Posted by: atowhee | November 19, 2020


Nov. 21–At least one correspondent has averred the projection of the tail is dangling feet. The debate continues, no general agreement.
Marty sent me this enhancement of his original image:

Comment on Nov. 20: “If you look closely at the photo, there seem to be one or two short central tail feathers that project beyond the rest of the tail feathers.  This would be consistent with a Parasitic Jaeger.  I think that the overall proportions of the bird (relatively heavy body and relatively short wings) are consistent with a jaeger.  I would expect that a Pomarine would show a white flash in the shafts of the  primaries, but that white flash isn’t always as apparent in a Parasitic.  The bill looks somewhat odd, but could potentially be consistent with a Parasitic. –Tim Janzen”

Update three hours after original posting: I told Marty Karlin that we were getting mixed opinions on his seabird, so he added these recollections: “This bird didn’t strike us as a petrel. It was seemingly too big. it was stocky relative to its longish wings.  It cruised without flapping much, a few feet off the water… There does appear to be lightness under the chin which is consistent with a short-tailed shearwater.”

And still later one OBOLer thought I was right about the jaeger in the first place: “the photo posted by harry is for me, at best, an impression – but not of a great-winged petrel.  a close look at the rump of the bird looks a tad lighter than the rest of the upper plumage.  it suggests the wavy barred rump on a subadult light-phase parasitic.”

Marty Karlin is an avid birder and photo maker from southern Oregon. Recently he was at the coast near Eureka and got this shot off a jetty on the edge of the Pacific. What, he asked? My surmise was Parasitic Jaeger…any other thoughts? Three fine seabirders say likely “Short-tailed Shearwater,” or ” Black-vented”–both are regular denizens of the nearshore Pacific and not given to huge Sooty-style flocks. Jeff Gilligan knows a helluva lot more about pelagic birds than I do and he surmises it could be Grey-faced or Great-winged Petrel…

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