Difference between revisions of "XANTUS' MURRELET"

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* [[#ANACAPA ISLAND|ANACAPA ISLAND]]
 
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* [[#SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND|SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND]]
 
* [[#SAN MIGUEL ISLAND|SAN MIGUEL ISLAND]]
 
* [[#SAN MIGUEL ISLAND|SAN MIGUEL ISLAND]]
 
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===== SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND =====
 
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'''1984 San Clemente Island:'''  “Seal Cove and China Point both offer good breeding habitat for Xantus' murrelets (''Endomychura hypoleuca''), although there is only one breeding record (Jorgensen pers. com.).”  ''Recovery Plan for the endangered and threatened species of the California Channel Islands'' published by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon 1984.
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Latest revision as of 08:03, 7 November 2019

XANTUS’ MURRELETS (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus)

XANTUS’ MURRELETS (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus)[Brachyramphus hypoleucus] nest on six of the eight California Channel Islands. By far, the largest breeding population is found on Santa Barbara Island where they nest during the spring in burrows on the steep hillsides and cliffs. Numbering a few thousand, this is the largest known breeding population of Xantus’s murrelets in the world. When the chicks are 48 hours old, they instinctively leave their nests in the middle of the night and tumble down into the ocean. There they meet their parents and swim out to sea where they will spend the rest of their lives, returning to land only during nesting season. Xantus's murrelets are not known from San Nicolas or Santa Rosa islands. The species is named for Louis John XANTUS DE VESEY, Hungarian-born naturalist who sailed for America in 1851.


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As of August 2012, Xantus's Murrelet has been split into Scripps's Murrelet and Guadalupe Murrelet. The Scripps's Murrelet (Synthliboramphus scrippsi) breeds within Channel Islands National Park, while the Guadalupe Murrelet (Synthliboramphus hypoleucus) visits after breeding season. However, there are unconfirmed accounts of breeding on Santa Barbara Island. The face on Guadalupe Murrelet has the eye surrounded by white, making identification easier.

The Scripps's murrelet is a small bird. At under 10 inches in length, it is slightly smaller than an American robin. Adults have a 15-inch wingspan and weigh only six ounces. Black above and white on the chin, throat, and belly, Scripps's murrelet is very similar in appearance to Craveri's murrelet, a species that shares a similar range. The two are most easily separated in flight by the distinct white underwing of the Scripp's.

  • Scripps's murrelet come ashore only to breed, remaining at sea the rest of the year.
  • Channel Islands National Park has 80% of the U.S. breeding population of Scripps's murrelets.
  • Santa Barbara Island has the largest Scripps's murrelet colony in the United States, and possibly the world.
  • Scripps's murrelets nest primarily in natural rock crevices along steep edges around the periphery of islands.
  • Females lay two eggs containing 22% of her body weight which are incubated for about a month.
  • The chicks emerge from eggs fully feathered and well developed.
  • The chicks spend fewer than 48 hours at the nest site and are not fed.
  • A Scripps's murrelet chick will leave the nest for the open ocean at two days old tumbling down steep slopes and cliffs to reunite with parents in the water.
  • The Scripps's murrelet was listed as a threatened species by the state of California on December 22, 2004.


ANACAPA ISLAND
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Anacapa Island H. B. Webster WFVZ May 15, 1910 WFVZ-80896 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island (Cat Rock) H. C. Burt WFVZ May 15, 1911 WFVZ-80897 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island (Cat Rock) S. B. Peyton WFVZ May 12, 1912 WFVZ-113533 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island G. K. Snyder WFVZ July 5, 1912 WFVZ-47541 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem CAS May 21, 1913 CAS-75199 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus scrippsi Birds
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem DMNH May 21, 1913 DMNH-6097 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus scrippsi Birds
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem MVZ May 21, 1913 MVZ-101554 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus scrippsi Birds
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem UCLA May 21, 1913 UCLA-141 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus scrippsi Birds
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem UCLA May 21, 1913 UCLA-142 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus scrippsi Birds
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem NMNH May 21, 1913 USNM-263431 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus scrippsi Birds
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem WFVZ May 21, 1913 WFVZ-11324 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem WFVZ May 21, 1913 WFVZ-11325 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem WFVZ May 21, 1913 WFVZ-11326 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem CAS May 23, 1913 CAS-75201 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus scrippsi Birds
Anacapa Island D. R. Dickey YPM May 25, 1913 YPM-145996 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus Birds
Anacapa Island (Cat Rock) D. R. Dickey WFVZ May 25, 1913 WFVZ-11327 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem WFVZ May 25, 1913 WFVZ-11328 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem WFVZ May 25, 1913 WFVZ-11329 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island S. B. Peyton PSM June 11, 1915 PSM-14737 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island (Cat Rock) S. B. Peyton WFVZ June 11, 1915 WFVZ-80895 Brachytamphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island (Cat Rock) M. C. Badger WFVZ May 26, 1917 WFVZ-46438 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island L. G. Peyton FMNH May 19, 1919 FMNH-159084 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island (Cat Rock) Frank Harpold WFVZ March 14, 1927 WFVZ-92240 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island (Cat Rock) Frank Harpold WFVZ March 14, 1927 WFVZ-192146 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island S. B. Peyton WFVZ May 20, 1928 WFVZ-32106 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island A. J. Van Rossem WFVZ February 24, 1929 WFVZ-11324 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island J. E. Green SDNHM May 6, 1938 SDNHM-17932 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island J. E. Green SDNHM May 6, 1938 SDNHM-17933 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Anacapa Island J. E. Green SDNHM May 6, 1938 SDNHM-17934 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus Eggs


SAN CLEMENTE ISLAND

1984 San Clemente Island: “Seal Cove and China Point both offer good breeding habitat for Xantus' murrelets (Endomychura hypoleuca), although there is only one breeding record (Jorgensen pers. com.).” Recovery Plan for the endangered and threatened species of the California Channel Islands published by U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, Portland, Oregon 1984.


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
San Clemente Island J. T. Brollini LACM July 4, 2001 LACM-111806 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus scrippsi Bird


SAN MIGUEL ISLAND

1939: San Miguel Island: “Xantus' Murrelets (Endomychura hypoleuca) were not recorded from San Miguel Island until April 1939 when Sumner (1939) saw one bird on the water .03 km off Prince Island. Breeding was documented in 1968 when an incubating bird was found on Castle Rock, and a chick and six broken eggshells were found on Prince Island. [Marine Mammal and Seabird Survey of the Southern California Bight, Volume 3, Issue 3. University of California Santa Cruz et al., July 1978]”


SANTA BARBARA ISLAND

1897 Santa Barbara Island:Brachyramphus hypoleucus—Xantus's Murrelet. Common out in the channel between San Pedro and Catalina Island A specimen was secured May 13, near Santa Barbara, and others seen... Entire List of Water-Birds Observed. [March 26-April 4; May 11-June 9]. The party [of the second trip] consisted of Joseph Grinnell, who had immediate charge of the expedition, and gave special attention to the ornithology and entomology of the islands; Horace Gaylord, who collected mammals; and Harry Gaylord and James Brittan [Britton] who devoted their time to archaeology. The party left San Pedro harbor May 11 in a large fishing schooner... [returning June 9, 1897]”
Grinnell, Joseph The Islands of Santa Barbara, San Nicolas and San Clemente, in the Spring of 1897 Pasadena Academy of Sciences Publication No. 1, August, 1897 (26 pages).


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Barbara Island J. G. Cooper NMNH May 31, 1863 USNM-19106 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Santa Barbara Island J. E. Law NMNH March 29, 1918 USNM-489866 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus Eggs


SANTA CRUZ ISLAND

1907 Santa Cruz Island:Brachyramphus hypoleucus. Xantus Murrelet. One taken by Mr. Willett about one mile out from Cochas Pietres [Coches Prietos].” [“At 11:30 p. m., November 19, 1907, my father (H. Linton), Mr. George Willett, and myself left San Pedro harbor in a dilapidated fishing smack and in company with a crawfisherman, one “Cold-foot” Jorgensen. We arrived off the south end of Santa Cruz Island at 10:30 the following day during a stiff norwester. For various reasons we were unable to make camp until the 22nd. It may not be amiss to state here that twice during the blow we were nearly wrecked: once while at anchor in Potatoe Harbor, a broken anchor allowing the boat to drift within the breaker line and nearly onto the rocks. In this instance the timely arrival of Willett and H. Linton in a small boat, saved the day, and incidentally the fishing smack. At another time (the engine having broken down) we were blown nearly onto the rocks of Anacapa Island; but with father at the wheel and Willett and I on the “sheet” we managed to hold her off. I mention the foregoing, and the many sleepless nights spent on the rocky shores, “running” the surf several times each day (with attendant duckings), etc., merely as a warning to those who seem inclined to believe a field naturalists ’ life “strewn with roses”. (Its ’ generally strewn with cacti!)”]
Linton, C. B. Notes from Santa Cruz Island] The Condor 10(3):124-129, May 1908


ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Santa Cruz Island George Willett LACM November 28, 1907 LACM-5039 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus scrippsi Birds
Santa Cruz Island M. C. Badger WFVZ May 20, 1920 WFVZ-92441 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island M. C. Badger WFVZ May 20, 1928 WFVZ-192147 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island M. C. Badger WFVZ May 20, 1928 WFVZ-992441 Brachyramphus hypoleucus scrippsi Eggs
Santa Cruz Island M. C. Badger WFVZ May 22, 1938 WFVZ-46435 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island M. C. Badger WFVZ May 22, 1938 WFVZ-46437 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island L. T. Stevens SBMNH May 25, 1941 SBMNH-22946 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Santa Cruz Island L. T. Stevens SBMNH May 25, 1941 SBMNH-250815 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus Eggs


ISLAS CORONADOS
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Islas Coronados C. O. Reis MVZ June 2, 1915 MVZ-5816 Synthliboramphus hypoleucus scrippsi Eggs
Islas Coronados Irwin D. Nokes WFVZ June 3, 1915 WFVZ-22894 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Islas Coronados Irwin D. Nokes WFVZ June 3, 1915 WFVZ-92443 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Islas Coronados C. O. Reis SDNHM June 4, 1915 SDNHM-21825 Synthliboramphus scrippsi scrippsi Birds
Islas Coronados C. O. Reis SDNHM June 5, 1915 SDNHM-21824 Synthliboramphus scrippsi scrippsi Birds
Islas Coronados Irwin D. Nokes WFVZ June 5, 1915 WFVZ-45982 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Islas Coronados Irwin D. Nokes WFVZ June 5, 1915 WFVZ-45983 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Islas Coronados Irwin D. Nokes WFVZ June 5, 1915 WFVZ-45984 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Islas Coronados Irwin D. Nokes WFVZ June 5, 1915 WFVZ-75907 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Islas Coronados Irwin D. Nokes WFVZ June 5, 1915 WFVZ-75908 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Islas Coronados Irwin D. Nokes WFVZ June 5, 1915 WFVZ-92442 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Islas Coronados Irwin D. Nokes WFVZ June 5, 1915 WFVZ-92444 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs


ISLAS SAN BENITO
ISLAND COLLECTOR INSTITUTION DATE NUMBER SPECIMEN
Islas San Benito Chase Littlejohn WFVZ March 9, 1899 WFVZ-92420 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs
Islas San Benito Chase Littlejohn WFVZ March 10, 1899 WFVZ-11165 Brachyramphus hypoleucus Eggs



In the News~

July 25, 1917 [SBMP]: “Island birds described by U. C. Interesting bulletin tells of beauties of archipelago... When the young Xantus murrelet first tries to swim in the sea at three or four days old, big fish devour a good many, despite the surprising aquatic skills of the fledglings.”