Nikon Monarch 7

aba events

#ABArare – Wedge-tailed Shearwater – California

I will probably have to adjust how I approach #ABArare with the inclusion of Hawaii, and an ABA Code 4 (currently) Wedge-tailed Shearwater is one of the reasons why. A pelagic trip led by Alvaro Jaramillo out of Half Moon Bay, San Mateo, California, found one just offshore this past weekend. The bird was even seen by some birders from shore. This the 11th ABA Continental record.

With the ABA Area’s inclusion of Hawaii, Wedge-tailed Shearwater is a breeding bird in the ABA Area now. They nest on three islands in the Hawaiian archipelago, Kaua’i, O’ahu, and Mānana, as well as may others in the south Pacific and Australia, and on Mauritius in the Indian Ocean. There is also a population that breeds on Isla San Benedicto off the Pacific Coast of Mexico.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater is only one of what are a handful or primarily pelagic species that are regular on the Hawaiian Islands but quite rarely encountered on the North American mainland. In these #ABArare posts I will continue to note those species when they occur, as birders on both coasts are likely still interested in hearing about them.

All that considered, however, it is worth nothing that this bird is a dark-morph Wedge-tailed Shearwater, whereas Hawaiian breeding populations (and most ABA Continental records) are of light-morph birds. This could mean that it could come wither from the Mexican-breeding population, or from one of the populations that breeds in the southern hemisphere.

The following two tabs change content below.
Nate Swick

Nate Swick

Editor, Social Media Manager at American Birding Association
Nate Swick is the editor of the American Birding Association Blog, social media manager for the ABA, and the host of the American Birding Podcast. He lives in Greensboro, North Carolina, with his wife, Danielle, and two young children. He is the author of Birding for the Curious and The ABA Field Guide to Birds of the Carolinas.
  • Ryan Merrill

    How can all but one of the ABA Continental records be from California when Washington has two records? I believe there are a couple records from Oregon as well…

    • My mistake. I overlooked those. I’ve removed the statement.

      • Joshua Glant

        Also the record from Arizona last fall!

American Birding Podcast
Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
Read More »

Recent Comments




ABA's FREE Birder's Guide

If you live nearby, or are travelling in the area, come visit the ABA Headquarters in Delaware City.

Beginning this spring we will be having bird walks, heron watches and evening cruises, right from our front porch! Click here to view the full calender, and register for events >>

via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

  • Open Mice: Kestrels–An Iowa Legacy May 16, 2017 6:29
    A few years ago, a short drive down my gravel road would yield at least one, if not two, American Kestrels perched on a power line or hovering mid-air above the grassy ditch. Today, I have begun to count myself lucky to drive past a mere one kestrel per week rather than the daily sightings. […]
  • It’s the Maine Young Birders Club! May 13, 2017 4:03
    York County Audubon is helping to launch the Maine Young Birders Club (MYBC)—the first of its kind in the state! […]
  • Announcing the 2017 ABA Young Birders of the Year! February 28, 2017 10:48
    The judges have reviewed all of the outstanding entries. ABA staff has compiled the scores. After much anticipation, we are thrilled to announce the winners of the 2017 ABA Young Birder of the Year Contest! Your 2017 ABA Young Birder of the Year in the 14-18 age group is 18-year-old Johanna Beam from Lyons, Colorado. […]

Follow ABA on Twitter