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Thread: Shy, White-capped, Salvin's

  1. #1

    Shy, White-capped, Salvin's

    Hi all,

    I think that this dark Shy-type albatross on the 13th August 2011 Sydney pelagic was a juv. (1st year) or very young imm. (2nd year) Salvin's Albatross: very dark head with paler forehead and throat, very dark mantle, very extensive blackish (albeit nor perfectly "dipped in ink") primary tips, smudgy leading edge of the "hand".

    Name:  2011AugSydneyRaja-2645.jpg
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    The same pictures plus a comparison to a young shy appear here (you need to scroll down a bit):
    http://www.adarman.com/Pelagics/2011...019402_PC4cw7j

    Comments? Thoughts?

    Cheers,

    Nikolas

  2. #2
    Storm-Petrel
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    I am thinking i need to be back on the boat and not in my office. I am only just learning about these birds, so thanks for the info.

  3. #3
    Administrator
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    You guys had some good birds on this trip. I especially like to see the juvenile Wanderer. I've noticed a decline in the number of juvenile Wanderer's (of any kind) over the past few years. I don't have actual numbers, but just looking through photos of past trips, it's definitely noticable.

    As for your bird though Nikolas, I'm not too sure about juvenile Salvin's, I'll need to have a look tonight, but why wouldn't it be a juvenile White-capped? From recollection, the bill has no sign of yellow at all in it and White-caps fledge in July-August. Maybe a White-capped fresh off the nest?

    Cheers,
    Brook

  4. #4
    Hi Brook,

    Actually, according to Lindsay's criteria (with P9 and P10 fully dark and the other primaries only dark on the inner vanes), the bird we labeled "Shy" may also be a White-capped. However, the bird we labeled "Salvin's" has significantly more extensive dark in the primary tips. I don't think that the bill should show yellow in the first year. So is it an extremely dark-tipped White-cap or a not perfectly dark-tipped Salvin's?

    Did you see Steve Howell's paper: Neotropical Birding 4: 19-25?

    Cheers,

    Nikolas

  5. #5
    Storm-Petrel
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    This bird is a challenge to identify. On the day I didn’t get my bins on it (I spent more time with burley than birds, not quite the right balance!). However, I thought at the time it was a candidate for Salvin’s, but not a strong one. I guess I still feel the same. Nikolas, thanks for Steve Howell's article. It is a bit curious, not sure I entirely agree, but I'm not so experienced with these. Looks to me like some of the birds he calls Salvin’s we might routinely call Shy! The thing that strikes me about the subject bird is the narrowness of the leading edge, along with the lack of fraying to the leading edge, and then the primaries, more black at the base of the primaries than usual for shy, but less than usual for Salvin’s. Gotta put this one down as a maybe/maybe not, I reckon. Could maybe send the pics to Steve for his opinion if anyone has an email address. Our friends in NZ might be even better to help. Oh, by the way, it appears so fresh, it must be first cycle, so likely fledged in Autumn 2011.

    I haven't been able to get onto on to Rajas website at all, so can't check the underwing of the other dark-headed shy-complex. Seemed very typical shy to me in the field. Don't know of Lindsay's criteria or how thoroughly tested they are.

  6. #6
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    Talking to Lindsay last night, he indicated that he thought it was a fresh White-capped, only a week or 2 off the nest.

    From Howell's article, Salvin's fledge in April, so I would have thought by August there would have been some lightening or wearing of the grey about the head, whereas this bird is still quite dark. White-capped fledge in July/August (and from my conversation with Lindsay) take about 10 days to reach the coast of Australia.

    This bird also doesn't have the messy leading edge, as indicated in Howells paper and the leading edge is much narrower than those in Howell's photos. He also says that the 'thumbprint' is also indistinct or absent, but this bird has quite a distinctive 'thumbprint' on the inner wing.

    Quote Originally Posted by nhaass View Post
    I don't think that the bill should show yellow in the first year.
    I was of the understanding that juvenile Shy's have yellow around the base of the bill, whereas White-cap's don't, I could be wrong though.

    Did you see Steve Howell's paper: Neotropical Birding 4: 19-25?
    I haven't seen that reference before, but it's certainly a great resource. We get so few Salvin's that seeing photos and descriptions from someone who is familar with them is fantastic.

    You wouldn't know where I could find a copy of Birding 38 which has his article about immature Shy types, Howell, S. N. G. (2006) Immature Shy Albatrosses? That would be worthwhile too.

    Howell's comments about Grey-headed not being sighted as far north as Central Chile is interesting too, especially in light of our discussions on juvenile Grey-headed's. Central Chile would be about as far north as Sydney/Wollongong.

  7. #7
    Hi Brook, David & Lindsay,

    I agree with you guys that both photographed birds ("Shy" and "Salvin's") are juvs and not 2nd year birds and I guess that you guys are right that this bird and in my opinion also the other bird are indeed White-caps. However, I am still a bit surprised about the extensive dark primary tips of the bird we labeled "Salvin's".
    For those who haven't seen Steve's paper in Neotropical Birding: it is freely available - just google it.
    As to Steve's ID quiz in Birding: I have a hard copy of Birding 38. I will scan the article and send it to whoever is interested.

    Cheers,

    Nikolas

  8. #8
    White-capped/ Shy/ Salvin’s
    Hello Nikolas.
    I am not quite sure that you fully understand what I have said in regard to the outer primaries of the White-capped albatross. I have never to my knowledge stated that P9 + P10 on this species are fully dark. What I have said that the inner webs of these two primaries are grey (as in Salvin’s) not white as in the Shy. It is these white webs that create the white wedge extending almost to the wing tip in the Shy. Although these are grey in Salvin’s they are reflective under some lighting conditions (particularly when fresh) and may give the impression of a pale wedge in the outer wing tip, though not as clearly defined as in Shy.

    See: page 39 Identification of seabirds of the Southern Ocean a guide for scientific observers aboard fishing vessels Derek Onley and Sandy Bartle Te Papa Press Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa 1999.

  9. #9
    Hello Lindsay et al.,

    Sorry for my sloppiness: with "fully dark" I meant actually "not white". But it came even worse: I also reversed inner and outer webs in my comment. So, everyone, please ignore my statement above and refer to Lindsay's instead!

    Lindsay, do you think that the other bird is a White-cap, too? If yes, do you think that their primary patterns represent two extremes - one more Shy-like, the other more Salvin-like?

    Cheers,

    Nikolas

  10. #10
    Here are two further birds off Wollongong we had ID's as Salvin's in the past:

    September 2010 (there was some debate about this bird as far as I remember)
    http://www.adarman.com/Pelagics/2010...78505905_BREqJ

    October 2010
    http://www.adarman.com/Pelagics/2010...197_kdZsY-A-LB

    Finally, some more Salvin's from either side of the Tasman Sea:
    http://www.adarman.com/Birds/Albatro...18657671_TyZk6

    Cheers,

    Nikolas

  11. #11
    White-capped or Salvin’s?
    Hello Nikolas.
    To me personally, both of the birds that you have featured are White-capped albatrosses and both are birds of the year (fledglings) not long off the nest. (Top image shows slightly more wear on the face, hence whiter). Shy albatrosses of similar age would show a much whiter face.
    It is birds such as those above, which account for most of the miss-identified Salvin’s reported from NSW waters. In the past I have had cause to question any sightings of Salvin’s albatrosses in NSW waters, particularly in the months of August and September.
    In most cases when images of the supposed Salvin’s, have been supplied to me for confirmation of the species involved. They have usually been juvenile White-capped albatrosses as above.

    Salvin’s albatrosses of any age, are rare in NSW waters. Most head east across the Pacific Ocean to forage in the north flowing Humbolt Current off the west coast of South America.

    Cheers Lindsay

  12. #12
    Hi Lindsay et al.,

    Thanks for this comment - I believe you were commenting on the above posted photos (and not on the additional photos on Raja's website)?
    I had a look at the pictures again and realized that there were actually three different birds of interest. Indeed, the upper two pics show a different bird from the one in the bottom two pics (posted above on this thread). The additional bird I mentioned (orignally labeled "Shy" on Raja's website) is actually the third bird. The latter has a more typical White-capped-type underwing pattern than the bird in the second photo above...

    Cheers,

    Nikolas

  13. #13
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    Hi Nikolas,

    Maybe it would be clearer if a photo or 2 were posted in the thread, rather than on another site?

    Below is a juvenile Salvin's that was taken on the June 2010 SOSSA trip off Wollongong. The messy leading edge is noticable and the thumbprint is indistinct, at least compared to a Shy or White-capped. Being taken in June, it also eliminates fledging White-caps as well.

    Name:  Salvins Albatross - WGong June 2010.jpg
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  14. #14
    Storm-Petrel
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    Hi All,

    I remember the bird Brook posted above. It was a notable Gong day as we had two Salvin's Albatrosses that day. I have posted a typically substandard shot of an older bird than the one in Brook's photo (but still not a full adult). Just for another comparison of a Salvin's Alb underwing.

    Cheers DanName:  IMG_7527.jpg
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  15. #15
    Name:  Juvenile Salvin's Albatross_7cropped.jpg
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Size:  82.2 KBHi All,

    I thought I'd throw in some photos from the 26th July 2009 Wollongong pic. At the time this bird was identified as a juvenile Salvin's. Maybe this bird will spark some more debate?

    Cheers,
    Dean

    ***Sorry for duplicate pics - I tried to remove them in 'edit post', but couldn't figure it out***
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Last edited by DJPortelli; 27-08-2011 at 01:56 PM.

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