Unusual foraging by a fork-tailed storm-petrel

The Auk



While conducting an offshore bird census from the sea beach at Nelson Lagoon, Alaska Peninsula (56°00'N, 161°10'W) at 1700 on 17 September 1976 1 saw a Fork-tailed Storm Petrel (Oceanodroma f. furcata) feeding on the beached remains of an adult gray whale (Eschrichtius robustus) that had been trapped by ice and died the previous April. I watched it for about 15 min. The sky was overcast with a 25-knot offshore wind, gusting to 35 knots. Seas were running from 3 to 4 m, and the tide was high. This observation is of note because it provides direct evidence of a terrestrial (i.e. nonpelagic) foraging capability by O. furcata. It also furthers the scant knowledge on the use of beached marine mammals for food by pelagic and inshore avifauna, especially during adverse weather when normal foraging habits might be inhibited.

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Unusual foraging by a fork-tailed storm-petrel
Series title The Auk
Volume 94
Issue 2
Year Published 1977
Language English
Publisher American Ornithological Society
Contributing office(s) Alaska Science Center
Description 2 p.
First page 385
Last page 386
Country United States
State Alaska
Other Geospatial Nelson Lagoon
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