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updated Laysan Albatross history

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  • Robert J. Keiffer
    14 February 2005 - Wow ...the power of Internet communication is incredible! Thanks to all of you who have responded to AL s (the Laysan Albatross that uses
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 14, 2005
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      14 February 2005 - Wow ...the power of Internet communication is
      incredible! Thanks to all of you who have responded to "AL's" (the Laysan
      Albatross that uses Point Arena Cove as a resting area during the last 11
      winter seasons) history in Mendocino County. It appears as though we have
      more of the details correct now thanks to input by many. Todd Easterla and
      Jim booker were in fact the first "discoverers" of the bird. This was on
      February 27, 1994. (see corrigendum in the Fall issue of Field Notes
      52:925) The bird probably had spent the winter using the harbor that
      winter, as it has in all subsequent winter seasons, but as far as I am
      aware there are no other reports from the winter of 1993/1994. (I refer to
      the bird's normal "winter period of stay" Nov. through March ....not to the
      standard reporting winter period of Dec-Feb) And, as I stated in prior
      messages, "AL" may have been using the Arena Cove in prior years but simply
      went un-noticed or unreported.

      It appears as though the bird WAS re-discovered on Nov 30, 1994 by a
      visiting birder ...possibly M.Martin. As I recall this was the first that
      the local resident Mendocino County birders were aware of the bird... and
      Jerry White from Lake County confirmed the bird on December 2, 1994, after
      hearing the report on the Rare Bird Alert recording.

      Jeff Davis also found this report in Field Notes 49:304 "The Laysan
      Albatross that frequented Pt. Arena Cove, Mendocino, for months was joined
      in synchronized flying by a 2nd individual Mar. 22 [1995] (D. Wilcove,
      Steve Rottenborn)! One was seen through Mar. 27 [1995] (m.ob.). Have they
      settled somewhere on our n. coast as pre-breeders?"

      I had forgotten about this report of the synchronized flying ... but I have
      no documentation of multiple reports of the synchronized flying (Maybe
      Wilcove and Rottenborn learned of this information from talking to the locals?)

      Many thanks to Jerry White, Jeff Davis, Todd Easterla, Jim Booker, George
      Chaniot, Siobhan Ruck for information that added clarification to "AL's"
      history at the Arena Cove.

      >Here is a revised list of first reported arrival dates and last reported
      >season's dates (assumed near departure) for the subsequent years:
      > ???? to? 27 Feb 1994 (Easterla & Booker)
      >30 Nov 1994 to 27 March 1995 (report of two birds in synchronized
      >courtship flight during this period)
      >5 Dec 1995 to 14 March 1996
      >3 Dec 1996 to 26 March 1997
      >27 Nov 1997 to 8 Mar 1998
      >12 Dec 1998 to 21 Mar 1999
      >4 Dec 1999 to 12 Feb 2000 with a "fly by the cove" on 2 April
      >2000 as observed by George Chaniot (possible same bird?)
      >26 Nov 2000 to 26 Feb 2001
      >28 Nov 2001 to 24 Mar 2002
      >21 Nov 2002 to 12 Mar 2003
      >25 Nov 2003 to 28 Feb 2004
      >28 Nov 2004 to present Feb 2005
      Good birding! Bob Keiffer Please let me know of any further additions
      or corrections.

      Robert J. Keiffer
      Principal Supt. of Agriculture
      UC Hopland Research & Extension Center
      4070 University Road
      Hopland, CA 95449
      (707) 744-1424 FAX (707) 744-1040
      HREC website: http://danrrec.ucdavis.edu/hopland/home_page.html

      "It is not the critic who counts... not the one who points out how the
      strong person stumbles... or where the doer of deeds could have done
      better. The credit belongs to the person who is actually in the arena."
      Theodore Roosevelt

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