In April 2011, I once again arrived on the Farallon National Wildlife Refuge to start another season of seabird research working with PRBO Conservation Science. In my seventh and perhaps last season, I decided to start a photo a day challenge for myself. The challenge is to share a new and interesting photo for each day I am on the island this year.
We had this unusual visitor show up in our net last night as we were netting for storm-petrels. Yes it's a storm-petrel but it's a species we've caught only a few times in 40 years, the last time was in 1992. As you bird folks may have guessed, it's a Fork-tailed Storm-petrel! We were super excited to get this guy. These birds typically breed much further north, from Washington to Alaska, but this bird did have bare brood patch. That is something breeding birds develop when they are incubating so perhaps this bird is breeding nearby? Non-breeders can have brood patches too so it's not definitive but it is intriguing.
7/29/11 Check out our latest Storm-petrel visitor here