Date: 10/8/17 6:55 pm From: Glenn d'Entremont <gdentremont1...> Subject: [MASSBIRD] Long-tailed Jaeger(s)-First Encounter Beach, Eastham-is it possible? 10/7/17
Someone said "Is anyone looking at these jaegers that are coming overhead?" at around 4:45ish p.m.. Looking up I saw five birds up a few hundred feet and thought these aren't them, they are terns. However, the birds appeared darkish underneath and had a long tubular tail and the one I concentrated on showed two pointed tail streamers beyond that tail almost the same length. The others did not had tail streamers of that length, the all five had the same shape and size. With the small headed appearance and the long body appearance beyond the wings they were not shaped like the Parasitics (kind of like the difference between Common and Arctic Tern) we had seen most of the day (30 at Race Point beach and another 10 at First Encounter). All five appeared dark on the underwing with no obvious white patches which all the jaegers of the day prior showed easily.
They quickly made their way over Cape Cod Bay and were joined by at least three others which looked very similar in size and shape. I watched via scope and even though the late day lighting was marginal I never saw any obvious white flashes for the five or so minutes I was continuously watching. Eventually they drifted too far to see anything additional and they kept high in the sky the whole time unlike all the other jaegers I have seen, perhaps ever. It was interesting to see the them struggle against the rather modest wind seemingly not making any progress and constantly drifting away in the direction of the prevailing wind. Quite different from all the jaegers I have seen this year. The heads of these birds were small and the extension behind the wing was longer than the jaegers we had seen during the day.
All the literature, images and drawings I have looked at never shows Parasitic with those body proportions. The only conclusion is that they were all Long-tailed.
Is that possible?
Glenn d'Entremont: <gdentremont1...> Stoughton, MA