aba events

#ABArare – Yellow-nosed Albatross – Massachusetts


On June 1, a Seven Seas whale-watching boat out of Gloucester, Massachusetts, found an ABA Code 4 Yellow-nosed Albatross 17 miles east of Gloucester. The bird was spotted by Captain Jay Frontierro and seen well by all on board for the brief period it was present.


photo by Jay Frontierro, Seven Seas Whale Watch

Jay writes:

The exact location was lat/long = 42 35.96/70 16.84 at 16:05. This puts the birds on the northeast side of Tillies Bank where there were many schools of Mackerel visible at the surface (and no doubt why there were 2 Humpback, 3 Fin, and a few Minke whales in the area).

Any albatross in the Atlantic is a pretty exciting event, but Yellow-nosed is the “expected” species, relatively speaking. There are about 35 records for the ABA Area from Newfoundland south to Florida and into the Gulf of Mexico to Texas. All observations save one – the extraordinary record of an emaciated, but long-staying, individual in Ontario in 2010 – are offshore or nearshore (Howell et al, 2014).

There are two subspecies of Yellow-nosed Albatross. All North American records pertain to the nominate subspecies – called “Western Yellow-nosed Albatross” – which nests primarily on Tristan da Cunha and Gough Islands in the South Atlantic.

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Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog. A long-time member of the bird blogosphere, Nate has been writing about birds and birding at The Drinking Bird since 2007, but can also be found writing regularly at 10,000 Birds. In the non-digital world, he's an environmental educator and interpretive naturalist. He is also the author of Birding for the Curious. Nate lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children, who are not yet aware that they are being groomed to be birders.
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