Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel, Oceanodroma furcata


Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel
These were my first photographs of any storm-petrel, and they
show a species that is rare off the Central California coast, where
the common storm-petrels are the Ashy and the Black. Storm-petrels
are swallow-sized birds that live at sea, and come ashore only when
nesting, and then only at night. They forage by fluttering low,
appearing to walk on the water while picking small prey items from
the surface. Fork-tailed are common off Alaska, and nest only as far
south as Humboldt County in northernmost California. Their pale gray
plumage is unique among the storm-petrels. The small size and habits
of storm-petrels make high quality photos of birds of this group rare,
so I happily (well, almost happily) settle for these distant and blurry
images.


Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel


Fork-tailed Storm-Petrel