North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO3 2016

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

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325 V O L U M E 6 9 ( 2 0 1 6 ) • N U M B E R S 3 / 4 P E L A G I C B I R D S F R O M C R U I S E S H I P S A LO N G T H E PA C I F I C C O A S T cited the then-northernmost records of Mur- phy's Petrel in the northeastern Pacific as coming from the south-central Gulf of Alaska between late June and late July. A Murphy's reported off Lincoln, OR 22 Sep 2014 stood as the only published fall report of this species from a cruise ship, but the re - cord has since been retracted by the principal observer. Single dark Pterodroma petrels, be - been much more limited than coverage off Oregon and California. The highest two-day cruise counts (ranging from 29-133 birds) came from voyages spanning 28 April–21 May. On 13 May 2015 alone, no fewer than 121 Murphy's were tallied between Humboldt, CA and Tillamook, OR; 25 were in California (Rear Cover, Figure 10), and 96 were in Or - egon (140–320 km offshore). Equally impres- sive was the 6-8 May 2015 trip, which yield- ed 133 Murphy's between Santa Barbara, CA and Pacific, WA; 103 of these were in Califor - nia. Three Murphy's Petrels off Grays Harbor 1 May 2010 and 1 off Queets, Grays Harbor 11 May 2012 are the lone spring cruise sightings for Washington north of Pacific. Off British Columbia, a total of 11 birds was seen 9-10 May 2011 (8 were ca. 350 km off Vancouver Island 9 May and 3 were well west of Queen Charlotte Sound 10 May). Additional singles were seen 237 km southwest of Brooks Pen - insula, Vancouver Island (48.44,° N 129.93° W) 1 Jun 2013, 257 km southwest of Tofino, Vancouver Island (47.23° N, 127.97° W) 25 May 2014 (Figure 11), and 214 km south - west of Brooks Peninsula (49.09° N, 130.42° W) 13 May 2016. Trips during March–early April and June– July found Murphy's in much lower num - bers. Early sailings yielded 7 birds between Sonoma, CA and Lincoln, OR 20-21 Mar 2015, and 7 more were between Monterey, CA and Coos, OR 1-2 Apr 2016. Records off California begin as early as mid-February (P. Pyle in litt.). Perhaps most surprising were the small numbers found late in the season off California and Oregon in July 2013 and 2014: 5 were 102–144 km off Humboldt and Del Norte, CA (40.92° N, 125.47° W to 41.85° N, 125.99° W) and 5 were 144-272 km off Curry to Lane, OR (42.18° N, 126.18° W to 44.45° N, 127.52° W) 10 Jul 2013; one was 62 km off Curry (42.49° N, 125.19° W) 18 Jul 2013; and one was 140 km off Del Norte (41.69° N, 125.94° W) 7 Jul 2014. Bailey et al. (1989) and Kenyon et al. (2009) lieved to be Murphy's, were seen off Tillamook in Sep 1995 [undated] and ca. 105 km off Clatsop, OR 19 Sep 1999. There are few fall records of Murphy's along the Pacific Coast, a season when the extremely similar (and casu - al) Providence (Solander's) Petrel (P. solandri) might also occur (cf. Pyle 2006), although there are as yet no definitive records of the lat - ter species for the area covered by this paper. Figure 9. Laysan Albatrosses are seen regularly in small numbers from cruise ships, particularly during spring and late fall, with several maxima of 15-21 birds in just one or two days. This individual was 166 km west of Cape Blanco, Curry County, Oregon, on 13 May 2015. Photograph by Ilya Povalyaev. Table 2. Numbers of Murphy's Petrels seen from cruise ships by month, 2005-2016. Observer coverage was heavily skewed to April and May, with a secondary peak during September. –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– March 7 |||||| August 0 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– April 178 |||||| September 0 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– May 643 |||||| October 0 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– June 3 |||||| November 0 –––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––– July 0 |||||| December 0 ––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––––

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