Birds of Seabrook Island

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  NZ procellariids
 
 

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  Order Procellariiformes - Tube-nosed Swimmers
   Family Diomedeidae - Albatrosses
  Tube-nosed Swimmers are pelagic seabirds which have their nostrils enclosed in a tube or tubes. Their upper mandible is covered by several scales (forming a "compound rhamphotheca") and their bill has a hooked tip.
   The Encyclopedia of Life includes the albatrosses in the Ciconiiformes.
Albatrosses are large birds of the open ocean with long, narrow wings. They have very large bills with single tubes on each side of the upper mandible. They have large webbed feet and feed by surface-dipping, alighting on the water and picking up squid, fish, flotsam, offal, and carrion from the surface - they are aided in finding food by a well-developed sense of smell.
   They nest in large colonies on remote oceanic islands, usually breeding for the first time when several years old. Pairs mate for life. They lay one egg which both parents incubate  for 9-11 weeks). After hatching, parents take turns at the nest and feeding at sea. After several weeks, the chick is left alone between feedings. Young fly between 5 - 9 months of age, They may live for 40-50 years.
 
Tube-nosed Swimmers on Seabrook
Finding Procellariids
     
  Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross, Thalassarche chlororhynchos
 
 Wiki     ToL     EoL
        WINTER - Hypothetical
            PELAGIC (offshore)
 
 
   The Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatross is a relatively small albatross and has a yellow streak ending in a pink tip along the top of the bill. The head is grey and the upperparts are blackish-grey. There is a white ring around the neck and this white coloration extends across the underside. The under-wings are white, and are tipped with a narrow black edge. The sexes are alike, but juveniles have an entirely white head and black bill. (The species is not pictured in North American field guides.) They feed on squid, fish, and a variety of crustaceans.
    Atlantic Yellow-nosed Albatrosses nest on Tristan da Chunha, Gough, and surrounding islands in the mid-Atlantic. They are colonial and build their nest in scrub or among tree ferns. Like other mollymawks, they construct pedestal nests of mud and other local materials to lay their single egg.    
 
  NOTES:
   Potter: This species now appears to be a rare visitor to the offshore waters of North Carolina in winter and early spring.
  ●   Hypothetical. This species is not listed on our state lists or in sources other than Potter. Don't expect to see one off Seabrook. Like all albatrosses, this species is pelagic, ranging across the south Atlantic from Africa to South America. Albatrosses are not common in the northern Atlantic Ocean. But, after a tropical storm, who knows!
 
 
Procellariids on Seabrook:
   
Any procellariid you find on Seabrook (albatrosses, petrels and shearwaters, and storm-petrels) will likely have been blown off-course by a strong Atlantic storm and will probably be dead or injured. These are pelagic birds and normally feed and migrate far offshore - often over the edges of the continental shelf.
   If you do find any species of tube-nosed swimmer, please contact the US Fish & Wildlife Service, Security on Seabrook, or other official who can retrieve the bird and care for it if alive or properly identify and preserve the specimen if dead. Thanks.
   P.S. - take pictures - include some size reference (cap, binoculars, a ruler, etc.).
   If you are really interested in seeing procellariids and other pelagic birds, the Carolina Bird Club often provides charter trips offshore for the purpose of finding these birds and provides experts in their identification (which is not easy). Be prepared for a crowd, for strong cold winds, and a rocking but un-moving boat that bobs and rolls while you try to find birds. Bring a strong stomach (and lots of Dramamine)! With this caveat, try a pelagic trip - it will give you a view of several birds you will never see otherwise!
 
 
Finding Procellariids
 
New Zealand - chuming
Petrel  burrow
Storm-petrels
  Fishing boat off Kaikoura, NZ. Note the large variety of seabirds feeding on chum. Albatrosses in this group are much closer to shore than usual.

Carl Helms, exploring a petrel  burrow on Milk Island, Massachusetts (off Cape Ann), 1958. Fortunately my arm was not long enough or mother was not at home.

Elliott's Storm-petrel, Oceanites gracilis. Feeding off the stern of the Islander off Santiago in the Galapagos. Storm-petrels gather around ships near breeding areas to patter and feed.
       
    Banner - Wandering Albatross, Cape Pigeons and several Silver Gulls. Kaikoura, NZ.
       
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