Date: 11/20/20 4:28 pm
From: Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Is this a jaeger, or parasitic persuasion?
I think what you are seeing as central tail feathers projecting is really part of the wave behind the bird.

IMO: The body looks too heavy for a Parasitic Jaeger. I would expect some flash of white at the base of the primaries on a Parasitic. Also, the bill does not have the thin longish appearance of a Parasitic.

Here is Nick Lethaby’s comment: "Certainly not a jaeger. Might well be something really interesting as you suggest, but give the fairly poor photo quality, I am not sure one can rule out a Short-tailed Shearwater, which would be not that odd from shore at this time of year there”

Here is more from Marty Karlin:
"Hi Jeff. I looked at some videos. The body shape and relationship of body to wings does look petrel like. The flight of the bird I saw was not as swoopy, nor did I notice the couple quick wingbeats as in the video. My recollection of flight was a steady glide, not as abrupt in the movements. Wouldn’t the petrel be unusual in Northern California? The chin and area around the bill does appear to be light in color. When I blow it up that large things become very distorted. Does the petrel have a pointy tail as in the picture? I see why it would be nearly impossible to positively id the bird. Thanks for all the leads.

My response:
Hi Martin
Yes - any petrel would be very rare from shore in California, but it has happened before.
Pteradroma petrels do not always fly in the swoopy manner some the videos online show. More often they mainly glide very easily over theater, often deftly following the contours of the waves. I just depends what they are doing and how the wind is blowing.
Can we see the other photos?

Unless the other photos show something more, I don’t think we can know what this bird is. I think it is a Short-tailed Shearwater or a rare petrel, possibly a Grey-faced.

Jeff Gilligan

> On Nov 19, 2020, at 11:35 PM, TIM JANZEN <tjanzen...> wrote:
> If you look closely at the photo, there seem to be one or two short central tail feathers that project beyond the rest of the tail feathers. This would be consistent with a Parasitic Jaeger. I think that the overall proportions of the bird (relatively heavy body and relatively short wings) are consistent with a jaeger. I would expect that a Pomarine would show a white flash in the shafts of the primaries, but that white flash isn't always as apparent in a Parasitic. The bill looks somewhat odd, but could potentially be consistent with a Parasitic.
> Tim Janzen

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