The best-ever pelagic in the Western Palearctic by Hadoram Shirihai 2009

Zino's Petrel
Zino’s Petrel Pterodroma madeira, off Madeira, April 2009 (photo Hadoram Shirihai © The Tubenose project). The first-ever unequivocal and photographically documented at-sea record of the species

This year’s nine-day pelagic expedition, on 20–29 April, around Madeira was designed to find Zino’s Petrel Pterodroma madeira at sea, with the goal of learning and documenting its field characters. It followed the previous year’s success in observing and describing one bird in detail (Shirihai 2008: Birding World 21(6); see Madeira petrel photo expedition). Prior to that, the species had only been claimed on a few occasions at sea, and then usually as ‘possibly’ or ‘suspected’. There are no previous photographically documented at-sea records of Zino’s Petrel, even in the recent, highly acclaimed Petrels Night and Day by Robb et al. (2008), wherein there are images of a bird labelled an ‘apparently small-billed gadfly petrel’. However, the present expedition, during which we identified 13 Zino’s Petrels at sea, and photographed four of them, at last provided the first-ever documented at-sea record of Zino’s Petrel.

Read the full Expedition diary by Hadoram Shirihai

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