Shearwater ID help

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Tim Barnard
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Re: Shearwater ID help

Postby Tim Barnard » Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:39 pm

Structure does suggest Bullers but, and there's a big but, there are some suggestions of PFS in plumage. Looking at Steve Howell's book the two do turn up together. Not happy to put this in the aberrant bucket just yet or suggest hybrid. Merits a little more discussion. As with NZSP discovery, best not discard or abandon birds too quickly eh. Thanks Erik ... a nice little puzzle ...
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erikforsyth
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Re: Shearwater ID help

Postby erikforsyth » Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:20 pm

Hi all

i agree with Tim, that we will need to discuss the id further. I have just received comments from a seabird expert in the US and I will ask neil to post the comments on the forum.

Thanks for all the input so far
erik forsyth
Rockjumper Birding Tours
www.rockjumperbirding.com
Steve Wood
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Re: Shearwater ID help

Postby Steve Wood » Sun Oct 29, 2017 10:07 pm

An interesting bird,but i think that there is more Pink footed in this bird then Buller's.

The underparts totally wrong for Buller's which as we know are just about pure white.

This bird to shows a complete contrast, with dark remiges, has a large white panel across the greater and median coverts.All fits for PFS.There is also a hint of vermiculation/ freckles and a pale throat.

Feet look good for PFS......... Totally wrong for Buller's, which have two toned legs and feet (pink on the inside black on the outside).

Upper parts - medium ashy grey, brown, with a hint of a darker "M" and a suggestion of paler secondaries. This fits fresh plumaged PFS birds and also Buller's.
The bill for me is somewhat closer to Buller's .( PFS should be pinkish with dark tip) .Tail should be slightly longer and more tapered in Buller's. Cannot comment to much on size or jizz but should be slightly smaller than PFS.

Steve
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Shearwater ID help

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:22 am

Here is the reply Erik got from Peter Pyle in US.


"Hi Erik -

It does seem odd. The larger bill and lack of elongated central rectrices (that do not appear to be molting) makes me favor something in the Pink-footed/Flesh-footed camp over an intermediate-morph Wedge-tailed Shearwater. Pink-footed Shearwaters can occasionally vary to this dark or darker, and the upperpart pattern seems spot-on for this species so I would go with either a pure, darker-than-usual Pink-footed or a hybrid Pink-footed x Flesh-footed Shearwater (some weight to the latter given the range of these closely-related species and where the bird was seen). It could be that the darker-than normal Pink-footeds we see in the eastern Pacific also have some Flesh-foot genetic influence. In any case, we have had several Pink-footed Shearwaters in Hawaiian waters this fall, representing the 2nd-5th or so records, so perhaps it is a good year for this species in the central Pacific.

Hope this helps,

Peter"
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sav
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Re: Shearwater ID help

Postby sav » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:44 am

This bird is surely "interesting" and yes, it is good to discuss things like this so we can all learn a bit.

I still can't quite prove to myself that I really know what it is, but I don't think Peter Pyle's comments are particularly helpful since he doesn't consider Buller's at all, and if that is a Pink-footed then I may have to eat my hat! If anyone can find a photo, or supporting measurements, of a bill like that on a PFSH I'd love to see it - just take the nail/bill/nostril proportions into consideration.

Do PFSH really have that upper-wing pattern?

And PFSH is a great big heavy-set thing, like a shearwater version of Pomarine Skua, not a slender animal as depicted here.

At least I think we can all agree that this isnt a Wedge-tailed Shear..............

Happy discussing!

cheers
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
Steve Wood
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Re: Shearwater ID help

Postby Steve Wood » Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:32 pm

1200199pinkfoot_0.jpg
Upper wing pattern showing grey brown tones.
1200199pinkfoot_0.jpg (59.62 KiB) Viewed 600 times

Hi Sav,
Attached this image to show some similarities, albeit not as distinct as the Buller's, but I think in line with Eric's Pictures.

Steve
Colin Miskelly
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Re: Shearwater ID help

Postby Colin Miskelly » Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:33 pm

Hi all

What an interesting bird.

Given the combination of characters and the location, I wonder if it is a bulleri x carneipes hybrid. That might explain the bill colour and structure not matching creatopus.

Cheers
Colin
Tim Barnard
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Re: Shearwater ID help

Postby Tim Barnard » Mon Oct 30, 2017 6:03 pm

Have to be honest, the more I look at this the more PFS it becomes. That flight photo makes it look short-tailed perhaps? I have Bulleri as a longish tailed elegant shear. There's even a suggestion of very subtle barring on the chin as PFS. Yeah its not as bulky or bull headed as PFS should be but photos can be deceptive. The dirty underwings, scaley browny body, suffused M on back and wings are OK for PFS.
As Steve suggests (somewhat indirectly) you'd have problems getting it accepted as a Bullers outside NZ.

I definetly need to do some more homework on this one ... need to think through hybrid options

Ian Southey ... over to you ...
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RussCannings
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Re: Shearwater ID help

Postby RussCannings » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:37 pm

To me, if plumage does not safely fit any species, structure remains paramount to ID. Given that Bullers is abundant in the Hauraki Gulf and the other options are rare, the onus also falls on ruling out 'weird Bullers. Therefore trying to use plumage pattern on this odd bird to rule out Bullers is a little dicey at best. What are the chances that the one PF in NZ is super atypical?

To me I just look at its stance in the water: narrow pointed wings, slender head, and bill shape all seem like classic Bullers and I feel the head alone falls outside the range of variation for a PF or even PF x something hybrid. The dark colouration in the feet is unusual for PF as is the bill shape and colour. I think the most (potentially) misleading thing about this bird is that the white underwing coverts are ruffled or even missing to a degree, thus exposing the underside of the browner upperside feathers. This mimics to a degree PFSH underwing but not completely. I would want to see more blackish speckling throughout and clearly black outer primary coverts in PF.

Most of all though, that head!

Obviously a subjective but very useful discussion going on here. Keep those thoughts rolling in!

Russ
Clinton9
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Re: Shearwater ID help

Postby Clinton9 » Tue Oct 31, 2017 12:56 am

Not a specie is 100% normal colour, I had seen buff-coloured female House sparrow, a taxidermised pied Common myna, an adult Red-billed gull with fully grey hood in 1988 in Whangarei, 1-year-old (2nd autumn)female wild Mallard duck with few white outer primaries, female first autumn pied House sparrow, with white inner secondaries, adult male Black swan with all black secondaries, pied European Blackbirds, adult Australasian gannet with one white middle secondary, and in Thames during mid 2000s, I had seen and fed an adult Red-billed gull with pink body for a year when I studied moults of NZ gulls, and last year I caught a blue male African mantis (insect).

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