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14

The suds are caused by protein. Protein is usually consumed by the nitrogen cycle and finally plant life, but if there is enough water churning by wind and white caps and breaking waves it can froth up and dry out and get blown away and get trapped a gyre where is eventually melts back down into the water. Sometimes it gets blown into a beach as you've seen. ...


6

I suspect this mostly is a result of need, and antipathy. First of all I think your premise that humans can't identify individual animals within a breed or species is false. People who spend significant time with animals like pet owners, farmers, and naturalists can differentiate between "their" animals and new animals much easier than people who aren't ...


5

Sea foam, ocean foam, beach foam, or spume is a type of foam created by the agitation of seawater, particularly when it contains higher concentrations of dissolved organic matter (including proteins, lignins, and lipids) derived from sources such as the offshore breakdown of algal blooms. -- Wikipedia (2016-07-25): Sea foam Human waste can be a ...


5

I support the accepted answer but wanted to add an potentially helpful anecdote. When I joined the Marine Corps as a young man some 20 years ago - the first thing they did was give us a uniform and shave our heads. For the first several weeks after that, I struggled to identify one individual from another - as hair is a key element that we as humans use in ...


5

The ocean floor is almost entirely undisturbed by waves - What you are finding comes from the coastal littoral. You can gain some general estimates from direction and strength of storms, but the movement of the sea is chaotic overall. Oceanographers can make general statistical predictions, but there is just too much to track. Read this article on the 28,...


4

Almost all North American sandpipers nest far up north (from the northern Great Plains to the shores of the Arctic Ocean). They winter in moderate numbers along the coasts, and very large numbers of migrants come through in waves along the coasts in the spring (March-May, mostly). The numbers in southbound migration (August-October, mostly) are somewhat ...


4

Five hours from San Francisco is enough to reach a good chunk of the Sierras and even further north in the area of Lassen and Shasta. There are large areas of national forest within this range. Generally the national forests will have less restrictions than national parks, particularly popular ones like Yosemite. Each national forest will have its own ...


4

Another two reasons The first is that humans vary much more than crows do - in behavior and in color (clothing) so they are easier to tell apart. The second is that crows (and birds generally) have much more to gain from distinguishing between different humans than humans have from distinguishing crows. Humans are both a source of resources/benefits for ...


3

Good answers/anecdotes thus far. I find this interesting and asked an avian specialist about this. In addition to most of what has already been said (that crows have more time, necessity, and better vantage points to observe us), they emphasized a point Erik briefly touched on - their sneakiness: Crows are not easy to differentiate, even if we do watch ...


3

Sea foam is from diatoms breaking up (unless it is from pollution). Normally, it is from diatoms, which are a form of plankton that have a glass-like silica shell (also their broken shells make diatomaceous earth). When their shell breaks, it mixes with the water and makes sea foam!


3

Turns out options are limited to mostly Big Sur. Luckily, there are a tremendous amount of trails and campgrounds in the area. A good place to start looking for camping in the Big Sur is their hiking page. This lists their backcountry trails, some of which allow dispersed camping. Big Sur wilderness falls into two categories: Los Padres National Forest, ...


2

In my experience, beaches that are less protected are the ones which have the most items washing up on them. For example, in Tofino on the west coast of Vancouver Island, many items arrive from Japan because there is no land in between those places, whereas on the east side of the island, there is almost nothing washing up from Japan because there is so much ...


2

An interesting article from The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration Research lists causes of sea foam, most of which have been covered by all your other answers. It does say that the formation of sea foam varies by different coastal regions. While in general, sea foam is considered safe to humans and birds, and even beneficial, there have ...



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