Sunday Inspiration – Procellariidae – Rest of Family

Tahiti Petrel (Pseudobulweria rostrata) by Ian

“The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea.” (Psalms 93:4 KJV)

Today’s Sunday Inspiration will bring us through the last 49 members of the Procellariidae Family. These include Petrels in the Pseudobulweria (5), Procellaria (5), and Bulweria (3) genera, plus 4 Diving Petrels in the Pelecanoides genus. The final group of Shearwaters are in the Calonectris (4), Ardenna (7), and Puffinus (21) genera

Tahitian Petrel (Pseudobulweria rostrata) by Ian

Tahitian Petrel (Pseudobulweria rostrata) by Ian

“The Pseudobulweria are generally largish darkish petrels, but may have white undersides. They are long-winged and fly about with rather leisurely wingbeats and soar a lot. Though they are attracted by chum, Pseudobulweria petrels are not particularly prone to following ships. They often approach floating prey from downwind, picking it up without landing on the water or during a brief landing in which the wings are kept raised.”

Grey Petrel (Procellaria cinerea) ©WikiC

What an amazing Creator these Avian Wonders have to provide so much for them. “Procellaria is a member of the family Procellariidae and the order Procellariiformes. As members of Procellariiformes, they share certain characteristics. First they have tubular nostrils called naricorns. This feature gives them their common name, tubenoses. The opening to the nostril is located differently in some birds. These birds have the opening on top of the upper bill. Second, they produce a stomach oil that contains wax esters and triglycerides. This oil fills two functions. When predators threaten the birds or their chick or egg, they spit the substance on them. This substance has an awful smell, and mats the feathers down, degrading their usefulness. Also, they can digest the wax esters for a high energy source of food, during long flights or the period of time that they are incubating their egg or caring for their young. They also have a uniquely structured bill, with seven to nine distinct horny plates. Finally, they have a salt gland that is located above their nasal passages and helps desalinate their body, as they drink seawater. They excrete the salty waste out their nose.” [Quote from Wikipedia, bolding mine]

Cory’s Shearwater (Calonectris borealis) ©WikiC

Calonectris is a genus of seabirds. The genus name comes from Ancient Greek kalos, “good” and nectris, “swimmer”. Calonectris shearwaters are long-distance migrants. The genus comprises three large shearwaters. There are two other shearwater genera. Puffinus, which comprises about twenty small to medium-sized shearwaters, and Procellaria with another four large species. The latter are usually named as petrels, although they are thought to be more closely related to the shearwaters than to the other petrels.

The species in this group are long-winged birds, dark brown or grey-brown above, and mainly white below. They are pelagic outside the breeding season. They are most common in temperate and cold waters. These tubenose birds fly with stiff wings, and use a shearing flight technique to move across wave fronts with the minimum of active flight. Their flight appears more albatross-like than the Puffinus species.

Great Shearwater (Ardenna gravis) ©WikiC

Ardenna is a genus of seabirds that “comprises a group medium-sized shearwaters. The species were for a long time included in the genus Puffinus but this genus was split based on the results of a phylogenetic analysis of mitochondrial DNA. The genus had been introduced by Ludwig Reichenbach in 1853, although the name was first used to refer to a seabird by Italian naturalist Ulisse Aldrovandi in 1603.”

Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) ©AGrosset

Manx Shearwater (Puffinus puffinus) ©AGrosset

Puffinus – “The species in this group are long-winged birds, dark brown or black above, and white to dark brown below. They are pelagic outside the breeding season. They are most common in temperate and cold waters. These tubenose birds fly with stiff wings, and use a shearing flight technique to move across wave fronts with the minimum of active flight. Some small species, such as the Manx shearwater, are cruciform in flight, with their long wings held directly out from their bodies.

Visit this link and watch the video about the Manx Shearwater Interesting Things – Amazing Bird Migration

Many are long-distance migrants, perhaps most spectacularly the sooty and short-tailed shearwaters, which perform migrations of 14,000 km or more each year. Puffinus shearwaters come to islands and coastal cliffs only to breed. They are nocturnal at the colonial breeding sites, preferring moonless nights to minimise predation. They nest in burrows and often give eerie contact calls on their night-time visits. They lay a single white egg.”

Common Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides urinatrix) by Daves BirdingPix

Common Diving Petrel (Pelecanoides urinatrix) by Daves BirdingPix

Diving Petrels in the Pelecanoides
The diving petrels are seabirds in the bird order Procellariiformes. There are four very similar species all in the family Procellariidae and genus Pelecanoides (Lacépède, 1799), distinguished only by small differences in the coloration of their plumage and their bill construction. They are only found in the Southern Hemisphere.

Diving petrels are auk-like small petrels of the southern oceans. The resemblances with the auks are due to convergent evolution, since both families feed by pursuit diving, although some researchers have in the past suggested that the similarities are due to relatedness. Among the Procellariiformes the diving petrels are the family most adapted to life in the sea rather than flying over it, and are generally found closer inshore than other families in the order.

Bulwer’s Petrel (Bulweria bulwerii) ©WikiC

“Bulweria is a genus of seabirds in the family Procellariidae named after English naturalist James Bulwer. The genus has two extant species, Bulwer’s petrel (B. bulwerii) and Jouanin’s petrel (B. fallax). A third species, the Olson’s petrel (Bulweria bifax), became extinct in the early 16th century; it is known only from skeletal remains. Bulwer’s Petrel ranges in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans, whereas Joaunin’s Petrel is confined to the northwestern Indian Ocean. Olson’s Petrel is known from the Atlantic.”

[Most information from Wikipedia]

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“The mighty God, even the LORD, hath spoken, and called the earth from the rising of the sun unto the going down thereof.” (Psalms 50:1 KJV)

“Big Mighty God” ~ Three plus One Quartet

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More Sunday Inspirations

Procellariidae – Petrels, Shearwaters

Sunday Inspiration – Procellariidae Family – Petrel, Fulmar and Prion

Sunday Inspiration – Procellariidae – (Pterodroma – Gadfly) Petrels

Interesting Things – Amazing Bird Migration

Wordless Birds

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Sunday Inspiration – Procellariidae – (Pterodroma – Gadfly) Petrels

Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri) by Ian

“Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: Fire, and hail; snow, and vapour; stormy wind fulfilling his word: Mountains, and all hills; fruitful trees, and all cedars: Beasts, and all cattle; creeping things, and flying fowl:” (Psalms 148:7-10 KJV)

The Petrels in the Pterodroma genus has enough species to present them in their own post. Ian Montgomery, (Bird of the Week/Moment), has quite a few photos of this family on his Birdway Site.

Murphy’s Petrel (Pterodroma ultima) ©WikiC

“The gadfly petrels are seabirds in the bird order Procellariiformes. The gadfly petrels are named for their speedy weaving flight as if evading horseflies. The flight action is also reflected in the genus name Pterodroma, from Ancient Greek pteron, “wing” and dromos, “runner”.

Cook’s Petrel (Pterodroma cookii) ©WikiC

“These medium to large petrels feed on food items picked from the ocean surface.”

Great-winged Petrel (Pterodroma macroptera) by Ian

“The short, sturdy bills of the Pterodroma species in this group, about 35 altogether, are adapted for soft prey taken at the surface; they have twisted intestines for digesting marine animals which have unusual biochemistries.”

White-headed Petrel (Pterodroma lessonii) by Ian

“Their complex wing and face marking are probably for interspecific recognition.”

Soft-plumaged Petrel (Pterodroma mollis) ©WikiC

“These birds nest in colonies on islands and are pelagic when not breeding. One white egg is laid usually in a burrow or on open ground. They are nocturnal at the breeding colonies.”

“While generally wide-ranging, most Pterodroma species are confined to a single ocean basin (e.g. Atlantic), and vagrancy is not as common amongst Pterodromas as it is in some other seabird species (c.f. the Storm-Petrels Hydrobatidae).” (Information from Wikipedia)

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“Praise ye the LORD. Praise God in his sanctuary: praise him in the firmament of his power. Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his excellent greatness. Praise him with the sound of the trumpet: praise him with the psaltery and harp. Praise him with the timbrel and dance: praise him with stringed instruments and organs. Praise him upon the loud cymbals: praise him upon the high sounding cymbals. Let every thing that hath breath praise the LORD. Praise ye the LORD.” (Psalms 150:1-6 KJV)


“Jesus What a Mighty Name” ~ Pastor Smith with Choir and Orchestra.
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More Sunday Inspirations

Procellariidae – Petrels, Shearwaters

Sunday Inspiration – Procellariidae Family – Petrel, Fulmar and Prion

Pastor Jerry Smith – Testimony
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Sunday Inspiration – Procellariidae Family – Petrel, Fulmar and Prion

Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata) ©www.TeAra.govt.nz

Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata) ©www.TeAra.govt.nz

“So God created great sea creatures and every living thing that moves, with which the waters abounded, according to their kind, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.” (Genesis 1:21 NKJV)

The Procellariidae – Petrels, Shearwaters Family contains more than those two species of birds. You will be introduced to Giant Petrels, Diving Petrels, Petrels, Fulmars, Prions, and Shearwaters. The previous Petrels families shown were Storm Petrels (Oceanitidae and Hydrobatidae), and the Albatross (Diomedeidae) family also was presented. These four families make up the Procellariiformes Order. This Procellariidae group, being the largest, will take several weeks to be able to cover.

From Wikipedia – “The family Procellariidae is a group of seabirds that comprises the fulmarine petrels, the gadfly petrels, the prions, and the shearwaters. This family is part of the bird order Procellariiformes (or tubenoses), which also includes the albatrosses, the storm petrels, and the diving petrels.

Northern Giant Petrel head close-up by Daves BirdingPix

Northern Giant Petrel head close-up by Daves BirdingPix

The procellariids are the most numerous family of tubenoses, and the most diverse. They range in size from the giant petrels, which are almost as large as the albatrosses, to the prions, which are as small as the larger storm petrels. They feed on fish, squid and crustacea, with many also taking fisheries discards and carrion. All species are accomplished long-distance foragers, and many undertake long trans-equatorial migrations. They are colonial breeders, exhibiting long-term mate fidelity and site philopatry. In all species, each pair lays a single egg per breeding season. Their incubation times and chick-rearing periods are exceptionally long compared to other birds.

Northern Fulmar (Fulmarus glacialis) ©AGrosset

Many procellariids have breeding populations of over several million pairs; others number fewer than 200 birds. Humans have traditionally exploited several species of fulmar and shearwater (known as muttonbirds) for food, fuel, and bait, a practice that continues in a controlled fashion today. Several species are threatened by introduced species attacking adults and chicks in breeding colonies and by long-line fisheries.” (Wikipedia)

Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus) by Ian

Southern Giant Petrel (Macronectes giganteus) by Ian

“Giant petrels form a genus, Macronectes, from the family Procellariidae, which consists of two species. They are the largest birds of this family. Both species are restricted to the Southern Hemisphere, and though their distributions overlap significantly, with both species breeding on the Prince Edward Islands, Crozet Islands, Kerguelen Islands, Macquarie Island and South Georgia, many southern giant petrels nest further south, with colonies as far south as Antarctica. Giant petrels are aggressive predators and scavengers, inspiring another common name, the stinker. South Sea whalers used to call them gluttons.”

Antarctic Petrel (Thalassoica antarctica) ©WikiC

“The Antarctic petrel (Thalassoica antarctica) is a boldly marked dark brown and white petrel, found in Antarctica, most commonly in the Ross and Weddell seas. They eat Antarctic krill, fish, and small squid. They feed while swimming but can dive from both the surface and the air.”

Cape Petrel (Daption capense) by Ian 5

Cape Petrel (Daption capense) by Ian

“The Cape petrel (Daption capense), also called the Cape pigeon, pintado petrel, or Cape fulmar is a common seabird of the Southern Ocean from the family Procellariidae. It is the only member of the genus Daption, and is allied to the fulmarine petrels, and the giant petrels. They are extremely common seabirds with an estimated population of around 2 million.”

Snow Petrel (Pagodroma nivea) ©WikiC

“The snow petrel (Pagodroma nivea) is the only member of the genus Pagodroma. It is one of only three birds that breed exclusively in Antarctica and has been seen at the geographic South Pole. It has the most southerly breeding distribution of any bird.

Blue Petrel (Halobaena caerulea) ©WikiC

“The blue petrel (Halobaena caerulea) is a small seabird in the shearwater and petrel family Procellariidae. This small petrel is the only member of the genus Halobaena, but is closely allied to the prions.”

Slender-billed Prion (Pachyptila belcheri) ©WikiC

“Pachyptila is a genus of seabirds in the family Procellariidae and the order Procellariiformes. The members of this genus and the blue petrel form a sub-group called prions. They range throughout the southern hemisphere, often in the much cooler higher latitudes. Three species, the Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata), the Antarctic Prion (Pachyptila desolata) and the Fairy Prion (Pachyptila turtur), range into the subtropics.”

Kermadec Petrel (Pterodroma neglecta) ©WikiC

“The Kerguelen petrel (Aphrodroma brevirostris) is a small (36 cm long) slate-grey seabird. Kerguelen petrels breed colonially on remote islands; colonies are present on Gough Island in the Atlantic Ocean, and Marion Island, Prince Edward Island, Crozet Islands and Kerguelen Island in the Indian Ocean. The species attends its colonies nocturnally, breeding in burrows in wet soil. The burrows usually face away from the prevailing wind. A single egg is laid per breeding season; the egg is unusually round for the family. The egg is incubated by both parents for 49 days. After hatching the chick fledges after 60 days.”

[Quotes are from Wikipedia, with editing.]

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“He alone spreads out the heavens, And treads on the waves of the sea;” (Job 9:8 NKJV)


“You Were There” ~ Three Plus One Quartet – Solo Reagan Osborne
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More Sunday Inspirations

Assurance: The Certainty of Salvation

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Flesh-footed Shearwater

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) by Ian

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) by Ian 1

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Flesh-footed Shearwater ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 7/16/13

One night when we were in our room on Lord Howe Island, we heard a scratching noise at the front door. On investigation this proved to be a juvenile Flesh-footed Shearwater from a nearby nesting colony attracted by the light. This one, first photo, is almost complete fledged with traces of fluffy down still apparent.

In the region of 20,000 to 40,000 pairs of Flesh-footed Shearwaters nest on Lord Howe. They dig nesting burrows in the sandy soil of the forest, mainly in the lowland area where the settlement is situated. Adults come ashore under cover of darkness to nest, change incubation shifts and feed their partners and young. They make their presence known by making loud crooning noises that sometimes sound like cats fighting but during daylight, they are silent and there is usually little sign of them on the island.

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) by Ian

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) by Ian 2

We were there at the end of the breeding season. When the juveniles are fledged, their cosseted existence comes to an abrupt end as the adults stop coming ashore and the young are abandoned to fend for themselves. Eventually, they wander out of their burrows and (mostly) make their way to the sea to start an independent pelagic life. Lord Howe is the only colony of this species on the east coast of Australia, but there are other colonies on islands off South Australia (one), Southwest Western Australia (several), New Zealand and St Paul Island in the South Atlantic.

The following day, we found another fledged juvenile when we went to Ned’s beach for a snorkel, photos 2 and 3. This one seemed to have failed to make it down the beach and was presumably waiting for darkness. The Flesh-footed is one of several rather similar, mainly dark shearwaters breeding in Australian waters and the third photo shows its two-toned bill – horn-coloured with a dark tip which is its most obvious field mark.

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) by Ian

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) by Ian 3

Outside the breeding season, Wedge-tailed Shearwaters are pelagic and range widely in both the Pacific and Indian Ocean. Birds from Lord Howe and New Zealand migrate north to the waters off South Korea and also appear off the coast of North America. The two in the fourth photo were off Wollongong, south of Sydney, in the deep water beyond the continental shelf. In this photo you can see the two-tone bills and the pink legs and feet.

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) by Ian

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus carneipes) by Ian 4

Here, photo 5, for comparison is a Wedge-tailed Shearwater. Note the grey bill and longer, more pointed tail. The third common species in Australia is the Short-tailed, but, true to its name, the feet extend beyond the tip of the tail in flight.

Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus) by Ian

Wedge-tailed Shearwater (Puffinus pacificus) by Ian

All these species are collectively called “muttonbirds” and were harvested in large numbers by early settlers for their eggs and oily, rather salty flesh. Clumsy on land and foolishly trusting, they were never rated as very bright. They are, however, masters of the air and sea and their annual movements around the oceans of the world ending up on tiny specks of land like Lord Howe are impressive feats of both navigation and endurance.

Best wishes
Ian

**************************************************
Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Bird Photos http://www.birdway.com.au/
Recorder Society http://www.nqrs.org.au


Lee’s Addition:

the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! (Psalms 8:8-9 ESV)

I am always amazed when I see this kind of snout on birds. What an amazing design. See: Formed By Him – Sea Birds That Drink Seawater

The family Procellariidae is a group of seabirds that comprises the fulmarine petrels, the gadfly petrels, the prions, and the shearwaters. This family is part of the bird order Procellariiformes (or tubenoses), which also includes the albatrosses, the storm-petrels, and the diving petrels.

The Flesh-footed Shearwater, Puffinus carneipes, is a small shearwater. Its plumage is black. It has pale pinkish feet, and a pale bill with a black tip. Together with the equally light-billed Pink-footed Shearwater, it forms the Hemipuffinus group, a superspecies which may or may not have an Atlantic relative in the Great Shearwater. These are large shearwaters which are among those that could be separated in the genus Ardenna.

It breeds in colonies, and has two main breeding areas: one in the South West Pacific Ocean includes Lord Howe Island (20,000 to 40,000 pairs) and northern New Zealand (50,000 to 100,000 pairs); the other is along the coast of Western Australia from Cape Leeuwin to the Recherche Archipelago. Another 600 pairs breed on St Paul Island in the Indian Ocean, as well in the Astola Island of Pakistan in the Arabian Sea. It occurs as a summer visitor in the North Pacific Ocean as far north as British Columbia. Flesh-footed shearwaters have been sighted in the Central-North Pacific, above the main Hawaiian Islands as well. (Wikipedia, with editing)

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Providence Petrel

Lord Howe Island by Ian

Lord Howe Island by Ian

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Providence Petrel ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter ~ 5/20/13

Your collective moral support did it again, thank you very much, so here is the Providence Petrel the other really special bird species of Lord Howe Island. ‘Special’ in the sense that after its extermination on Norfolk Island by 1800, Lord Howe was its last remaining breeding site, saving it from extinction. Unlike Norfolk Island which lacks very high mountains, Lord Howe has two fairly inaccessible ones, Mount Lidgbird, on the left in the first photo, and the taller Mount Gower on the right and it is on the tops and slopes of these that the Providence Petrel breeds.

You need to be a mountaineer to climb Mount Lidgbird and young and very fit to climb Mount Gower. We took the easier option of going by boat to the base of Mount Gower where we got good views of many Petrels in flight preparing to land at their nesting burrows. They are winter breeders, returning to the island in March and laying eggs in May. They seem reluctant to actually land, so each afternoon the air around the two Mountains swarms with these birds like clouds of insects and it is a wonderful sight.

Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri) by Ian

Very clumsy on the ground, they are fast and agile in the air so I was happy to get a few reasonable shots given the choppy conditions without falling overboard. The first Petrel photo shows the characteristic overall dark bird (it looks lighter than usual against Mount Gower) with the characteristic white patches on the primary wing feathers and under wing coverts that distinguishes it from most other similar petrels. The second petrel shot, shows the upper wings – these are all dark and lack the white shafts to the primaries that distinguish the similar Kermadec Petrel. Other field marks are the scaly white feathers on the face and the dark neck and upper breast.

Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri) by Ian

The third petrel photo shows a more characteristic dorsal shot with the bird silhouetted against the sky and shows it long slender wings. The birds average 40cm/16 in in length with a wingspan of about 1 m/3 ft 3 in. After breeding, the disperse to the North Pacific. For food, they dive into the water for crustaceans, squid and small fish.

Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri) by Ian

Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri) by Ian

The Lord Howe population is estimated at about 30,000 pairs. Feral pigs were eliminated as part of the Woodhen recovery project and the Petrels are recolonising the lower slopes of the mountains. They were rediscovered on Phillip Island close to Norfolk Island in 1985 and the current population there is less than 100 pairs. The elimination from Norfolk Island took place between 1790 and 1800 with perhaps one million adults and young being harvested in the period 1790-1793.

Best wishes
Ian

**************************************************
Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Check the latest website updates:
http://www.birdway.com.au/#updates


Lee’s Addition:

Let them give glory unto the LORD, and declare his praise in the islands. (Isaiah 42:12 KJV)

Ian has shared another of his birdwatching adventures with us. It’s good to hear that the Petrels there are making a comeback.

Petrels belong to the Procellaridae Family. The family consists of Petrels, Shearwaters, Fulmars, and Prions,

“The Providence Petrel (Pterodroma solandri) is a species that burrows in one location; isolated Lord Howe Island, some 800km from the Australian mainland in the Tasman Sea.

Of roughly pigeon like proportions (40cm), the bird was once also numerous on Norfolk Island (to Australia). However, its population here was consumed by starving epicurean transportees, sent to Norfolk Island as way of punishment. Nonetheless it numbers some 100,000 on Lord Howe. Graceful and supple in flight, the Providence Petrel has a cumbersome propensity on the ground, making it vulnerable from attack by predators.

Despite its reasonably copious strength of numbers, the Providence Petrel is deemed to be in a precarious disposition because its breeding is confined to two mountain tops and one tiny islet, and is therefore at great risk from a catastrophe.

This species is classified as vulnerable. Main causes of death are predation by the endangered Lord Howe Rail and flooding of burrows. Other dangers include rat predation and drowning in longline fishing gear. The current population is estimated at 64,000.

The scientific name of this species was given in honour of the Swedish botanist Daniel Solander, Solander’s Petrel being an alternative common name.” (Information from Wikipedia)

See:

Ian’s Petrel Photos

Procellariidae – Petrels, Shearwaters Family

Providence Petrel – Wikipedia

Ian’s Bird of the Week

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Ian’s Bird of the Week – Black-winged Petrel

Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis) by Ian Montgomery 1

Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis) by Ian Montgomery 1

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Black-winged Petrel ~ by Ian Montgomery

Newsletter – 5/14/12

Three weeks ago we had the Cape Petrel. Here is the Black-winged Petrel, another species, like the White Tern and Grey Ternlet, that I had seen twenty years ago on Lord Howe Island and was keen to photograph on Norfolk Island. With a length of 28-30cm/11-12in and a wingspan of 67cm/26in, this is quite a small species with elegant black, grey and white markings and a stubby, hooked bill, visible in the first photo.

It nests on both the main island and Phillip Island – where it was quite abundant – and was easy to find as, unlike most petrels and shearwaters, it is active around the breeding colonies in daylight. Most petrels and shearwaters come ashore under cover of darkness to reduce the risk of avian predators such as raptors and gulls, but the Black-winged has historically nested on predator-free islands. ‘Historically’ here means before human settlers introduced predators such as feral cats.

Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis) by Ian Montgomery 2

Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis) by Ian Montgomery 2

Black-winged Petrels are accomplished fliers and spent much time in aerial acrobatics around and over cliffs. The generic name Pterodroma means ‘winged runner’ and refers to their aerial agility. The one in the second photo is coming in to land near its nesting burrow and passing some Norfolk Island Pines. All petrels and shearwater, except the Giant Petrels, have very weak legs and once on the ground are barely mobile using their wings to drag themselves along on their bellies.

Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis) by Ian Montgomery 3

Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis) by Ian Montgomery 3

Like many island birds, they seemed unafraid and didn’t appear agitated when approached closely to have their photos taken. The fourth photo shows the tubular nostrils characteristic of this family of birds and their close relatives the albatrosses and storm-petrels. All these ‘tube-nosed’ birds are thought to have a strong sense of smell – very unusual for birds – that helps them find both marine prey and their nesting burrows on dark nights, and the birds themselves apparently have a strong musty odour during the breeding season.

Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis) by Ian Montgomery 4

Black-winged Petrel (Pterodroma nigripennis) by Ian Montgomery 4

The hooked bill helps the birds grasp slippery prey – mainly squid and small fish – and the bills have sharp cutting edges. The Black-winged is one of about 36 global species of Pterodroma petrels collectively and, I think unfairly, called Gadfly Petrels, in reference to their erratic flight. As I’m sure you know, Gadflies are nasty blood-sucking insects such as Horse and March Flies, and there must be other more congenial erratic fliers after which they could been named. Anyway, Gadfly Petrels feed on the wing by snatching prey from the surface of the water and rarely alight on the water or dive.

The Black-winged Petrel breeds on islands in the south Pacific including Lord Howe, Norfolk, various islands around New Zealand and on several in French Polynesia. Helped by protection and the removal of predators such as feral cats, its population is increasing and it has bred on Lord Howe only since the 1960s. There are unproven recent reports of it breeding on some islands on the east coast of Australia, where it is generally rare. Outside the breeding season, it is highly pelagic and ranges widely over the Pacific as far as southern Japan and Mexico.

Best wishes
Ian
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Ian Montgomery, Birdway Pty Ltd,
454 Forestry Road, Bluewater, Qld 4818
Tel 0411 602 737 ian@birdway.com.au
Check the latest website updates:
http://www.birdway.com.au/#updates
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Lee’s Addition:

Thanks, Ian, for another interesting Newsletter. Trust you all are enjoying Ian’s Bird of the Week newsletters as well as I do. They are so informative and he introduces us to such a variety of birds. His photograph is outstanding.

The Black-winged Petrel is a member of the Procellariidae – Petrels, Shearwaters Family which has 87 species. They are in the Procellariiformes Order. The order has 3 other families, the Storm Petrels, Diving Petrels and the Albatrosses.

And God said, “…and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” (Genesis 1:20 ESV)

See Bird of the Week for more articles by Ian.

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The Broad-billed Prion – The well oiled night mates..

Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata) ©WikiC

Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata) ©WikiC

The Broad-billed Prion – The well oiled night mates.. ~ by a j mithra

The Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata) is a small seabird, but the largest Prion, with grey upperparts plumage, and white underparts. This species is found throughout oceans and coastal areas in the Southern Hemisphere.

Photo of Broad-billed Prion at the World Bird Guide

Photo from famkefonae (Shows the broad bill up close)

Another great photo up close – IBC

Its colonies can be found on Gough Island, Tristan da Cunha, South Island, Chatham Islands, on the sub-antarctic Antipodes Islands, and other islands off the coast of New Zealand and south of New Zealand’s south island. Adults are thought to remain in waters adjacent to colonies; however young birds occur north of the colonies to Australia and South Africa…

It has many other names that have been used such as Blue-billed Dove-petrel, Broad-billed Dove-petrel, Long-billed Prion, Common Prion, Icebird, and Whalebird. The Broad-billed Prion is a member of the Pachyptila genus, and along with five more Prions. They in turn are members of the Procellariidae family, and the Procellariiformes order.

The prions are small and typically eat just zooplankton; however as a member of the Procellariiformes, they share certain identifying features:

First, they have nasal passages that attach to the upper bill called naricorns. Although the nostrils on the Prion are on top of the upper bill. bills of Procellariiformes are also unique in that they are split into between 7 and 9 horny plates. It has a broad flat bill with comb-like fringes called lamellae. These birds have 7 and 9 horny plates..

  • In Hebrew, seven is shevah. It is from the root savah, to be full or satisfied, have enough of.
  • Hence the meaning of the word “seven” is dominated by this root, for on the seventh day God rested from the work of Creation.
  • It was full and complete, and good and perfect. Nothing could be added to it or taken from it without marring it.

Hence the word Shavath, to cease, desist, rest, and Shabbath, Sabbath, or day of rest. God expects perfect words from our mouth, words of faith and healing, words which would give hope and rest to people around us..

How do we use our mouth?

A man’s belly shall be satisfied with the fruit of his mouth; and with the increase of his lips shall he be filled. Death and life are in the power of the tongue: and they that love it shall eat the fruit thereof. (Proverbs 18:20,21)

The solemn amhn (ameen), amen, or “verily,” of our Lord,amounts also to 99, summing up and ending His words. The sum of the 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet is 4995 (5×999). It is stamped, therefore, with the numbers of grace and finality.

  • God not only expects perfect words from our mouth, but also words of grace..
  • Number nine not only denotes summing up and ending His words Amen, but also the gifts and fruit of the Holy spirit.
  • Physicist say that the most powerful energy is Grace, whose energy is calculated as infinite…

Do we have words of perfect grace in our mouth…

But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good. For to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, and to another the word of knowledge according to the same Spirit; to another faith by the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit, and to another the effecting of (miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually just as He wills. (1 Corinthians 12:7-11)

Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata) ©www.TeAra.govt.nz

Broad-billed Prion (Pachyptila vittata) ©www.TeAra.govt.nz

This is a large prion measuring 25 to 30 cm (9.8 to 12 in) long, with a wingspan of 57 to 66 cm (22 to 26 in) and weighing on average 160 to 235 g. They produce a stomach oil made up of wax esters and triglycerides that is stored in the proventriculus. This is used against predators as well as an energy rich food source for chicks and for the adults during their long flights.

  • The oil which these birds produce reminds us of how we need to have oil when the bridegroom arrives, like the wise virgins..
  • The Bridegroom is on His way and these birds remind us to be prepared to meet Him..

Are we really ready?

Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Mathew 25:13)

Finally, they also have a salt gland that is situated above the nasal passage and helps desalinate their bodies, due to the high amount of ocean water that they imbibe. It excretes a high saline solution from their nose.

  • God calls us as the salt of the earth..
  • As salt which gives taste and as salt which preserves..

It is time for us to switch on the search light and check if we our life is really the salt of the earth…

Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his savour, wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden under foot of men. (Mathew 5:13)

They are gregarious, and they eat crustaceans (copepods, squid, and fish. They utilize a technique called hydroplaning, which is where the bird flies with its bill in the water and it skims water in, and then filters the food. They also surface-seize.

Breeding begins on the coastal slopes, lava fields, or cliffs of the breeding islands in July or August, as they lay their single egg in a burrow type nest. Both parents avian incubation |incubate] the egg for 50 days, and then spend another 50 days raising the chick.

Prion Chick by

The main predators are skuas, although on some islands, cats and rats have reduced this prion’s numbers drastically. Colonies disperse from December onwards, although some adults remain in the vicinity of the breeding islands and may visit their burrows in winter..

They are a social bird; however their courtship displays happen at night or in their burrows. When they need to defend their nest they are very aggressive with calling, posturing, and neck-biting.

  • God wants us to have an encounter with Him at night and that is the reason
  • He asks us to watch and pray..

Jesus Himself set an example of how we need to watch and pray..

And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed [is] willing, but the flesh [is] weak. (Mathew 26:41)

Even before He was arrested, He was praying. Which means, we need to pray before every important event…?

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him. On reaching the place, he said to them, ‘Pray that you will not fall into temptation.’ He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground. (Luke 22:39-46)

The greatest event of all times, the return of the King of kings is yet to occur and the whole world is waiting for that, but, do we watch and pray before this important event or are we sleeping like the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane?

Have a blessed day!

Your’s in YESHUA, a j mithra

Please visit us at:
Crosstree
a j mithra 21

(Various internet resources including Wikipedia)

Lee’s Addition: (a j gave me a challenge on this one trying to find photos that we have permission to use.)

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Updated the Procellariiformes Order Pages

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus_Ardenna carneipes) by Ian

Flesh-footed Shearwater (Puffinus_Ardenna carneipes) by Ian

Like birds flying about, So will the LORD of hosts defend Jerusalem. Defending, He will also deliver it; Passing over, He will preserve it. (Isaiah 31:5 NKJV)

Since writing the “Formed By Him – Sea Birds That Drink Seawater“, I have been busy behind the scene updating the Procellariiformes Order.That was the Order the article was about. Found as many species’ photos as I could and even included some videos to view. There are a total of 40 Orders altogether, so it is nice to complete another one.

Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta) by Ian

Shy Albatross (Thalassarche cauta) by Ian

Procellariiformes is an order of seabirds that comprises four families: the albatrosses, procellariids, storm-petrels and diving petrels. Formerly called Tubinares and still called tubenoses in English, they are often referred to collectively as the petrels, a term that has been applied to all Procellariiformes or more commonly all the families except the albatrosses. They are almost exclusively pelagic (feeding in the open ocean). They have a cosmopolitan distribution across the world’s oceans, with the highest diversity being around New Zealand.

Cape Petrel (Daption capense) by Bob-Nan

Cape Petrel (Daption capense) by Bob-Nan

Procellariiformes are colonial, mostly nesting on remote predator-free islands. The larger species nest on the surface, while most smaller species nest in natural cavities and burrows. They exhibit strong philopatry, returning to their natal colony to breed and returning to the same nesting site over many years. Procellariiformes are monogamous and form long-term pair bonds which are formed over several years and may last for the life of the pair. Only a single egg is laid per nesting attempt, and usually only a single nesting attempt is made per year, although the larger albatrosses may only nest once every two years. Both parents participate in incubation and chick rearing. Incubation times are long compared to other birds, as are fledgling periods. Once a chick has fledged there is no further parental care.

If a bird’s nest happens to be before you along the way, in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs, with the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young; you shall surely let the mother go, and take the young for yourself, that it may be well with you and that you may prolong your days. (Deuteronomy 22:6-7 NKJV)

Tahitian Petrel (Pseudobulweria rostrata) by Ian

Tahitian Petrel (Pseudobulweria rostrata) by Ian

Procellariiformes have had a long relationship with humans. They have been important food sources for many people, and continue to be hunted as such in some parts of the world. They have also been the subject of numerous cultural depictions, particularly albatrosses. Procellariiformes are one of the most endangered bird taxa, with many species threatened with extinction due to introduced predators in their breeding colonies, marine pollution and the danger of fisheries by-catch. (from Wikipedia)

The Procellariiformes Order includes these Families:
Albatrosses – Diomedeidae – 21 species
Petrels, Shearwaters – Procellariidae – 90 species
Storm Petrels – Hydroatidae – 23 species

Yellow-nosed Albatross (Diomedea chlororhynchos) on the water, then flying off – by Nick Talbot.

See Also:

Birds of the World

More Formed By Him articles

Interesting Things – Amazing Bird Migration (Manx Shearwater)

Ian’s Bird of the Week – Buller’s Shearwater

Flight 7 by a j mithra

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