Date: 1/30/17 7:00 pm
From: David Gardner (via carolinabirds Mailing List) <carolinabirds...>
Subject: Re: Sea Bird ID question?
Ah hah!
Thank you. I think you might be on to something with the Gannet. It was
definitely not on my radar because the plumage was not perfect. But, the
wing shape fits perfectly!
I was watching 3 Gannets further out about 500m out, diving. So it makes
Thank you Steve.

On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 9:34 PM, Steve Shultz <sshultz...> wrote:

> So... jaegers. Think “gull”. The jaeger looks and feels much like a
> gull, albeit a gull on steroids. Flight and first impressions should be
> “that looks like a gull, but it’s not quite right”. So if it looked more
> or less like a gull, but wasn’t, then maybe a jaeger. Jaegers can be all
> dark. The most commonly seen from shore is Parasitic.
> On the other hand a frigatebird is huge. It will never be mistaken for a
> gull, but could conceivably be mistaken for, say, a Cessna. Frigatebirds
> soar, they generally don’t flap much, and when they do, they don’t really
> appear to be enjoying it. If the bird you saw was the size of a small
> plane, and soaring, or at least only swooping to the water in brief
> outings, consider a frigatebird. However frigates rarely fly in a straight
> line just above the water.
> A shearwater flies like little else. Think small jet fighter. All banks
> and turns with set wings (kinda stubby in Manx) It won’t flap much unless
> there is little to no wind, but when it does, it’s generally labored and
> quick. Think accipter... flap, flap, glide. The shearwater would be right
> above the water, banking and turning, likely not flying straight and
> level.
> If it flew like a bumblebee... small, buzzy, compact, in a whir of wings,
> maybe you saw a Razorbill. Black and white, waterbird, potentially stands
> out as unusual. Think football with wings. And not too graceful either.
> One option that makes sense is a gannet. The 1st year birds display all
> sorts of plumages from all dark to something like what you describe, the
> wings would be obviously long and pointed, and the bird may fly just above
> the water. It’s big and a strong flier. The range of plumages on young
> birds can be surprising, and even folks used to seeing gannets might stop
> and look at one of these birds twice.
> Otherwise, gulls are an obvious possibility, with young Herring Gulls a
> dark brown that could appear darker depending on the light. Similarly, a
> Laughing Gull in winter plumage might fit the bill.
> Steve Shultz
> Apex, NC
> *From:* David Gardner (via carolinabirds Mailing List)
> *Sent:* Monday, January 30, 2017 7:34 PM
> *To:* Jack Rogers
> *Cc:* <carolinabirds...>
> *Subject:* Re: Sea Bird ID question?
> I would love for it to be a Manx - that would be a lifer, but at least
> with Sibley, it appears that the Shearwater wings appear much straighter
> than the wings of the bird i observed, which is why i got a slight
> impression of a Frigate bird. I will say, the coloration does match
> perfectly, it's just the shape of the wings that seems contrary.
> David
> On Mon, Jan 30, 2017 at 6:37 PM, Jack Rogers <jack...> wrote:
>> Not a Manx Shearwater, was it? Certainly matches your description.
>> On Mon, Jan 30, 2017, 6:36 PM David Gardner <carolinabirds...>
>> wrote:
>>> Hi Folks,
>>> I'm staying on Jekyll Island, GA (I know not technically carolinabirds
>>> territory, but figured you could help with the ID).
>>> I was on the beach just before sunset (sun behind me - if that helps
>>> understand the lighting), and saw what appeared to be a black/very dark
>>> brown backed and winged bird with very pointed wings, white or pale belly
>>> and dark neck and head, flying very purposefully with powerful wing beats
>>> about 10ft off of the water.
>>> The first species that came to mind was a jaeger species - but I
>>> definitely did not see the white patches on the wings on the top or
>>> underside of the wings. Thinking that that rules out the jaegers (I may be
>>> wrong), the next thought was an odd looking Frigate bird. I say that just
>>> to give you an idea of the overall impression, because I'm pretty convinced
>>> it was not one. Key things that it didn't have was - it did not have an
>>> exceptionally long tail, and even though it had very aggressively angled
>>> wings, the wings did not appear long enough to be a frigatebird. Also, I
>>> did not notice a significant bill.
>>> So, my conclusion is a jaeger without the white patches, but I don't
>>> know if that is possible. If that's the case, then which jaeger
>>> (Pomarine?). Any thoughts, insights on this would be helpful.
>>> Thanks,
>>> David
>>> Sent from my iPhone
>> --
>> Jack Rogers
>> Mt Pleasant, SC

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