Hoonah-Angoon Census Area of the Unorganized Borough, Alaska, USA (August 1995)

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Bird Colony

South Marble Island, Glacier Bay National Park

South Marble Island

South Marble Island is a small protrusion within the main channel of Glacier Bay as one sails from the Visitors Center up towards the major glaciers. It would be unremarkable except that it houses a notable and important colony for the pigeon guillemot (Cepphus columba), a north pacific seabird. These black birds have white upper wing patches marked by a black triangle, along with distinctive red legs. Guillemots nest within the island's rocky crevices.

Sea Lions in the Wild

Sea Lion Colony on South Marble Island

The island is also a Steller sea lion (Eumetopias jubatus) haul-out location. One place where this happens is shown in the photograph. If you look closely you may be able to see some of them. Steller sea lions are the largest of the eared seals. They are named for George Wilhelm Steller, a German naturalist that participated in the 1741 Bering expedition, and was the first to scientifically classify them.

South Marble Island

Outside South Marble Island

Steller Sea lions are Federally protected. Guillemot need undisturbed locations for breeding. Therefore, South Marble Island is closed to humans. The National Park Service has strict rules requiring people to stay clear.