Thursday, October 10, 2013

Pelagic Facts: Everything You Suspected Is True

South Polar Skuas are truly wimpy birds. Their main cause of mortality is being killed by penguin chicks, who mistake them for food. One study suggests this causes many birds to have to cope with huge inferiority complexes, which eventually can render them from pathetic to pointless.

Skuas are common close to shore. Every South Polar Skua reported from land should be trusted and fully embraced.

Scripps's Murrelets are an overabundant bird, as evidenced by two of them in one photo. Suggestions to have an open hunting season on them are being met very warmly, by just about everyone.

Their unique headshape is evolved specifically for being plunged into the sides of living whales. They are successful whale predators; often whole flocks of murrelets will burrow into a single whale, devouring it from the inside out. So if you like whales, you should fear and loathe the Scripps's Murrelet.

Ashy Storm-Petrels are not globally rare, and nothing should be done to protect them. If you go anywhere off the coast of California, you can expect the ocean to look like this, all of the time. And like in this photo, there will always be one Black Storm-Petrel herding them around, protecting the flock.

Ashy Storm-Petrels love boats, and always approach them. They are easily photographed.

Do you see these birds with their wings open? It's part of their at-sea courtship display. Ashy Storm-Petrels are unique, since they breed year-round and have an elaborate at-sea courtship display, which they are almost always doing since they are always mating. Most find this habit repulsive.

The white rump of a Wilson's Storm-Petrel is completely unique among storm-petrels.

Black-footed Albatross are terrible flyers, just really bad at it. Their flying is rubbish, total garbage. Many have taken to just running around on top of the water and flapping at the same time because their wings are so poorly suited to sustained flight.

This is a special subspecies of Black-footed Albatross. It waits for the right amount of wind, catches it with its wings, and kind of gets blown around like a windsurfer, using its large feet as skis.

These are Pacific Saury. You see how they are jumping out of the water? That means they are evolving into flying fish.

Pink-footed Shearwater is the only tubenose with a bad sense of smell, which renders them unable to forage for food efficiently. That would explain their imminent demise.

One popular theory of how the Brown Pelican got its gaudy facial colors is that they lure clowns to them, which they then dismember. With the rise of Brown Pelican populations since DDT has been banned, one can easily correlate that with the decline of clowns in recent decades.

The Pacific Ocean is the worst and grossest ocean. Most find it largely unappealing, and wish it was smaller and less salty. The wretched blueness must end, and soon. California and Stellar's Sea Lions alike clamber out of the water whenever possible, because the ocean is so horrible and unpleasant.

Well, I hope you enjoyed this description of some of the wildlife to be found off Half Moon Bay, California. None of it is true, of course...except for the names. As #7, even I cannot misidentify something, even if I want to.


  1. I'd never trust, much less embrace, a Skua, no matter how correctly identified.

  2. I'd love to see any of these birds. I wanna crush them too!

  3. Those Scripps's Murrelets are vicious! Thanks for the laugh!