Wednesday, August 31, 2011

New seabird may be in deep trouble

Last week, I blogged about the description of Bryan's Shearwater, the first new bird found in U.S. territory since 1947. Unfortunately, it's not clear if there are any birds left. The type specimen was collected at Midway Atoll in 1963, and one bird was photographed in Hawaii in 1990. That doesn't mean it breeds at either location: indeed, it is likely a transient at both sites. But does it still breed anywhere? No one knows. Ornithologists suggest it might breed on one or more islands making up the nation of Japan, but that's just a guess. The search is on, though. No one wants to miss the little black and white seabird if it turns out the species still exists.

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