possible frigatebird, north coast yesterday

marlin harms

I received a text last night while not checking my phone from my friend, Debbie, who told me she had seen a frigatebird yesterday afternoon just north of the San Simeon State Park campground. After a couple messages back and forth last night and this morning, her description is below. Debbie is very interested in birds and frequently tells me what she has seen locally, but is much less experienced with the world of birds than many of the people on this listserv. But her description sounds pretty good, so I just thought I'd put it out there for everyone. BTW, I checked Santa Barbara and California rare bird alerts and have not seen any frigatebird reports. Also, I sent a note to Tom Edell, who checked eBird and said there has not been a recent report north of the Gulf of California.

Marlin Harms
Morro Bay, CA

“. . .we were going 55mph in the car and the frigatebird was just getting aloft going the opposite direction so the whole encounter lasted maybe 3-5 seconds. But since he was just above my eye level I had a complete view of his body. The size and length and body shape and tail were the dead giveaways. It looked exactly like the books and it was prob up to 20-25 yds distant from us. Is there anything else that is similar to a frigatebird? It was dark with some white and the long tail looked split at the end. That's all I can tell you. . . .”

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