It’s raining alcids

28 01 2010

Razorbill found by Mary Myers this month on Cape Cod (orginally i.d.'d as a Thick-billed Murre). Note the species robust bill compared with murres.

Mary Myers on Cape Cod found a Razorbill on her beach this month. These are not particularly common on SEANET beaches, and your blogger contacted our expert bird man about the find. Dick Veit, a Professor in New York and ultra-birder extraordinaire, informed us that Razorbills have recently been sighted off the coast of Massachusetts in epic numbers. 12,000 individual birds were spotted off Provincetown, and we also received word from Peg Hart on Long Island that 3,000 birds were seen off Montauk recently as well.

Peg also tells us that Dovekies have been raining down in backyards and on inland streets in New York. This is not unprecedented, as the diminutive seabirds are often pushed inland by winter storms and deposited in strange locations.

Maggie Komosinski in Rhode Island had a hugely productive beach walk this month, finding a slew of dead gannets along with two mangled alcids, species to be determined.

Certainly winter is the season for alcids to turn up on the beaches, but the Razorbills in particular are an unusual and very cool event. So, Seanetters, we encourage you to look up from the sand or rocks once in a while and keep an eye out for live birds as well. Remember, we encourage live bird reporting through ebird.org, and we’re looking forward to hearing what you see out there!

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16 02 2010
Dead Bird Quiz Answers « SEANET Blog

[…] While Dovekies are not unheard of in the waters off New Jersey, author/super-birder Kenn Kaufman describes their distribution thus, “Small numbers come as far south as New England waters in winter, rarely farther, but the vast majority remain farther north.” While there’s no way to say from whence this particular Dovekie came, or how it met its demise, it does seem likely that this bird is part of the overall influx of alcids into the northeast which was detailed in an earlier post. […]

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