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Christmas shearwater

Christmas shearwater

2 replies on “Christmas shearwater”

@Dale- Yes, that was the other main candidate and I wish I would have seen the bird fly but based on the length of the bill and the size of the bird (seen quite close), it still seemed like a Sooty. It really didn’t seem to be the same size as Galapagos Shearwater, a bird I have often seen in flight and sitting on the water. I wasn’t sure if primary length was a very reliable character. But, if you know other field marks to separate these species when they are sitting on the water, please share them, I would much rather have this bird be a Christmas because that would be an excellent lifer! Speaking of dark shearwaters, I wish I could have taken pictures of another one I had seen from the ferry some years ago in November. At the time, Christmas wasn’t on my radar and I just took it be a Sooty. That bird wasn’t in flight either- was floating or even perched on driftwood, might not have been much bigger than a Black Tern. I just remember it being all dark brown and noting the tube nose. I can’t recall now but sure wish I had a photo because it could have very well been a Christmas…

After writing the reply above, I was checking images again of Christmas and Sooty Sheawaters- now I wonder if the bird could have been a Christmas since it was dark chocolate brown, and Christmas is indeed larger than Galapagos Shearwater. It seems like head shape might be more like Christmas as well. I thought that the bill of Christmas was shorter but that doesn’t really seem to be the case. Also, it seems like the tubes on my bird are longer than on images of Christmas but I don’t know. A real shame that we didn’t see it in flight. Hopefully, a friend of mine got better images to share with a seabird ID group to see if it can be definitely identified.

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