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3873murrelet ID on Mendocino trip

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  • John Sterling
    May 19, 2010
      We have reconsidered the Craveri's Murrelet ID after looking at photos and
      comparing them with photos online. Many of us were convinced that we saw
      dusky underwings on the bird as well as black extending to the chin on one
      of the birds. However, several of us have come to the conclusion that they
      were Xantus's with longish bills, and that the overcast skies and brief
      looks of the underwings did not provide adequate opportunity to correctly
      assess the color of the underwings. Very strange though that no one thought
      that they were white underwings. I was also struck by how variable the bill
      length can be on Xantus's after comparing these birds with photos of
      Xantus's that I have taken in recent years (that had much shorter
      bills-probably immatures?).

      We asked several s. CA birders to look at photos and are waiting feedback
      from all of them. But at this point, I think that we should assume that
      they were Xantus's Murrelets. Still..a very good spring record for Xantus's
      in Mendocino!! Sorry for the false alarm on Craveri's.

      John Sterling


      26 Palm Ave

      Woodland, CA 95695

      cell 530 908-3836


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