Monday, 30 March 2015

B.O.T.D. Pink-Footed Shearwater

Pink-Footed Shearwater (Puffinus creatopus)

Shearwaters are long-winged seabirds that fly with shallow, rapid wingbeats and stiff-winged glides. Outside the breeding season, Pink-Footed Shearwaters are birds of the open ocean, generally seen on land only infrequently. Among swarms of other shearwaters encountered at sea from April to November, the Pink-Footed Shearwater is second only to the Sooty Shearwater as the most common shearwater off Canada's Pacific Coast. Although they tend to stay well off-shore, small numbers of Pink-Footed Shearwaters may be seen  from strategic coastal locations with the aid of a telescope.

Once their nesting duties are complete, Pink-foots migrate north along the continental shelf in search of large schools of fish and squid. They prefer to forage along the edge of the continental shelf where upwellings of cold water occur and marine life is plentiful. As is true with other members of the shearwater family, Pink-Foots assemble with astonishing quickness at any food source. They will closely approach any boat if food of any description is tossed overboard. They regularly dive up to three meters below the surface to catch prey, and have even been known to dive to depths of 25 meters in pursuit of food.

Reader's Digest Book of North American Birds