New Species of Storm-Petrel Found?

To: robert morris <>, geoff jones <>, birding aus <>
Subject: New Species of Storm-Petrel Found?
From: Nikolas Haass <>
Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2010 19:32:30 -0700 (PDT)
Hi Geoff, Rob et al.,

We are still discussing the various 
streaked Storm-Petrels observed late March 2010 in NSW (Port Stephens 
and Ulladulla) and 2008 and 2010 near Noumea. There are many un-answered 
questions (apparently the Port Stephens bird may be the only "true" NZSP). 
Since we have neither morphological nor DNA data nor a real 
population of these "unusual" birds, I would be very careful calling the Noumea 
bird a new species.

Nikolas Haass

Sydney, NSW

----- Original Message ----
From: robert morris <>
To: geoff jones <>; birding aus 
Sent: Wed, April 14, 2010 11:53:57 AM
Subject: RE: [Birding-Aus] New Species of Storm-Petrel Found?

In case people can't follow the link (I had difficulties as the 's' was 
missing) - here is the text. 

Could this be what the Ulladulla (NZ Storm-Petrel) bird was? The underwing 
sounds similar - how was the size of the Ulladulla bird? Perhaps it was a first 
record after all!!!?

Heritage Expeditions find new species:

Big news from our Western Pacific Odyssey voyage is that we have seen the 
strange New Zealand Storm Petrel-type bird at more or less exactly the same 
spot off New Caledonia again this morning and everyone got excellent views.  
The position is about 20nm or so off Noumea.
Whilst the bird is superficially like an New Zealand Storm Petrel (eg white on 
the belly with streaks), I am now convinced that it is not this species.  At 
one stage this morning, the bird came extremely close to the ship and was also 
seen flying with a Wilson’s stormy around our chum slick.  It is definitely a 
significantly bigger bird than a Wilson’s which should not be the case if it 
was an New Zealand Storm Petrel.  This was the suspicion in 2008 (the year we 
first saw it) but we chose to be cautious then (eg in the Birding World 
article) and at the time wondered if we had a large New Zealand Storm Petrel 
and a small Wilson’s.  We are now sure that this is not the case.  Heritage 
Expedition guides Adam Walleyn and Chris Collis were, for example, asked at the 
time whether the bird could be a Polynesian Storm Petrel which gives an idea as 
to how large it was perceived to be.
To draw an analogy (which a lot of people may find somewhat gripping !!) this 
bird is as different from an New Zealand Storm Petrel as Beck’s Petrel is from 
a Tahiti !!!!
Other things to mention are that the bird seemed to have long and “pointy” 
wings and there is no foot projection in any of the photos which were taken of 
it, something which is invariably seen in a New Zealand Storm Petrel  The tail 
also seems long and the underwing pattern is different from a New Zealand Storm 
Petrel, ie less white.
The above comments are the consensus of the group rather and there are some 
really good and experienced seabirders on this voyage, some of whom have 
extensive experience of the Fregattas – something we believe this bird is not.

Rob Morris 

Brisbane, Australia 

> From: 
> To: 
> Date: Wed, 14 Apr 2010 09:25:44 +1000
> Subject: [Birding-Aus] New Species of Storm-Petrel Found?
> Last night I made enquiries for the trip to Macquarie Island and this news
> popped up

> Regards Geoff
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