Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Trip results: Oregon Seabirds: September 24, 2011

We had a nice morning with clouds and wind in the afternoon. The full trip report is here.

Highlights included several South Polar Skuas and good looks at a couple of Tufted Puffins. About 600 Sooty Shearwaters were widely distributed and in near-constant view from a mile offshore to our chum stop 24 miles west of Newport, Oregon.

We spent 10 minutes with 3 Humpback Whales until they sounded.

Overall, typical species with no rarities--a good day!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Hawaiian/Galapagos Petrel article

An article on Dark-rumped Petrel identification in North American Birds by Peter Pyle, Daniel L. Webster, and Robin W. Baird appears online.

"Notes on petrels of the Dark-rumped Petrel complex (Pterodroma phaeopygia/sandwichensis) in Hawaiian waters" appears in the Volume 65 (2011), No. 2 issue of North American Birds.

Interestingly, the authors present 2 birds from Hawaii that appear to be Galapagos Petrels. I couldn't determine whether this means these two birds really were from the Galapagos, or whether there is more variation in the appearance of Hawaiian Petrel than previously thought.

Birds appearing off the West Coast of North America, peaking about the 10th of August, have thought to have been Hawaiian Petrels, based on descriptions and photos. The Hawaiian Petrel has a very small population. Perhaps we're better off using the pre-split name, Dark-rumped Petrel, until the identification criteria and exact ranges are more positively defined.