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Crested Auklet Aethia cristatella as a prey item in an inland Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus nest


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We report Crested Auklet Aethia cristatella as a prey item of a Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus nesting in inland western Alaska. This represents the first documented case as a Gyrfalcon prey item during the breeding season in North America, and the fourth documented case of inland movements of Crested Auklet. The presence of the auklet in the Gyrfalcon nest is notable due to the distance (105 km) to the nearest coastline. Weather likely caused the inland movement of the auklet. Because of the connection between weather events and inland movements of alcids, and the predicted increase and severity of weather due to climate change, continued reporting of inland movements may serve as a measure of change and its impacts on seabirds. Continued use of nest cameras to monitor raptor diet during nesting may also serve as a sampling tool for capturing similar instances of inland movements, and complement the use of eBird for sightings of live birds in understudied areas to gain a better understanding of the frequency of inland movements in the family Alcidae.
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Robinson & Anderson: Crested Auklet as a prey item of Gyrfalcon 229
Marine Ornithology 44: 229–231 (2016)
The family Alcidae primarily inhabit coastlines and open ocean,
remaining on saltwater for the majority of their lives. Only a few
species, such as Kittlitz’s Brachyramphus brevirostris and Marbled
B. marmoratus murrelets, breed inland (Nelson 1997, Day et al.
1999). Alcids are highly specialized for a life on the ocean and
rarely make inland movements; such movements are most often
facilitated by mechanisms of vagrancy (Munyer 1965, Sealy &
Carter 2004).
The Crested Auklet Aethia cristatella is an alcid that breeds on
Bering Sea islands, wintering almost entirely in the Bering Sea and
adjacent North Pacific Ocean (USFWS 2006).
A total of 43 nesting colonies are known, with highest numbers
of breeding birds in the northern Bering Sea and the western
Aleutian Islands (World Seabird Union 2016). Crested Auklets
rarely wander, with relatively low numbers of documented vagrancy
relative to other alcids (Weyman 1980, Sealy & Carter 2012). Inland
movements of Crested Auklet have been reported in the literature
on only three occasions, the most recent report being 64 years ago.
On one occasion, a hatch-year bird wandered inland 130 km and
struck an antenna near Nulato, Alaska, on the Yukon-Kuskokwim
Delta in September 1937 (Geist 1939). On the second occasion,
a dead bird was salvaged on a road about 160 km inland near
Vance, Washington, on 29 June 1937 (Nickelsen 1942). On the
third occasion, four adults were found grounded <2 km inland at
Hooper Bay, Alaska, during a storm in June 1952 (Humphrey &
Phillips 1958).
Here, we document an adult Crested Auklet as a prey item of an
inland-nesting Gyrfalcon. This represents the fourth documented
1Raptor Research Center at Boise State University, 1910 University Drive, Boise, ID, USA (
2The Peregrine Fund, 5668 W Flying Hawk Lane, Boise, ID, USA
Received 26 April 2016, accepted 1 July 2016
ROBINSON, B.W. & ANDERSON, D.L. 2016. Crested Auklet Aethia cristatella as a prey item in an inland Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus nest.
Marine Ornithology 44: 237–239.
We report Crested Auklet Aethia cristatella as a prey item of a Gyrfalcon Falco rusticolus nesting in inland western Alaska. This represents
the first documented case as a Gyrfalcon prey item during the breeding season in North America, and the fourth documented case of inland
movements of Crested Auklet. The presence of the auklet in the Gyrfalcon nest is notable due to the distance (105 km) to the nearest coastline.
Weather likely caused the inland movement of the auklet. Because of the connection between weather events and inland movements of alcids,
and the predicted increase and severity of weather due to climate change, continued reporting of inland movements may serve as a measure
of change and its impacts on seabirds. Continued use of nest cameras to monitor raptor diet during nesting may also serve as a sampling
tool for capturing similar instances of inland movements, and complement the use of eBird for sightings of live birds in understudied areas
to gain a better understanding of the frequency of inland movements in the family Alcidae.
Key words: Alaska, Aethia cristatella, Crested Auklet, Falco rusticolus, Gyrfalcon, inland movement, predation
case of inland movements for this species, as well as the first
documentation of Crested Auklet as a prey item for Gyrfalcon
during the nestling period in North America.
The study area consists of 14 150 km2 of the Seward Peninsula,
Alaska, described by Bente (2011). The landscape is Arctic
tundra, dominated by low-lying vegetation in coastal and highland
areas, and by dense willow Salix spp. and alder Alnus spp.
thickets along riparian corridors. Topography consists of rolling
tundra interspersed with mountainous terrain, numerous rock
outcroppings, and cliff-lined river systems. The study area provides
abundant nesting habitat for Gyrfalcons, with an annual mean of
35 (range 31 to 39) occupied breeding territories between 2005
and 2010 (Bente 2011). In summer 2015, we installed Reconyx
PC800 motion-activated cameras at 13 occupied Gyrfalcon nests
to monitor prey deliveries during the nestling period. Motion
activation in the nest cameras was programmed at high sensitivity
to take three rapid photographs, followed by a 15 s sleep period, and
one motion-independent time-lapse photograph recurring every 15
min. All nest-camera photographs were automatically time-stamped
with the local time (Alaska Daylight Time; AKDT). Observations
detailed here focus on an inland nest located 105 km from the
nearest coastline. The nest site is a small stick nest approximately
15 m above a slow-flowing river, surrounded by open grassy tundra
and rolling hills.
On 2 July 2015 at 17h14, a nest camera captured the delivery of a
Crested Auklet to three nestlings 44 d old (Fig. 1). The presence
of the Crested Auklet in the Gyrfalcon nest is peculiar, given the
230 Robinson & Anderson: Crested Auklet as a prey item of Gyrfalcon
Marine Ornithology 44: 229–231 (2016)
distance of the Gyrfalcon nest to the nearest coastline (~105 km),
and the further distance of the nearest auklet breeding colony
(~160 km). Little is known about the hunting range of Gyrfalcon
during nesting, apart from ranges of 15 km and 20 km stated in
the literature (White & Cade 1971, Nielsen 2011). Either distance
negates the possibility of a Gyrfalcon flying 105 km to the ocean to
predate a seabird. It is more likely that the presence of the Crested
Auklet in this Gyrfalcon nest was a result of the inland wandering of
the auklet. However, it is still peculiar that a seabird with a breeding
home range restricted to Bering Sea Islands would wander so far
inland during the height of its breeding cycle.
The closest known location of a Crested Auklet colony is on King
Island, a distance of approximately 160 km from the Gyrfalcon
nest site (World Seabird Union 2016). Additionally, the Gyrfalcon
nest was approximately 105 km from the nearest coastline. To gain
a perspective on Crested Auklet movements in summer 2015, we
investigated all eBird records from the southern Seward Peninsula
during the summer breeding months. We found only one sighting of
three birds at Nome Harbor in June 2015, which is 116 km south-
southwest from the Gyrfalcon nest site and represents the only
coastal sighting for the region in 2015 (eBird 2015). Other regional
coastal eBird records include eight sightings (in 1993, and 2012 to
2013) 105 km southeast of the Gyrfalcon nest site, along the Safety
Sound coastline on the southern coast of the Seward Peninsula.
Alcids have previously been documented in diets of Gyrfalcon during
the breeding season (Nielsen 2003, 2011). Although Gyrfalcon is
listed as a predator of Crested Auklet in the literature for North
America, no accounts are cited, nor are any details provided (Jones
1993). Gyrfalcons are sympatric with Crested Auklet in Alaska
during the nonbreeding season and have been documented hunting
alcids in places of sympatry, such as Buldir Island on the Aleutian
Archipelago (Byrd & Day 1986). However, there is no mention of
Gyrfalcon predation on Crested Auklet during the breeding months
(May to August) in North America, likely because the breeding
ranges of the two species do not overlap. However, in Chukotka,
Russia, directly west of the Seward Peninsula and the Bering Sea,
Crested Auklet have been reported as frequent Gyrfalcon prey items
(Konyukhov 1990).
Weather is generally considered the primary cause of inland
occurrences of alcids and is the most likely explanation of the
occurrence of the Crested Auklet as a prey item in an inland
Gyrfalcon nest (Geist 1939, Sealy & Carter 2004, 2012). We
accessed local weather conditions for the date the Crested Auklet
appeared in the Gyrfalcon nest to investigate whether weather
was the likely cause of the inland movement. Nome weather data
indicated a peak wind speed for 2 July of 33.84 km/h from a
direction of 240° (southwest) for the day of the auklet prey delivery
(Menne et al. 2016). Data also indicated fog and precipitation of
0.5 mm. We also checked nest-camera images from other Gyrfalcon
nests nearest to the coast for 1 July and 2 July to elucidate the coastal
conditions near to the nest of the observation. Nest-camera images
from a nest approximately 23 km from the nearest coastline and 98
km from the nest of the observation indicate wind, precipitation,
and fog for the day before and the day of the Crested Auklet
delivery. Additionally, nest-camera images from the nest nearer to
the coast show an adult female Gyrfalcon brooding nestlings 22 d
old, an uncommon behavior at this stage of nestling development,
which further supports the severity of the weather for these dates.
It has been suggested that seabirds survive storms by staying on
the wing; they are carried through dense fog and rain, which may
disorient them, resulting in accidental inland movements (Geist
1939). Weather—likely a combination of precipitation, fog and
moderate winds—as the proximate cause of disorientation is the
most likely explanation of the inland wandering of this auklet.
The report of this Crested Auklet 105 km inland is notable for
two reasons. First, the observation was documented by camera
monitoring of a Gyrfalcon nest, without which the auklet would
have gone undetected. Continued monitoring of raptor diet during
nesting in this region can provide a tool for capturing inland
movements in an understudied area, allowing further insight
into similar instances of vagrancy. Second, we found only three
previously published records of inland movements by Crested
Auklet: one instance of four birds occurred 2 km inland, and the
other two occurred >100 km inland. Our observation thus represents
only the fourth published record of this species occurring inland, a
peculiar observation for a pelagic bird during the nesting season.
Global predictions include increases in climate variability and
changes in the frequency and strength of severe weather events
(Easterling 2000, Smith 2011, Vose et al. 2014). These predictions
have recently received increased attention because they may
represent some of the most important aspects of global change
impacts on ecosystem structure. Connecting novel weather events
or disturbances in the regular weather regimes with their effects
on bird life is important in fully understanding the impacts of
global change. For alcids, the frequency of inland movements may
serve as one measure of the effects of increased weather events
on population dynamics and stability. The frequency of inland
windblown or disoriented birds may increase with the frequency
and severity of weather events due to climate change. Along with
continued and increased camera monitoring in raptor nests, the use
of resources such as eBird will undoubtedly aid in recording inland
movements of alcids. However, in instances of mortality such as
this report, eBird submission is inappropriate. Therefore, published
documentation is necessary and may facilitate a complete picture of
Fig. 1. Crested Auklet (insert) in a Gyrfalcon nest, as captured by
a motion-activated camera installed to record prey use during the
nestling period, Seward Peninsula, Alaska, 2015. The Gyrfalcon
nest is a stick platform located along a river, 105 km from the
nearest open ocean and 160 km from the nearest known Crested
Auklet breeding colony.
Robinson & Anderson: Crested Auklet as a prey item of Gyrfalcon 231
Marine Ornithology 44: 229–231 (2016)
irregular movements in areas that receive relatively little attention
from birders and field biologists.
We thank the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, including Peter
Bente and Travis Booms, for their support. Thanks to Ellen Whittle
for her help conducting field work and to John Earthman for support
with field logistics. We thank David Ainley and an anonymous
reviewer for helpful comments and suggestions that improved the
manuscript. We also thank the Eppley Foundation for Research for
providing necessary funding for this study.
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Full-text available
We studied the avifauna of Buldir Island, Aleutian Islands, Alaska, between 1972 and 1984. During the study 126 forms of 125 species were recorded, including first North American records for 6 species and first Aleutian records for 4 others. Due to the absence of mammalian predators and rich food resources nearby, 32 species, 21 of them seabirds, bred at Buldir. Breeding populations totaled approximately 1.8 million pairs of birds, primarily storm-petrels (Oceanodroma spp.) and auklets (Aethia spp.). Buldir's suite of breeding alcids - 12 species - may be the most diverse of any seabird colony in the world. Our data on migrants suggest that Buldir is near the eastern edge of the Japan-Kuril Islands-Kamchatka flyway. All migrant and breeding species recorded are discussed in an annotated list. Key words: Buldir Island, Aleutian Islands, Beringia region, zoogeography, breeding birds, migrant birds, Bering Sea, subarctic seabirds
Full-text available
I have studied the population ecology of the Gyrfalcon (Falco rusticolus) since 1981 on a 5,300-km 2 study area in northeast Iceland harbouring 83 traditional Gyrfalcon territories. The main questions addressed relate to the predator–prey relationship of the Gyrfalcon and its main prey, the Rock Ptarmigan (Lagopus muta). Specifically, how does the Gyrfalcon respond func-tionally and numerically to changes in ptarmigan numbers? Field work involved an annual census to determine occupancy of Gyrfalcon territories, breeding success, and food. Also, Rock Ptarmi-gan were censused annually on six census plots within the study area. The Rock Ptarmigan pop-ulation showed multi-annual cycles, with peaks in 1986, 1998 and 2005. Cycle period was 11 or 12 years based on the 1981−2003 data. The Gyrfalcon in Iceland is a resident specialist predator and the Rock Ptarmigan is the main food in all years. The functional response curve was just slightly concave but ptarmigan densities never reached levels low enough to reveal the lower end of the trajectory. Occupancy rate of Gyrfalcon territories followed Rock Ptarmigan numbers with a 3−4 year time-lag. Gyrfalcons reproduced in all years, and all measures of Gyrfalcon breeding success—laying rate, success rate, mean brood size, and population productivity—were signifi-cantly related to March and April weather and to Rock Ptarmigan density. The Gyrfalcon data show characteristics suggesting that the falcon could be one of the forces driving the Rock Ptarmi-gan cycle (resident specialist predator, time-lag). The Iceland Gyrfalcon and Rock Ptarmigan data are the longest time series on the Gyrfalcon–Rock Ptarmigan relationship, and the only series that indicate a coupled predator–prey cycle for the falcon and its ptarmigan prey.
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This scientific assessment examines changes in three climate extremes (extratropical storms, winds, and waves), with an emphasis on U.S. coastal regions during the cold season. There is moderate evidence of an increase in both extratropical storm frequency and intensity during the cold season in the Northern Hemisphere since 1950, with suggestive evidence of geographic shifts resulting in slight upward trends in off-shore/coastal regions. There is also suggestive evidence of an increase in extreme winds (at least annually) over parts of the ocean since the early-to-mid 1980s, but the evidence over the U.S. land surface is inconclusive. Finally, there is moderate evidence of an increase in extreme waves in winter along the Pacific coast since the 1950s, but along other U.S. shorelines any tendencies are of modest magnitude compared with historical variability. The data for extratropical cyclones are considered to be of relatively high quality for trend detection whereas the data for extreme winds and waves are judged to be of intermediate quality. In terms of physical causes leading to multidecadal changes, the level of understanding for both extratropical storms and extreme winds is considered to be relatively low while that for extreme waves is judged to be intermediate. Since the ability to measure these changes with some confidence is relatively recent, understanding is expected to improve in the future for a variety of reasons, including increased periods of record and the development of “climate reanalysis” projects.
In some years, inland "wrecks" of Dovekies (Alle alle) have occurred in northeastern North America in November to February, with birds apparently driven inland by storms from wintering areas off eastern Canada and the northeastern United States. In the late 19th century, small numbers also were recorded inland in September in Maine (1869), Massachusetts (1872), Connecticut (1874), and Pennsylvania (1878). No inland occurrences in September were recorded for another 90 years until individuals were sighted in Québec (1962 and 1963) and on Lake Ontario in upstate New York (1983). September birds arrived inland earlier in the year than when most individuals depart colonies in the High Arctic and move to wintering areas in the northwest Atlantic Ocean. However, the geographic pattern of September inland occurrences was similar to major late-fall and winter inland wrecks, suggesting a common source area. Dovekies reported inland in September likely originated from among the small numbers of subadults that summered off Newfoundland or subadults or failed breeders that moved southward from breeding areas before molting, and were not long-distance vagrants.
The purpose of this work is to determine interannual variability in abundance, occu-pancy, distribution, and nesting success of Gyrfalcons (Falco rusticolus) and other cliff-nesting raptors within 14,150 km 2 of the Seward Peninsula in western Alaska. From 2005 through 2010, comprehensive helicopter surveys were used for annual inspections of 679 discrete rock cliffs typ-ically occupied by raptors within the study area. Based on 1,372 cumulative nesting events at 454 unique locations, Gyrfalcons comprised 18% of total raptor occupancy, ranging from 40 – 43 loca-tions annually. Individual Gyrfalcon observations (n = 250) show use of 154 separate cliff loca-tions by single birds (16%; n=39), unsuccessful pairs (11%; n=28), and successful pairs (73%; n=183). Nest types and usage included: cliff stick nests constructed by other raptors and ravens, 73%; rock ledges, 16%; man-made structures, 7%; and tree stick nests, 2%. Mean nearest neighbor distances varied from 8.8 to 10.0 km with distances ranging from 0.8 to 37.6 km indicating that both clustered and dispersed nesting are characteristics of this area, each strongly influenced by local topography, dissected rock cliffs and broad lowland areas with no cliffs. Clustering of closely spaced alternate nesting locations yields 96 unique nesting areas with minimal interannual overlap and maximum distance separation among occupied sites, suggesting that pairs have relatively high rates of movement to 'new' nesting areas in successive years. Based on iterative counts of pair occupancy at the same location (n=248 nesting events), the majority were occupied 1 year (n=79 nesting events) before becoming vacant. Longer periods of pair occupancy were observed at 30 locations with 2-year tenure (n=60), 14 locations with 3-year (n=42), 8 locations with 4-year (n=32), 4 locations with 5-year (n=20) and 3 locations with 6-year occupancy (n=18). Since abun-dance of pairs is stable through time, the high frequency of 1-year nesting events suggests variable site selection and low nest site tenacity among pairs. Gyrfalcon occupancy ranged from 31–39 pairs, yielding a maximum nesting density of 2.7 pairs per 1,000 km 2 . Successful pairs varied annually from 72–93% of total occupied locations; brood size (n=183 locations with nestlings) ranged from 2.35–2.70 young/successful pair (1.50–2.23 young/total pair). Hatch dates ranged from 7 May to 27 June with low intra-or interannual nesting synchrony and little evidence of recycling due to nesting failure. Brood size rates are probably minimum values due to errors asso-ciated with finding or counting nestlings from an aerial survey platform. Even if brood rates assessed in June decline as fledging approaches, the observed values remain high enough to explain the stability of numbers and pairs in the Seward Peninsula population. Received 28 Feb-ruary 2011, accepted 22 July 2011. 295 GYRFALCONS, Falco rusticolus, largest of fal-cons, are characterized by their Arctic distribu-tion, large size, and wide color variation ranging from white to very dark plumages. They have a broad circumpolar nesting distri-bution and are typically found nesting above the timberline in remote tundra environs punc-tuated with rock cliff habitats. Interest in this species is keen due to its Arctic associations, remote nesting locations, inaccessibility, predatory skills and relationships, and color variation. Aspects of general biology, distribu-tion, ecology, behavior, and species character-istics in North America are summarized by Clum and Cade (1994) and revised by Booms and Cade (2008). Additionally, Potapov and Sale (2005) present worldwide information and give detailed descriptions for a wide vari-ety of biological and historical topics. Within Alaska, distributional and ecological studies of Gyrfalcons have been completed along the Colville River (Cade 1960), Alaska Range (Bente 1981), and Seward Peninsula (Roseneau 1972, Walker 1977, Kessel 1989). A statewide summary of abundance in Alaska has estimated the population at 375–635 pairs (Swem et al. 1994). Satellite telemetry of juve-nile Gyrfalcons from the Seward Peninsula, Alaska, has been reported by McIntyre et al. (1994). Of the known occurrence of Gyrfal-cons in Alaska, the Seward Peninsula repre-sents an important area with high densities and improved access allowing for additional study of this species.
On September 21 or 22, 1937, an apparently immature Crested Auklet (Aetkia cristatella) flew against the radio antenna of the Government Radio Station at Nulato on the Yukon River, Alaska. Mr. F. Alba, who worked near-by, picked up the bird, saved its skin, and brought same to me on October 23,1937. Mr. 0. J. Murie of the U. S. Biological Survey identified it for me. Nulato is rather far inland from the sea. The nearest point on Norton Sound, Bering Sea, in a straight line and leading over fairly high mountain ranges (the highest are about 3500 feet in altitude according to Mr. S. E. Robbins, pilot for the Pacific Alaska Airways), is about 85 miles. Following the winding valley of the great Yukon River from its north mouth to Nulato, however, the distance at once increases to about 580 miles. Most likely, weather conditions have a great deal to do with such unusual flights as this. I contacted Mr. R. Frost, Chief of the Fairbanks Government Weather Station, who furnished me with the following data pertaining to the particular days during which the flight must have been made. "There is enclosed a summary of the weather conditions that prevailed over the lower Yukon river country last September. As you will note, only scant information is available. The lower Yukon region is so large and we receive so little information from there that it is difficult to prepare a general summary of the weather conditions for this region. I doubt if the summary enclosed will be of much assistance to you; however, it contains all the information that is available." Weather Summary for the Lower Yukon and Kuskokwim river regions from September 18 to 21, 1937, inclusive: "During the second week of September a pronounced storm center moved eastward across Bering Sea and on the 16th it was located a short distance southwest of the mouth of the Kuskokwim River. The storm area caused unsettled weather throughout the lower Yukon and Kuskok-wim river regions. Surface winds were light variable. Moderate to fresh easterly winds prevailed aloft at both Fairbanks and Nome. Stations in this area reported heavy low stratus clouds with rain and fog. Fair weather prevailed in the Seward Peninsula as well as in the region around Fairbanks. These weather conditions continued through the 18th, and for the next week fair weather prevailed. Early morning fog was reported at some stations alongthe lower Yukon River. The surface winds continued light and variable while moderate westerly winds prevailed aloft. No weather reports were received from points along the coast of Norton Sound. "No precipitation or fog was reported at St. Paul Island during the entire period. Up to the 18th the winds at St. Paul were light but on the 19th they increased and strong southeast winds were reported. On the 20th and Zlst the winds shifted to northeast and increased to gale force. Very little wind was reported at Nome during the period. On the 18th the maximum velocity recorded was 11 miles per hour from the west. Light variable winds were recorded during the next week. On the 21st the maximum velocity was only 10 m.p.h. from the southwest. The winds aloft at Nome were mod-erate westerly. At Fairbanks light to gentle variable winds were recorded except on the afternoon of the 19th when moderate southwesterly winds prevailed. The maximum velocity on that date was 18 m.p.h. from the southwest. "The lower Yukon and Kuskokwim region includes a vast territory from which few weather reports are obtainable. There are no weather stations along the Yukon River below Nulato, and no weather reports were received from stations along the vast coast of Siberia or along the east coast of Norton Sound during the period in question." (Signed) R. L. Frost, Asst. Meteorologist.
Two specimens of adult Crested Auklet (Aethia cristatella) have been taken at sea in the North Atlantic Ocean: (1) near Iceland in August 1912 and (2) near Nuuk (formerly Godthåb), southwest Greenland between 1986 and 1972. An adult Parakeet Auklet (A. psittacula) was taken at Lake Vättern, Sweden in December 1860. These rare inter-ocean vagrants probably traveled from the Chukchi Sea east through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago to the Atlantic Ocean and may have arrived long before they were collected. Breeding distributions, limited post-breeding movements, weather patterns, timing and plumage of Atlantic and Pacific vagrants, small number of Atlantic vagrant records and the lack of inland records of these species east of Alaska in North America, support this route. Information about rare occurrences of auklets in the Atlantic Ocean enhances our knowledge of overall patterns of rare long-distance vagrancy versus more frequent vagrancy in alcids and other seabirds.
HE Ancient Murrelet (Synthliboramphus antiquus) has been reported from widely scattered areas of the United States and Canada. In an attempt to understand a recent record of this Pacific alcid in Illinois, I made an intensive search of the literature but found no generally inclusive dis- cussion of these wanderings. This paper, therefore, reviews the inland distribution of Ancient Murrelets in North America, relates the distribution to weather conditions, and presents a hypothesis concerning the direction of inland movements. Normal range.-Ancient Murrelets live along the coasts and offshore islands of the North Pacific from Japan and the western coast of the United States northward. They breed "from the Komandorskie Islands and Kam- chatka to Amurland, Sakhalin, the Kurile Islands, Korea, and Dagelet Island; and from the Aleutian, Sanak, and Kodiak islands to Graham and Langara islands in the Queen Charlotte group, British Columbia; casually to north- western Washington (Carroll Island) " (AOU Check-list Committee, 1957). There is apparently only one record of their breeding in northwestern Wash- ington, that reported by Hoffmann (1924). Bent (1919) states that "the fall migration consists of a general offshore movement and a gradual southward drift, off the coast, as far south as southern California. . . . (the birds spending) the winter on the open ocean." According to the AOU Check-list (1957)) th e winter "from the Komandorskie y Islands south to Fukien, Formosa, and the Ryukyu Islands (Ishigaki) ; and from the Pribilof Islands to northern Baja California (Ensenada)." Many birds remain near their northern breeding areas, the Aleutian Islands (Gabrielson and Lincoln, 1959, and references cited therein). They are frequent during the fall and winter, along the entire coastline of British Columbia, although usually found well out to sea (Brooks and Swarth, 1925) and regularly occur from November to March along the California coast (Grinnell and Miller, 1944). During recent Christmas Bird Counts sponsored by the National Audubon Society (195464) they were observed at Ladner, Victoria, and Vancouver, British Columbia; Orcas and Wasp islands, Seattle, and Sequim, Washington; Oakland, Orange County (coastal), Tomales Bay, Monterey Peninsula, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Santa Barbara, California. Inland records.-The fifth edition of the AOU Check-list (1957) lists the following inland records : "interior British Columbia (Swan Lake, Okanagan) (one record), Oregon (Bend), Nevada (Elko), Idaho (Hayden Lake),