Help wanted, and appreciated!
Perzische ? Pijlstormvogel
Persian ? SheaerwaterPuffinus persicus, P. bailloni, nicolae, ??
Found in: As Salituiyat, Oman, N 20.22, E 57.84, North of Duqm, Oman
Date: 14 November 2000
Measurements from fresh bird in mm (not accurate)
Local people with the fresh found bird
|The bird from below|
|The tail, far longer than a Persian Shearwater.
See comment of C. Roselaar
|E-mail of Drs Kees Roselaar, Zoological Museum, University of
Amsterdam to Vincent Bretagnolle, CNRS - CEBC, Centre d'études Biologiques de Chizé, UPR
1934 - BP14
79360, VILLIERS EN BOIS
Dear Dr Bretagnolle,
It is a small petrel very similar to P. bailloni (or P. 'atrodorsalis') to me, with very white underparts (including under tail-coverts), not as dark on the underwing and under tail as P. persicus. The problem now is, that when measuring the tail from the photographs in relation to the known length of the wing or tarsus I get a length of the tail of 93 to 96 mm, far longer than any known population of small shearwater from the Indian Ocean, except perhaps P. temptator (which appears to be more extensively dark below), though not unlike the tail of extralimital Caribbean P. lherminieri. Tail-lengths of P. bailloni (I measured tail as 73-79 mm in 12 birds in Tring, Paris,and Leiden), P. atrodorsalis (I measured 79 mm), and P persicus (69-74 mm) are clearly smaller. Have you any idea how we should label our wings, or do you think the bird is unidentifiable?
|Answer of Dr. Bretagnolle:
According to the photos, and also to my files (birds measured alive or in Museums), it will be hard to identify definitely your shearwater. I may suggest that it is a nicolae (or, say, a bird from the Seychelles group). Seychelles birds are variable with regard to undertail covert (never as white as bailloni, of course, but they can be quite white). Moreover, one bird from Aldabra (in Tring I think) and one bird I measured on Seychelles were both with tails > 93 mm (although they represent <5% of birds measured). I believe you can rule out bailloni (tail, undertail), and temptator. For the others, I would not be so certain. History and my own experience with this group of petrels show that caution must be taken!!! One last thing, I am completing a very detailed analysis of lherminieri/assimilis taxonomy (based on genetics, with colleagues), that will show that the taxonomy of this group must be completely reshaped.
|Who can help us with the identification of this
bird. I have only taken the wings of the bird with us back to Holland. They are in the
collection of the Zoological Museum, University of Amsterdam. It is a pity, I have left
the rest of the bird on the beach.
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