correction to pelagic trip storm-petrel

David Povey


As the football officials say  "Upon further review".  I now think the storm-petrel we saw yesterday off Mission Beach was a Black Storm-Petrel.

I called it on flight style (shallow wing beat, minus any deep wing strokes) and coloration (brownish) not black. Reviewing the photos by Bruce Rideout and Nancy Christensen

a few things standout, one the wings are too big in relation to the body and the tail too short.  Ashy have somewhat short wings and the tail is rather long. The bill strikes me as

too large. Ashy S.P. have tiny bills. Also where I thought I saw a pale gray rump patch on the live bird the photos to not show that character.

The under wing looks in the photos are not much help, and I never thought that of much with a live bird at sea. The field guide point out the Ashy S.P. have a gray wing lining,

and that can show in some photos, but rarely through optics in a bounce boat with glare off the water.

So in our defense the first all dark storm-petrel of the year, was a solo bird with nothing else to compare it with at sea, nice to have photos to correct the call.

Dave Povey




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