Hi Dick and all,

I think it's fair to say that the multi-hundreds of Great Shearwaters observed 
from the Nassau County shoreline on 18 June were off course. The species is 
entirely absent from this area for years at a time (I'd never previously seen 
even one from shore in Nassau in over twenty years), and the sum total of 
records over all time is vastly lower the numbers seen in just a few hours. 
Thus, their extreme concentration in a small area where they are ordinarily 
completely absent requires explanation. The fact that they were starving 
explains why many birds died, but alone it doesn't account for why they were 
bunched up in the New York Bight, rather than dispersing over a broader area of 
nearby waters they typically inhabit. All else equal, in the absence of food, 
one would expect widely foraging pelagic birds either to spread out randomly, 
or possibly to orient directly for traditionally productive areas, such as 
Block Canyon, Georges Bank, etc.--if they could. Food shortage alone doesn't 
account for the unprecedented densities inshore in the New York Bight, unless 
they were actively seeking food in this unusual area, with seems very unlikely. 
I think they were starving, tried to keep moving, and wound up following a path 
of least resistance that brought them to where we encountered them. 

Shai Mitra
Bay Shore
________________________________________
From: bounce-121659418-3714...@list.cornell.edu 
[bounce-121659418-3714...@list.cornell.edu] on behalf of Richard Veit 
[rrvei...@gmail.com]
Sent: Saturday, July 15, 2017 3:31 PM
To: Ardith Bondi
Cc: NYSBIRDS; eBirdsnyc
Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Fwd: A Mystery of Seabirds, Blown Off Course and 
Starving - The New York Times

i don't see any evidence of birds being "blown off course".  Starving, yes, and 
this seems likely due to shortage or lack of food, perhaps related to changing 
climate.  But wrecks of great shearwaters of roughly similar magnitude have 
been occurring episodically for years, perhaps moreso in Massachusetts than on 
long island

On Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 12:12 PM, Ardith Bondi 
<ard...@earthlink.net<mailto:ard...@earthlink.net>> wrote:
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