Date: 7/11/20 4:55 pm From: Shawneen Finnegan <shawneenfinnegan...> Subject: [obol] STORM-PETREL comment from Paul Lehman
Paul asked me to post this to OBOL for him:
I thought I'd briefly chime in from afar in this discussion, given that I am reading a number of pieces of mis-information being posted. As others have now said, Ashy is probably more likely than Black off Oregon, although obviously still very rare. And both of those are certainly more likely than Tristram's, although the latter is certainly a possibility as well. But that's a very tough ID unless seen (and photo'd) very, very well. All storm-petrels can easily change their flight style depending on what they are doing--direct traveling or foraging flight versus actively feeding. Ashy indeed has a direct flight, but it is NOT erratic unless in an active feeding mode. And when traveling it IS the species with the most consistent, shallow, direct flight, as partly described for this current Oregon sighting. They would NOT be described as "languid" under almost any conditions, as is also mentioned here for the OR bird, and that is something that fits Black better. But Black bounds aroun d more, a bit "nighthawk-like," rather than being direct (which they do less often and not for long periods of time) and constant like Ashy is. So, I'd say the description of flight style here is better for Ashy in some regards,and better for Black in other(s). The slightly grayer tone of Ashy overall is only seen under good lighting conditions, and best when side by side with other storm-petrel species; often the species looks just the same "dark color" as the other species, especially given lighting and distance and lack or comparison. And the light bar on the underwing of an Ashy is seen only under some lighting conditions and at good angles, and can EASILY be missed. Yes, it certainly is distinctive if seen well, but, again, it often isn't. And lastly, someone mentioned that there are "two" records of Hawaiian Petrel off Oregon--but there are certainly over a dozen or fifteen. It is almost certainly a REGULAR component of the well-offshore, deep-water (shelf-edge and beyond) avi fauna off Oregon at the right time(s) of year, off at least the southern half of the state.