Saturday, August 6, 2011


Howdy, Birders,

Perhaps the most unusual Monterey seabird on Shearwater Journey's pelagic trip, August 5, 2011 was this "dark morph" PINK-FOOTED SHEARWATER (Puffinus creatopus), images copyright by Tom Johnson, below. These stunning images, perhaps the best-ever of this little-known seabird identification topic show the variable grayish plumage typical of "dark" Pink-footed Shearwaters. We have seen and photographed several of these individuals.
Typically, these shearwaters are first thought to be Flesh-footed Shearwaters. Closer inspection reveals that the plumage features of the darker, chocolate-colored Flesh-foots is lacking.
Pink-footed Shearwaters breed in the eastern Pacific Ocean off the coast of Chile on Robinson Crusoe Island, Isla Santa Clara (Juan Fernandez group) and Isla Mocha off the central Chile coast. The Pink-footed Shearwater qualifies as a Red List Species.
Transequatorial migrants, Pink-footed Shearwaters disperse after breeding to feed in the off the coast of western North America. To see a map of the feeding routes of 2011 post migrants, click here. This is a project of Oikonos Ecosystem Knowledge. Amazingly, I had the chance to see Pink-footed Shearwaters just last year, calling and circling overhead as they flew into their nest burrows on a hillside above, from where I was watching while in a hot tub on Robinson Crusoe Island.
This color banded Black-footed Albatross flew into the wake of our boat. It may read: "C648." We will try to track this down.
A few of Tom Johnson's images of the male KILLER WHALE, above and below.
For a complete species list of our August 5, 2011 Monterey trip, please see our Trip Report.
All images in this blog report are copyright, Tom Johnson. Please do not use without permission.

Shearwaters forever,
Debi Shearwater


Josh Adams said...

Yes and thanks tfor the Oikonos Check out the real-time 2011 Pink-footed Shearwater migration data:

Also Tom's photos reveal a bird with no discrernable primary molt --- could these rare dark-morphed PFSHs be HY birds?


Debra Shearwater said...

I think that Peter Pyle said the same thing to me— regarding molt, and wondering if this was a HY bird.