Date: 6/22/24 8:13 am
From: Robert Keiffer via <rjkeiffer...>
Subject: [Mendobirds] Odd Common Murre

Saturday 23 June 2024. Last Tuesday I photographed the murre and cormorant nesting colonies at the Mendocino Headlands Goat Rock and nearby. Upon review of the photos I picked out one bird that seemed to show characteristics of Thick-billed Murre. Lisa Walker-Roseman followed up and took better photos a couple days ago. (This is Lisa’s photo) Peter Pyle, upon review of the photos, said, “it is a bit odd… the curved culmen and a hint of tomial (white) stripe. (However) the bill is not right for TBMU.”

Peter believes there are well-documented hybrids from CA. He suggests for this bird, “perhaps an F2 hybrid with a quarter TBMU can be considered for this one … but there is no way to be certain without a feather sample (for DNA analysis).

Keep in mind that on 16 May 2010 we had a well-documented and photographed (photos on eBird) Thick-billed Murre off Fort Bragg on a return pelagic trip.

This nesting colony in the photo is the closest that you can get to as you walk out the narrow “isthmus” trail from the westernmost parking area at Mendocino Headlands. Maybe with further searching a certain TBMU could be spotted within the colonies.

Good birding! Bob Keiffer <rjkeiffer...> Hopland MEN CA

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