Birds-Seagulls-Ocean-AnimalsOfficials on the Pacific Coast are puzzled by the deaths of hundreds of small, white-bellied seabirds since October. The birds, called Cassin’s auklets, are mostly gray in color and have blue feet. Media reports say they have been steadily washing ashore all along the Pacific Coast, from Northern California to the coast of the state of Washington, and that, naturally, is concerning wildlife and other experts because thus far they have yet to determine an exact cause for the massive deaths. “To be this lengthy and geographically widespread, I think is kind of unprecedented,” Phillip Johnson, the executive director of the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition, told the Pierce Pioneer, in its online edition. “It’s an interesting and somewhat mysterious event.” At the time of publication, the Pierce Pioneer (PP) noted that the University of Washington’s Coastal Observation and Seabird Survey Team (COSST) had gathered as many as 1,200 birds that have washed ashore over the past few months. More