Monday, June 22, 2009

Magnolia Warbler Hitching a Ride

Back in mid-May Steve had an off-shore trip to Georges Bank. He's a marine biologist and goes off-shore at least a couple times a year. He and his co-worker Dave got some great pictures of the birds they saw while out there. Georges Bank itself is about 60 miles offshore, and then the area itself is 150 miles long by 75 miles wide. For more info:

Apparently they get a lot of avian ocean hitch-hikers, which I think is a great term for it, although not widely used. Sometimes birds get blown out to sea in a storm and are exhausted and need to stop and take a rest. As you can see, they picked up a migratory warbler, and they also had an Eastern Kingbird stop to take a rest.

They also saw plenty of pelagic birds. I wrote another post earlier this week about what I believe to be an Audubon's Shearwater. Can anyone help on this I.D.?

Unfortunately this storm petrel (I believe a Wilson's Storm Petrel- the one most commonly seen near boats) was extremely weathered and exhausted when it landed on the boat. Steve said they watched it for a while and it got progressively worse. Eventually they went to look for it and couldn't find it- they assumed it "committed suicide" and just jumped over the boat. Although, who knows? It could have had a miraculous recovery and flown off into the sunset!

Sunset from the boat:

Here are some other cool pictures from his trip.

Steve holding a giant fluke:

Mako Shark:

Porbeagle Shark:

Don't worry- these sharks weren't harmed. They were measured and then released.

Thanks Steve and Dave for sharing your pictures!


cindyzlogic said...

Your pictures are outstanding! I haven't seen a Warbler in KS.

Dawn Fine said...

Wow..hitchhiker birdies..I had no idea!
That sunset is spectacular!
I would like to think the storm petral recovered and went on its way.
oh..i like the chirptracker button..i am gonna get me one right now!

Andy said...

That Storm Petrel sure looked tired. I too hope the Storm Petrel survived.

Dawn Fine said...

We are having another Birders who Blog,Tweet and Chirp outing July 11 starting in Milford, Ct.
Already have a nice list of Bird/nature bloggers coming. Let me know if you are interested by commenting on this blog post
or emailing..
thanks ..hope to see you there!

Chris Petrak said...

Getting caught up after being away for a week. I've heard about avian hitchhikers - nice to see photo documentation. The red-footed falcon that showed up on Martha's vineyard a couple years ago was thought by some to have hitchhiked, but was finally accepted. I did a Brookline Bird club pelagic trip last august and we saw several Audubon Shearwaters, but i wouldn't begin to make a comment about yours - that needs someone with much more pelagic experience than I have - which averages less than once a year.

Kelly said...

...avian hitchhikers--really interesting. I enjoyed reading the post. That giant fluke is pretty cool too.

Larry said...

Wow-that fluke would make some nice fillets.I've doene a little fluke fishing in my time.-That's really neat-the birds they picked up on the trip.

Dawn Fine said...

thought I would give u this see if you might have interest in our CT outing.

let me know if you are interested

Birdinggirl said...

@Cindy- thanks!

@Dawn- thanks! I know- it's a cool concept. I hope he survived too.

@Andy- I hope so too- maybe all he needed was a rest.

@Chris- Thank you for the insight. I haven't heard about the MV falcon- I'll have to look up the story. I'm not ready for a pelagic trip, but maybe in a few years after my birding skills have improved. Thanks for the input!

@Kelly- Thanks!

@Larry- I know- it's really crazy to see one that big. I guess only on Georges Bank do they get that big.