Thursday, May 24, 2007

Yellow-nosed Albatross coming towards NJ?

May 9, 2000 - A Yellow-nosed Albatross is spotted off Buzzard's Bay in Massachusetts (near Martha's Vineyard). On the same day, one is seen near Fire Island, New York.

May 21, 2000 - A Yellow-nosed Albatross flies over the southern coastal portion of New Jersey's Garden State Parkway (not seen by me... I wish!).

May 23, 2000 - Slightly south of the May 21 sighting, one is seen near the Delaware Bayshore

2000-2007 - Several sightings of this species are noted in Massachusetts, Maine, and Rhode Island

April 28, 2007 - An emaciated Yellow-nosed Albatross is found in a cow pasture behind the home of Shelley and Ryan Coite of Cape Neddick, Maine.

This bird has been rehabilitated and was released off Cape Cod on May 21. The albatross was fitted with a transmitter and a web site is in the works to track its movements. Albatrosses cover huge areas. So, could this bird make its way south to NJ? Anything is possible... and it's possible that this bird is the same bird that flew over the Garden State Parkway.

There seems to be much speculation over how many Yellow-nosed Albatrosses have strayed to the northern hemisphere from their traditinal southern haunts. A sub-adult was seen in North Carolina in February 2000 prior to the sightings mentioned above (all adult birds). Those observers documented their findings and have speculated that 4-5 individuals may be roaming the Atlantic. Could the one individual seen near Martha's Vineyard fly to Fire Island, 200+ km away, in one day? There is much to learn about this species' status in the Atlantic. Perhaps the tracking device on the released bird will educate us.

Photo credit: Mike Danzenbaker


Jeff said...

Looks like he's back in Massachusetts for now... Copy and paste.


Xris said...

Beautiful photograph. Is it yours?

Patrick Belardo said...

Jeff, thanks for the link. That's not such good news unfortunately. We'll see how round 2 goes!

Xris, I wish it was! Photo credit goes to Mike Danzenbaker.

Jeffrey said...

The Albatross was re-released on June 2nd, so keep your eyes peeled!


From the local bird list-serve:

Greetings all,

The Albatross was released again yesterday in the southwest corner of Stellwagen Bank. A group led by
Mass Audubon Field Ornithologist, Simon Perkins, headed out under excellent sea and weather conditions.
After careful tracking of seabird and whale activities, Perkins selected a perfect location for release. The
Albatross seemed to welcome a return to the sea. It rested for a bit at each spot and then flew to a new location, each time
flying a bit farther south for longer stretches. After some tracking by the group, it eventually flew off in mid-afternoon!

Perkins felt the release was a big success. Tracking in the days ahead will allow Perkins and others to know the future
flight path of the Albatross. All hope for a long, long flight south!!

Photos have been posted for your enjoyment and, as always, your comments are always welcome!!

Click on Saturday, June 2 or "view all 18" to see shots
Click on any image to enlarge!

Best to all,

Patrick Belardo said...

Thanks for the update Jeff!

Jeffrey said...

Well, the sad news is that this bird, which has haunted the Massachusetts coast for several years now, and has been seen by about a dozen lucky observers seems to have perished. There was either something wrong with it, or it starved. I assume there is only one YNAL around; any further sightings I will let you know. Below, I include the text of the post on Massbird which concludes the observations of this bird:

Hi everybody.
>Becky Harris, Director of Mass Audubon's Coastal Waterbird Program
>just called to report that she collected the albatross from a beach
>in Barnstable Harbor (see attached). She said it had been there "a
>while". The transmitter was still attached. She'll put it on ice and
>get it to Tufts.
>Oh well.

Patrick Belardo said...

Jeff, thanks so much for keeping me updated. It's sad news unfortunately.