Saturday, March 12, 2011
New birds keep turning up at a rate of two or three a year. But there have been no new seabirds for 89 years. Now ornithologist Peter Harrison and his colleagues report there is one. It's a small black and white storm petrel from Chile, near the seaside town of Puerto Montt. Harrison notes that Charles Darwin sailed along this coast and never noticed the bird. The population is estimated in the thousands: people have seen the birds for centuries, it appears, without taking a close look.