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Offshore surprises: new at-sea bird records for Suriname (2013–2015)

Offshore surprises: new at-sea bird records for Suriname (2013–2015) Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 190–205. ARTICLE September 2017 Offshore surprises: new at-sea bird records for Suriname (2013–2015) 1,2,4 3 3 Tomas Willems , Marijke N. de Boer & James T. Saulino Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Animal Sciences, Bio-Environmental Research Group, Ankerstraat 1, B-8400 Oostende, Belgium. Ghent University, Department of Biology, Marine Biology, Krijgslaan 281 - S8, B-9000 Gent, Belgium. Seven Seas Marine Consultancy, PO Box 11422, 1001 GK Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Corresponding author: tomaswillems@gmail.com Received on 06 February 2017. Accepted on 04 September 2017. ABSTRACT: Bird observations were collected from various types of survey vessels in Suriname's territorial waters between 2013 and 2015. Dedicated, effort-related surveys were carried out from geophysical seismic survey vessels within an area located 80–110 km offshore (in 2013) and 165–290 km (in 2015). Opportunistic observations were recorded during fisheries surveys on a shrimp trawler operating along the 30 m depth contour, approximately 40–60 km offshore (in 2014). In total, 10 bird (sub-)species were observed during these surveys that previously were not recorded for Suriname, including Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, Ruff Calidris pugnax, South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki, Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus, Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis (ssp. acuflavidus), Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus, Black Noddy Anous minutus, Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea and Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia. In addition, Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus and Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii were photographed for the first time in Suriname. A Sooty S hearwater Ardenna grisea was recorded just outside the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and therefore does not count as a new country record. This paper contributes to a better understanding of the avifauna frequenting the waters off Suriname, which historically has been poorly studied. Most of the species reported here are migratory. The timing of our sightings therefore also helps in a better understanding of their at-sea distribution and migration patterns. KEY-WORDS: at-sea distribution, avifauna, EEZ, Guianan Ecoregion, migration patterns. INTRODUCTION documented information on the bird species frequenting Suriname's marine waters, and to contribute to a better Suriname is home to a great diversity of tropical flora and understanding of their distribution. fauna (Latawiec et al. 2014). Whereas the avifauna of Suriname's terrestrial and intertidal habitats is relatively well documented (Ottema & Spaans 2008, Ottema et al. METHODS 2009, Spaans et al. 2015), little is known of the birds Study area inhabiting the country's coastal and offshore marine waters. A study between May and July 2012 (de Boer et al. 2014) was the first dedicated bird survey conducted Suriname is situated along the northern coast of South offshore Suriname within the last forty years, with America, it meets the Atlantic Ocean in the north and borders Brazil in the south. Together with its neighboring previous knowledge relying only on sporadic observations countries Guyana, to the west, and French Guiana, to the (Ottema et al. 2009, A.L. Spaans pers. comm.). In 2013 and 2015, dedicated marine fauna east, the region is referred to as the Guianas. Suriname's observations were made from survey vessels operating territorial waters (Exclusive Economic Zone; EEZ) stretch off Suriname, related to offshore seismic explorations. 370 km (200 nautical miles) offshore from the 386 km long coastline. The inner part of the EEZ is characterized Furthermore, birds were opportunistically recorded by a wide and smoothly sloping continental shelf, which during fisheries surveys on a shrimp trawler in 2014. This paper reports on some remarkable bird observations is part of the Guianan Ecoregion of the North Brazil Shelf during these surveys, representing species or subspecies Province (Spalding et al. 2007). Beyond the 100 m depth that were not yet (adequately) recorded for Suriname. contour, water depth rapidly increases to 4600 m as the shelf plunges into the depths of the Western Central By discussing each observation, we aim to increase the Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Atlantic Basin (Fig. 1). The Suriname EEZ is profoundly geophysical seismic surveys in 2013 and 2015. The 2013 influenced by the turbid freshwater discharge from the surveys (12 June to 5 July and 6 August to 18 September) Amazon River (Heileman 2008), which is carried north- took place onboard the Polarcus Naila (length 90 m) west by the North Brazil Current and the Guiana Current which operated 80–110 km off the Suriname coast in (e.g. Hellweger & Gordon 2002). As a consequence, shelf water depths ranging from 40 to 60 m. The 2015 survey waters in the region can be characterised by three major (2 May to 17 September) took place onboard Ramform zones parallel to the coast (e.g. Lowe-McConnell 1962, Sterling (length 102 m), which mainly operated between Willems et al. 2015). The brown nearshore waters have 150 and 300 km offshore, in water depths ranging 100– a high turbidity and low salinity due to suspension of 2000 m, although deeper waters (c. 5000 m) well outside the muddy deposits and freshwater input of both the the EEZ were also visited in late May and June. Amazon and local rivers. Between 20 and 50 km offshore, Both vessels operated with a speed over ground of c. the combination of riverine nutrient input and decreased 4 knots. Observations were carried out during all daylight turbidity creates a productive zone with high chlorophyll hours (06:10–19:00 h, local time). One observer would concentrations, termed the green water zone. Offshore carry out a 2 h observation watch whilst the other observer from this zone irradiance further increases, while nutrients was on break. Observational effort was conducted from become limited for primary production, resulting in the bridge wings and foredeck (both at 20 m height on blue waters. Blue waters cover most of the EEZ and Polarcus Naila, and 18.5 and 14 m height on Ramform receive nutrients from upwelling along the continental Sterling). The observers scanned t he sea predominately slope (Artigas et al. 2003). Sea surface temperatures are with the naked eye, but also used binoculars (8 × 43 and around 27–29 C throughout the year, and wind and 10 × 42). Environmental observations collected included wave patterns in the area are dominated by north-eastern Beaufort wind speed (Bft) and direction, swell height trade winds (Miloslavich et al. 2011). Most rainfall and (low <2 m, medium 2–4 m and large >4 m) and visibility peak river discharge occur between December and July (estimated by eye: poor <1 km, moderate 1–5 km and (Amatali 1993). From August to November, the Guiana good >5 km), glare intensity (strong, weak, variable or no Current weakens and the weather is drier and calmer, glare) and Beaufort Sea Scale (BSS). A GPSMAP76CSx causing warmer sea surface waters (e.g. Augustinus 2004). (Garmin GPS) was used to log the ship›s position every minute. The presence of floating mats of brown Dedicated marine fauna surveys macroalgae of the genus Sargassum was logged on an hourly basis. Dedicated, effort-related marine fauna observations were A daily presence/absence log was kept for the carried out in the offshore waters of Suriname during seabird species observed during the surveys. Further, Figure 1. Map of the Suriname Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The location of observation of 13 remarkable bird species is indicated with symbols. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. systematic transect seabird surveys were carried out in Great Shearwater Ardenna gravis (10%) and Brown 2015 for periods of 12 weeks (2 May–22 July) and 3 Booby Sula leucogaster (9%). Unidentified tern sp. (16%) weeks (27 August–17 September). This involve d standard and storm-petrel sp. (11%) were also recorded regularly observational periods of 60 min duration, carried out by (Table 1). In 2015, Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus one observer operating a 500 m wide transect on one was recorded most frequently (26%), followed by Great side and ahead of the vessel, but without specifying band Shearwater (20%), Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus transect subdivisions (Webb & Durinck 1992). All birds, (14%), Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus (13%), both resting on the water and flying were recor ded within Masked Booby (10%) and Audubon's Shearwater visual range (c. 1000 m) and an index of abundance was Puffinus lherminieri (9%). Unidentified s hearwater and -1 computed (birds.km ; de Boer et al. 2014). large skuas were recorded in 15% and 11% of the days, Digital cameras with zoom lenses (Canon 7D with respectively (Table 1). During the systematic transect a 200 mm, f2.8 lens, Canon EOS550D with a 100–400 survey in 2015, a total of 3615 seabirds were recorded mm, f4.5–5.6 lens and a Nikon D7000 with 80–300 mm, during all weather conditions. When adjusting for “good f4.5–5.6 lens) were used to take photographs of seabirds viewing conditions” (BSS 0–4, good visibility and swell when feasible. This allowe d for subsequent identification <4 m), a total of 3598 seabirds were recorded over 6644 checks of difficult or distant birds and provided reference km of transect. From this survey, the relative abundance material. Regular observation was also undertaken to of seabirds was computed within the 1000 m strip-width -1 check for species known to follow ships. All seabird as 0.36 birds.km . During June the abundance was the -1 identifications were confirmed by at least two observers highest (0.60 birds.km ), with Great Shearwater (0.20 -1 -1 or by photographs to alleviate any “single observer” issues. birds.km ) and Sooty Tern (0.32 birds.km ) being the most frequently recorded species. Skuas and jaegers peaked -1 Opportunistic records in May (0.03 birds.km ) and terns were most abundant -1 -1 in June (0.34 birds.km ), late August (0.60 birds.km ) -1 Between March and November 2014, birds were observed, and September (0.28 birds.km ). These observations are and opportunistically recorded, during six fisheries in agreement with the previous dedicated marine fauna surveys (five to seven days each) onboar d FV Neptune-6, survey off Suriname in June–July 2012 (de Boer et al. a 25 m–long outrigger shrimp trawler. The vessel mostly 2014), when Great Shearwater was also most abundant operated along the 30 m depth contour, between 40 and in June. However, in 2012 shearwaters were dominant, 60 km off the coast, fishing for Atlantic Sea bob Shrimp whereas terns were the most frequently recorded in 2015. Xiphopenaeus kroyeri with otter bottom trawls. Whenever During the dedicated marine fauna surveys, time and workload permitted, birds resting on or circling several species were observed and photographed that around the vessel were observed using binoculars (10 × are relatively little known or were previously unreported 42), and photographed with a DSLR camera (Nikon for Suriname. As outlined below, these include Manx D7000, 80–200 mm, f2.8 lens with 1.7× teleconverter). Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, Sooty S hearwater Ardenna Potentially interesting sightings were recorded with date, grisea, Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, Ruff Ca lidris time and position from the vessel's GPS. No information pugnax, South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki, Long- on weather or sea state was recorded. tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus and Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus, but also two passerines: Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea and Black-and-white Warbler RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Mniotilta varia (Table 2). In addition, terrestrial birds were observed on General survey results their northbound migration (in 2015) and southbound migration (in 2013 and 2015), but non-migratory Dedicated marine fauna surveys: in 2013 and 2015, terrestrial birds were also occasionally observed. dedicated marine fauna surveys took place during 70 and The terrestrial birds recorded included Cattle Egret 140 days, respectively. During these surveys a total of 25 Bubulcus ibis (Status in Suriname: breeding resident), seabird species were recorded and identified to species Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus (northern level. Some birds could only be identified to a higher migrant & present year-round), Short-billed Dowitcher taxonomic level (Table 1). Limnodromus griseus (northern migrant & present The 2013 survey took place relatively close to the year-round), Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus (northern coast. Magnificent Frigatebir d Fregata magnificens was the migrant & present year-round), Spotted Sandpiper Actitis most frequently recorded species during this survey (in macularius (northern migrant & present year-round), 47% of the days), followed by Laughing Gull Leucophaeus Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes (northern migrant & atricilla (27%), Masked Booby Sula dactylatra (10%), present year-round), Willet Tringa semipalmata (northern Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Table 1. Results of the dedicated marine fauna surveys off Suriname coast. Overview of the total number of days during which different seabir d species were recorded during the absence/presence seabird census carried out in 2013 (total number of survey days n = 70) and 2015 (n = 140). 2013 2015 Common name Scientific name No. % of No. % of of days total days of days total days Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea 00 1 0.7 Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 00 4 2.9 Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea 00 11 7.9 Great Shearwater Ardenna gravis 710 28 20 Audubon's Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri 1 1.4 13 9.3 Shearwater sp. Puffinus sp. 2 2.9 21 15 Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii 00 5 3.6 Petrel sp. 1 1.4 3 2.1 Wilson's Stormpetrel Oceanites oceanicus 1 1.4 2 1.4 Leach's Stormpetrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa 2 2.9 75 Stormpetrel sp. Oceanites/Oceanodroma sp. 8 11.4 4 2.9 Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus 1 1.4 18 12.9 Large Skua Stercorarius sp. 1 1.4 16 11.4 South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki 00 75 Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus 3 4.3 19 13.6 Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 1 1.4 1 0.7 Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus 00 5 3.6 Jaeger sp. Stercorarius sp. 5 7.1 11 7.9 Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla 19 27.1 75 Magnificent Frigatebir d Fregata magnificens 33 47.1 5 3.6 Masked Booby Sula dactylatra 710 14 10 Brown Booby Sula leucogaster 6 8.6 6 4.3 Red-footed Booby Sula sula 1 1.4 75 Brown Noddy Anous stolidus 00 1 0.7 Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus 5 7.1 36 25.7 Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus 1 1.4 00 Least Tern Sternula antillarum 3 4.3 3 2.1 Cayenne/Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 1 1.4 2 1.4 Common Tern Sterna hirundo 2 2.9 5 3.6 Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus 1 1.4 00 Tern sp. Sterna sp. 11 15.7 4 2.9 migrant & present year-round), Ruddy Turnstone from July to August), Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savanna (breeding resident), Caribbean Martin Progne Arenaria interpres (northern migrant & present year- dominicensis (northern migrant & present year-round), round), Red Knot Calidris canutus (northern migrant & Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea (breeding resident) present year-round), Sanderling Calidris alba (northern and Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica (northern migrant & migrant & present year-round), Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla (northern migrant & present year- present year-round) (status in Suriname all according to Spaans et al. 2015). round), Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla (northern Opportunistic records: in 2014, six fisheries surveys migrant & present year-round), Short-tailed Swift took place on the shrimp trawler, totaling 37 days spent Chaetura brachyura (breeding resident), Small-billed at sea. When discarding fish (from bycatch), this attracted Elaenia Elaenia parvirostris (southern migrant & present Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Table 2. Details on the observations of 13 bird species offshore Suriname in 2013–2015. DS = dedicated marine fauna surveys; OR = opportunistic records, EEZ = Exclusive Economic Zone. Decimal Decimal Common name Scientific name Number Date EEZ Method Behaviour Note Latitude Longitude 12 May First record Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 2 7.8775 -54.6123 IN DS Travel W 2015 for Suriname 7 Jun 1 9.3366 -51.6577 OUT DS Travel E 07 Jun Travel 1 9.5652 -51.5585 OUT DS 2015 NW 4 Jul 1 7.8316 -54.0895 IN DS Travel NE 18 Jul 1 8.2690 -54.0979 IN DS Travel NE 17 Sep Travel 1 6.6522 -54.6491 IN DS 2015 NW 9 May Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea 1 10.5119 -53.7821 OUT DS Travel N First 4 Jun Travel Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii 1 11.3458 -51.4595 OUT DS photograph 2015 NW for Suriname 5 Jun 1 10.9464 -51.3892 OUT DS Travel SE 5 Jun 1 10.2902 -51.7117 OUT DS Travel E 29 Jun Travel 1 8.0719 -53.9851 IN DS 2015 NW 01 Jul Travel 1 7.9058 -54.0491 IN DS 2015 NW 16 Jul 2 7.8788 -54.2402 IN DS Travel E 18 Aug Resting on First record Ruff Philomachus pugnax 1 8.0704 -54.2977 IN DS 2015 water for Suriname Stercorarius 25 May First record South Polar Skua 1 6.1833 -54.1833 IN OR Travel maccormicki 2014 for Suriname 3 May Travel 1 7.3909 -55.0654 IN DS 2015 NW 7 May Travel 1 10.9682 -54.4549 OUT DS 2015 NW 9 May 1 10.9804 -53.6731 OUT DS Travel N 9 May 1 10.8799 -53.6988 OUT DS Travel N 9 May 1 10.5119 -53.7821 OUT DS Travel N 10 May 2 9.7256 -53.9231 OUT DS Travel N 10 May 1 9.7040 -53.9231 OUT DS Travel N 10 May 1 9.3357 -54.1720 IN DS Travel N 11 May 1 8.7274 -54.7720 IN DS Travel N Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Decimal Decimal Common name Scientific name Number Date EEZ Method Behaviour Note Latitude Longitude 11 May 1 8.7044 -54.7744 IN DS Travel S 13 May 2 7.6665 -54.7182 IN DS Travel N 17 May 1 9.6135 -52.4838 OUT DS Travel NE 17Jun 1 6.5188 -55.4521 IN DS Travel NE Stercorarius 4 Apr Feeding on First record Long-tailed Jaeger 1 6.3833 -54.1167 IN OR longicaudus 2014 discards for Suriname 18 Nov Feeding on 1 6.3000 -55.1833 IN OR 2014 discards 18 May 1 6.8347 -55.1550 IN DS Travel N 17 Jun 1 6.6044 -55.3880 IN DS Travel NE 15 Jul 1 8.1930 -54.0332 IN DS Travel S 16 Jul 1 7.5328 -54.3541 IN DS Travel N First Lesser Black- 8 Oct Resting on Larus fuscus graesslii 1 6.3000 -55.2000 IN OR photograph backed Gull 2014 ship for Suriname Thalasseus 4 Apr Resting on First record Sandwich Tern sandvicensis 1 6.3500 -54.1000 IN OR 2014 ship for Suriname acuflavidus 15 Jul Resting on First record Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii 4 6.3000 -54.8833 IN OR 2014 ship for Suriname 7 Oct Resting on 1 6.3167 -55.1667 IN OR 2014 ship Resting on Onychoprion 20 Jun First record Bridled Tern 1 6.7482 -55.2957 IN DS floating anaethetus 2013 for Suriname log 3 Apr 1 6.3667 -54.1000 IN OR Travel 23 May Resting on First record Black Noddy Anous minutus 1 6.2000 -54.1667 IN OR 2014 ship for Suriname 27 May Travel First record Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea 1 8.8159 -55.5189 IN DS 2015 NW for Suriname Black-and-white 16 Jul Resting on First record Mniotilta varia 1 8.1481 -54.0366 IN DS Warbler 2015 ship for Suriname many birds to the shrimp trawler. The species composition As discussed below, these species include South Polar of these accompanying birds consisted of hundreds Skua, Long-tailed Jaeger, Lesser Black-backed Gull of terns, mainly Common Terns Sterna hirundo and Larus fuscus, Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis (ssp. Cayenne Terns Thalasseus sandvicensis ( ssp. eurygnathus). acuflavidus), Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, Bridled Tern Further, up to 60 Magnificent Frigatebir ds were counted and Black Noddy Anous minutus (Table 2). circling around and resting on the boat. Occasionally, flocks of skuas were also attracted to the vessel. Species accounts From this shrimp trawler, several species were observed and photographed in 2014 that are relatively Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus: on 12 May 2015, little known or were previously unreported for Suriname. two small shearwaters Puffinus sp. were observed 213 km Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. off the Suriname coast (Fig. 1). The weather was choppy May and 8 August 2015), Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris with a strong northeasterly breeze (6 Bft). There was no diomedea; n = 36 between 5 May and 29 June 2015), cloud cover and there was a moderate swell (3 m). The Audubon's Shearwater (n = 35 between 1 May and 12 two shearwaters were synchronically flying with a typical September 2015) and Sooty Shearwater (n = 1 on 9 May 2015) (Table 1). The first three have previously been series of strong, shallow beats of straight wings and long glides on slightly arched wings, and were flying over a described for Suriname (Ottema et al. 2009, de Boer et string of Sargassum algae (Fig. 2A). The photograph s, al. 2014). The Sooty S hearwater (Fig. 2B) was observed together with the observed flight pattern, identified t he just outside the Suriname EEZ (Fig. 1) and therefore birds as Manx Shearwaters Puffinus puffinus. More Manx does not constitute a new country record. Although Sooty Shearwater was recently recorded in French Shearwaters were recorded on 7 June, 4 and 18 July and 17 September 2015. The shearwaters were either flying Guiana (Réserve Naturelle Nationale de l'Ile du Grand- WNW (n = 3) or in the opposite direction ENE (n = 3) Connétable 2016) its occurrence off Suriname (Spaans (Table 2). The 17 September bird was observed relatively et al. 2015) and Guyana (Braun et al. 2007) remains close to the coast (70 km), while the records in June were unconfirmed. Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii: during the located outside the EEZ (Fig. 1). Manx Shearwaters breed in the North Atlantic from dedicated marine fauna surveys, six observations of Newfoundland in the north to the Azores and Canary Bulwer's Petrel were made, of which three were recorded Islands in the south (Hamer 2003). Manx Shearwaters within the EEZ of Suriname (Fig. 1, Table 2). These petrels are rarely encountered in the West Indies, with records appeared slender-winged with a long wedge-shaped tail and a broad pale “carpal bar” on the upperwing, and were primarily made from November through March (Raffaele et al. 1998). Since 2001, a notable “spring passage” of notably larger than any storm-petrels encountered during Manx Shearwaters has been described off Guadeloupe the surveys. Photographs were taken of all six encounters, in the Lesser Antilles (eastern Caribbean; Levesque & which confirmed t he identification of Bulwer's Petrel. At Yésou 2005a). Studies using geolocators show that the least one of these birds was clearly in wing molt, having replaced P1 and P2 (Fig. 2C). Howell (2012) states species follows a westward curved route through the eastern Caribbean (Guilford et al. 2009). Using various that adult Bulwer's Petrel wing molt occurs away from data loggers, Freeman et al. (2013) also revealed a major breeding grounds, with earlier onset of molt - as here - nd westward shift in distribution of Manx Shearwaters during suggesting a 2 calendar year (CY) bird. their northward migration from their winter grounds in Bulwer's Petrel has previously been recorded off the South Atlantic to their breeding grounds in the North Suriname (17 May 2012), but was not verified by Atlantic. This westwar d shift coincides with an increase in photographs (de Boer et al. 2014). The species has also sea surface temperatures recorded at locations where Manx been recorded off French Guiana, but not since 1992 Shearwaters were stopping-over to forage, indicating (Claessens 2015). No records exist for Guyana (Braun et their capacity to rapidly respond to changing oceanic al. 2007). Sightings of Bulwer's Petrels are rare in this part conditions (Freeman et al. 2013). Our records either of the Atlantic (Flood & Fisher 2013). Undocumented involved birds that were passing the region during their sightings were made in the nutrient-rich upwelling spring migration (May and early June) or involved non- areas off northeast Brazil in December –January (e.g. van breeding sub-adults which summer (May–Sep) off the Oordt & Kruijt 1953), but the first official Brazilian mid-Atlantic coast and SE United States (Post 1967, Lee record occurred off Rio de Janeiro state in December 1995, Howell et al. 2012, Wingate pers. comm.). Manx 2011 (Klein et al. 2012). There are a handful of recor ds Shearwaters have also been sighted off French Guiana, known for the eastern seaboard of North America (North with recent records for the months of July, November, Carolina, LeGrand et al. 1999) and few unconfirmed December and March (Bordin et al. 2012, Claessens records are known for the Lesser Antilles (Guadeloupe) in 2015). Manx Shearwaters have yet to be observed off June and July 2003 (Levesque & Yésou 2005b). Further, Guyana (Braun et al. 2007, BirdLife International Bulwer's Petrel has been recorded off Curaçao (May; 2015). Our records are the first for Suriname (Spaans et Voous 1983), off Dominica (April; Norton et al. 2003), al. 2015), and it does not seem unlikely that these birds on Soldado Rock off Trinidad (January, Ffrench 1991), make regular stopovers for foraging in Suriname waters. and several unconfirmed re cords were made off Barbados Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea: the offsh ore (Raffaele et al. 1998). The recor ds made in the present seabird community in Suriname has previously been study occurred in June (n = 4) and July (n = 2; Table described as one dominated by foraging plunge-diving 2). There are not enough sightings recor ds of this species shearwaters (May-July; de Boer et al. 2014). Other in the western central Atlantic to indicate any pattern of shearwaters recorded during the current study include occurrence. However, the timings of our records together Great Shearwater (number of records n = 1017 between 8 with the unconfirmed re cord made off Suriname in 2012 Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Figure 2. Pictures of remarkable bird species observed off shore Suriname in 2013–2015. (A) Manx Shearwater Puffi nus puffi nus, (B) Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea, (C) Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, (D) Ruff Calidris pugnax, (E) South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki (left: May 2014; right: May 2015). Photo authors: M de Boer (C, E-right photo), J. Saulino (A, B), T. Willems (E-left photo) and A. Williams (D). Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. (de Boer et al. 2014), match those records made in the the North Atlantic and North Pacific (Olsen & Larsson Lesser Antilles (Guadeloupe and Curaçao) indicating that 1997). Using geolocators, Kopp et al. (2011) found that Bulwer's Petrels show some trans-Atlantic movements individuals breeding on King George Island migrated during the months of June and July. both to the Atlantic and the Pacific to overwinter. Those Ruff Calidris pugnax: on 18 August 2015, a that spent the austral winter in the North Atlantic used medium-sized wader briefly landed on the water a flyway along the east coast of South America during their northbound migration, with several records in alongside the vessel 236 km from the Suriname coast (Fig. 1). The weath er was fine with some cloud cover, a the Suriname EEZ in early May. The timing of our light northeasterly wind (3 Bft) and a gentle swell (<2 observations, which present the first field sightings of m). The bir d had a distinctive small head, medium-length South Polar Skua for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015), bill, rather long neck, and a pot-bellied body. In flight, confirms the passage of this species along the north-eastern coast of South America in (boreal) spring. Similarly, most it had long legs with prominent feet projecting beyond the tail, and displayed a thin, indistinct white wingbar observations of South Polar Skua in French Guiana are and white ovals on the sides of the tail. Its upperparts made in May (Claessens et al. 2014). The species is yet to had a neat, scale-like appearance with a dark center to be confirmed off Guyana (Braun et al. 2007). the feathers. These characteristics identified t he sandpiper Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus: on 4 April 2014, a smaller and more slender jaeger was noted as a juvenile Ruff most likely a male as suggested by the relatively long bill (Fig. 2D). among tens of Pomarine and Parasitic Jaegers S. parasiticus Ruff is a fully migratory sandpiper with t he bulk of circling around the shrimp trawler. From photographs, the population wintering in sub-Saharan Africa, although the bird was identified as an immature Long-tailed small numbers winter in northwestern and central Europe Jaeger, based on the following characteristics. The body was rather narrow and elongate with long, tern-like (Hagemeijer & Blair 1997). Ruff is very rare in South America, with only four published records from Brazil wings and a small head and bill, the rump and undertail had neat and regular barring, and both wings had white (Lees et al. 2014) and two records from French Guiana (in September and October; Pereira et al. 2014, Claessens shafts on the two outer primaries. Further, the barred 2015). It is a more regular visitor, however, to North underwing coverts, in combination with the very worn, brown outer primaries indicated the bird was probably in America (O'Brien et al. 2006). Our record is the first for nd Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015). its 2 CY (Fig. 3A). Later in the year (November 2014), a second immature Long-tailed Jaeger was observed from South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki: on 23 May 2014, a large skua was noted briefly in the vicinity of the shrimp trawler. In addition, three individuals were the shrimp trawler, and subsequently photographed. The recorded during the dedicated surveys (June–July 2015), nd rd bird had a heavy flight, short tail, wings with wide bases all involving immature birds (2 or 3 CY) (Table 2). and prominent white patches on the upper wings. While Long-tailed Jaeger is a northern circumpolar breeder, and during the non-breeding season the species these characteristics eliminated all smaller skuas (Praveen et al. 2013), the identification of large Stercorarius spp. is is normally found far out at sea, being the most pelagic often problematic, notably birds sighted at low latitudes of all jaegers (Furness 1987, Olsen & Larsson 1997). (de Boer & Saulino 2015). Nevertheless, based on the Although Long-tailed Jaegers are known to winter at light cream-colored body, the bird was identified as an sea in the south Atlantic (Lambert 1980, Ryan 1989), it was only recently that the exact wintering areas and intermediate color-morph South Polar Skua. The other large skuas (S. skua, S. antarctica and S. chilensis) are not migration routes became better understood. Using satellite transmitters and geolocators, it was revealed that known to show such a cold-toned plumage at any stage (Olsen & Larsson 1997). Further, the state of primary Long-tailed Jaegers breeding in northeast Greenland molt (primaries replaced to P4) suggested a bird of at least and Svalbard migrate to the west coast of north Africa rd nd after the breeding season, and continue south to spend 3 CY, as molt in a 2 CY would be more advanced in May (Fig. 2E). In 2013 one large skua was observed, and the winter off Namibia and South Africa (Sittler et al. 2011, Gilg et al. 2013). However, during the northbound in 2015 a total of 10 large skuas were recorded within the EEZ waters. Seven of these large skuas were positively spring migration (April–June), a more western migration route may be used, along the north coast of South identified as South Po lar Skua with an additional seven America, including Suriname (Gilg et al. 2013). Our identified just outside the EEZ. In 2015, the species was mainly observed in May, with the earliest record made on results represent the first recor ds of Long-tailed Jaeger for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015). It may be quite possible 3 May and only one record was made in mid-June (17 June 2015; Table 2). that the species may be a frequent visitor in the area, as non-breeding immatures (at least from April through South Polar Skua breeds in coastal Antarctica and November; this study) or as adults migrating north (Gilg on adjacent islands. The species winters at sea, both in Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Figure 3. Pictures of remarkable bird species observed off shore Suriname in 2013–2015. (A) Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus (left: April 2014; right: November 2014), (B) Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus graellsii, (C) Sandwich Tern Th alasseus sandvicensis acufl avidus, (D) Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii (left: North-American population; right: Caribbean population, with Common Tern), (E) Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus melanopterus. Photo authors: M de Boer (E-right photo) and T. Willems (A–D, E-left photo). Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. et al. 2013). Off French Guiana, Long-tailed Jaegers have leg. Although it was not possible to read the complete been observed from March through November, including band inscription from the photographs, the first four digits an adult bird in April (Bordin et al. 2012, Claessens et al. (1483) revealed that the bird was originally banded in 2014). The species has not yet been reported off Guyana either North Carolina or Virginia, USA (J.A. Lutmerding (Braun et al. 2007). - USGS Bird Banding Program pers. comm.), confirming Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus: on 8 October the identification of the bird as the North American ssp. 2014, an immature large gull (Larus sp.) was observed acuflavidus. resting on the shrimp trawler. From photographs it was This observation marks the first recor d of ssp. identified as a juvenile Lesser B lack-backed Gull Larus acuflavidus for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015). Wintering fuscus (ssp. graellsii), molting into first winter plumage as far southeast as Suriname seems exceptional for ssp. (Fig. 3B). The bir d displayed pale markings on the acuflavidus , which generally winters on the Pacific Coast, inner greater coverts and anchor-markings on the fresh and the western Caribbean (Buckley & Buckley 1984). scapulars. These characteristic s, in combination with the Further south along the Atlantic Coast, Sandwich Tern overall slender appearance of the body, and the rather is replaced by ssp. eurygnathus, which breeds from the slim bill distinguished the bird from both Great Black- Caribbean to Argentina (Efe et al. 2009). Interbreeding backed Gull L. marinus and Kelp Gull L. dominicanus between ssp. eurygnathus and ssp. acuflavidus has been (Olsen & Larsson 2003). Moreover, Kelp Gulls breed in observed in the Caribbean, where the ranges of both the Southern Hemisphere, and individuals in this molting subspecies overlap (Hayes 2004). Efe et al. (2009) argue stage are therefore only to be expected later in the year (P. that based on mtDNA analyses, they comprise a single Adriaens pers. comm.). species in the Americas (proposed as T. acuflavidus), Lesser Black-backed Gull mainly breeds in versus the European Sandwich Tern T. sandvicensis. The northwestern Europe, and winters from central and North American Sandwich Tern T. s. acuflavidus, whether southern Europe south to West Africa (Olsen & Larsson a subspecies or morph/race, is probably an uncommon 2003). Of the three recognized subspecies (fuscus, visitor to the coast of Suriname, and along the Atlantic intermedius and graellsii), populations of L. f. graellsii coast of northern South America in general. An extensive th have increased in Western Europe since the early 20 offshore bird and marine mammal survey off French Guiana reported one ssp. acuflavidus, versus a total of 100 Century with subsequent changes in migratory behavior (Baker 1980). The increase has accelerated in Iceland, ssp. eurygnathus (Bordin et al. 2012). Sightings are also Britain and Ireland, and the species has subsequently known from the north-eastern coast of Brazil (WikiAves colonized Greenland (Boertmann 2008), coinciding 2017). with an increase of Lesser Black-backed Gulls wintering Roseate T ern Sterna dougallii: among many Common Terns Sterna hirundo resting on the shrimp trawler, along the Atlantic coasts of North America (Post & Lewis 1995). This change in status in the USA and Roseate Terns were identified on 15 July (n = 4) and 7 Canada has been followed by a steady trickle of vagrants October (n = 1) 2014 (Fig. 3D). The bir ds were initially to Central and South America (Almeida et al. 2013). discovered based on their distinctive call, and identified Most sightings come from Atlantic-facing coastlines of by their overall whitish appearance, with pale inner primaries with a broad white inner edge, and very pale Colombia (Salaman et al. 2008), Venezuela (Fairbank 1999), Trinidad and Tobago (Ffrench & White 1999), upper parts. The July birds were in breeding plumage, Guyana (Braun et al. 2007), French Guiana (Claessens with an entirely black cap, long tail streamers projecting et al. 2014) and Brazil (Almeida et al. 2013). Our record beyond the wing-tips when perched, and the absence of a represents the fifth sighting of Lesser B lack-backed Gull dark carpal bar on the wing (Svensson et al. 2009). Roseate Terns mainly breed in tropical and for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015), but the first one confirmed b y photographs. subtropical areas of the North Atlantic and Indian Ocean, Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis (ssp. with smaller breeding populations in the temperate zone acuflavidus): on 3 April 2014, many Sandwich Terns of North America, Europe, South Africa, and western Thalasseus sandvicensis ssp. eurygnathus (“Cayenne Tern”) Australia (Gochfeld & Burger 2016). At any stage in the breeding cycle, the bill of Roseate Terns breeding in the were observed resting on the shrimp trawler when an atypical individual with an entirely black bill with a well- Caribbean is much redder than the corresponding stage defined ye llow tip was noted (Fig. 3C). It was identified in birds from eastern North America, with virtually no as Sandwich Tern ssp. acuflavidus, from North America. overlap (Nisbet et al. 2014). In July, at least one bird In contrast to the highly variable bill coloration pattern with an entirely black bill was observed, while the bill was half-red in others, suggesting the presence of birds in ssp. eurygnathus, the bill in ssp. acuflavidus is virtually always black with a yellow tip (Hayes 2004). The bir d was from both populations (I.C.T. Nisbet pers. comm.). in adult summer plumage, and was banded on the right These observations mark the first field re cords of Roseate Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Tern for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015). Due to their (tree trunks, branches) were observed, whilst during the similarity to Common Terns, the species might have 2014 sighting Sargassum was noticed in the area. This been overlooked in the past. Indeed, through geolocator might suggest that Bridled Terns follow floating debris tracking studies, the coastal waters off the Guianas were and Sargassum rafts, even if these drift inshore in shallow seas. The massive arrival of Sargassum in the Guianan identified as stopover and wintering areas for Roseate Terns outside the breeding season (Mostello et al. 2014), Ecoregion was also suggested as explanation for the first and the species has been observed off Guyana (Braun observation of Bridled Tern off French Guiana in 2011 et al. 2007), French Guiana (Bordin et al. 2012) and (Claessens et al. 2014). The species has been recorded off north-eastern Brazil (Lees et al. 2014). While the tracked Guyana as well, but its status is unclear due to paucity of data (Braun et al. 2007). While detailed migratory birds originated from North American populations, our observations indicate that Suriname waters might movements of Bridled Tern remain largely unknown act as a wintering area for Caribbean birds as well. Due (Gochfeld et al. 2013), our results suggest its presence to declining population trends, Roseate Tern is listed off the Guianas is linked to large Sargassum influx events, as “Endangered” in the USA (Mostello et al. 2014). caused by oceanographic features. Black Noddy Anous minutus: on 23 May 2014, a Whereas the species has been intensively studied at North American nesting colonies, it is poorly known outside the noddy Anous sp. was noted resting on the shrimp trawler. breeding season, when most mortality probably occurs From photographs, the bird could be identifie d as Black (Nisbet et al. 2014). It seems likely that the waters off the Noddy, based on the long and slightly thin bill, and the Guianas are important stopover and wintering sites for extensive amount of white on the crown and forehead (Fig. 4A). The other Atlantic noddy, Brown No ddy Anous Roseate Tern, where discarded fish from shrimp trawlers might constitute an important food source. stolidus, looks very similar, but is somewhat larger, with Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus: terns of the a heavier bill and less white on the head (Contreras- Sooty/Bridled type were observed resting on a floating log González et al. 2010). The plumage of the bird showed in June 2013, and flying b y the shrimp trawler in April substantial wear on the wing coverts, primaries, and tail, and seemed in an early phase of post-breeding molt 2014 (Table 2). From photographs, they were identified as Bridled Terns based on the shape of the white forehead (Bridge et al. 2007). patch, extending back over the eye like a supercilium Similar heavily worn individuals were observed in (Fig. 3E). In the very similar Sooty Tern the forehead May–June in the Caribbean (Aruba; R. van Halewyn pers. patch extends to the eye. The underwing pattern was also comm.). With only one unconfirmed re cord for Suriname (07 October 1968; Spaans et al. 2015), this is the first distinctive, with the bases of the primaries white rather than dark (as in Sooty Tern), so that the wing tips appeared documented observation of Black Noddy for Suriname. white edged with black (Marantz & Kratter 1998). Both No records of this species are known from either Guyana birds were non-breeding adults with white mottling on or French Guiana (Braun et al. 2007, Claessens 2015), the crown typical for winter plumage, and lacking pale but the species was recently recorded off northern Brazil (França et al. 2016). Identification of flying noddies at sea feather edging to the upperparts as in juveniles (Southey 2013). is challenging (e.g. Camacho & Torres 2011), therefore, These observations mark the first confirmed re cords Black Noddies may previously have been overlooked of Bridled Tern for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015). Both and misidentified as Brown Noddy, w hich is regularly observations were made far from the closest breeding observed in the Guianas (Braun et al. 2007, Bordin et al. 2012, Spaans et al. 2015) and breeds off French Guiana colony on the Caribbean island of Tobago some 900 km away (Chardine et al. 2000b). During the non-breeding (Tostain et al. 1992). Nevertheless, the closest nesting season, i.e. July–April for the Caribbean population, sites of Black Noddy are in the eastern Caribbean, some Bridled Terns migrate away from nesting areas and are 1000 km away, where it is a rare breeder. According to found far offshore over deep waters. They are mostly Chardine et al. (2000a), Black Noddy (ssp. americanus) is the rarest (100–150 pairs) of all seabirds breeding in solitary, foraging along oceanic fronts, and typically associate with Sargassum rafts that accumulate along the Caribbean area, while Brown Noddy is one of the current edges (Gochfeld et al. 2013). Although the 2013 most abundant species (43,000–48,000 pairs). East of observation occurred at the end of the breeding season Suriname, the closest nesting sites of Black Noddy (ssp. (20 June), the winter plumages suggested both birds were atlanticus) are the archipelagos off the state of Rio Gran de do Norte, Brazil, more than 2500 km away (Gochfeld non-breeding wanderers. Whereas the 2013 bird was seen further offshore (85 km off the coast in waters <50 m in et al. 2015). The population of origin, and hence the depth), the 2014 individual was observed 50 km from the subspecies, of the observed bird remains unknown. Given nearest coast in shallow waters (<40 m depth). During the large distances to both breeding areas, and the fact the 2013 sighting, significant amounts of floating debris that Black Noddies are mostly found close to the nesting Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Figure 4. Pictures of remarkable bird species observed off shore Suriname in 2013–2015. (A) Black Noddy Anous minutus, (B) Black- and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia, (C) Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea. Photo authors: J. Saulino (B, C) and T. Willems (A). sites year-round (Chardine et al. 2000a), the species is Venezuela and Columbia (Curson et al. 1994, BirdLife probably a rare vagrant to the waters off the Guianas. International 2013). Black-and-white Warblers have not Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia: on 16 July previously been recorded in Suriname or its neighboring 2015, a boldly streaked warbler was observed 135 km off countries French Guiana or Guyana (Bra un et al. 2007, the coast. Th e weather was fi ne with some cloud cover, a BirdLife International 2013, Claessens 2015, Spaans et al. light easterly wind (3 Bft) and a gentle swell (<2 m). Th e 2015). Our observation therefore presents a new record small warbler briefl y rested on the ship's railings close to for the Guianas, and also the most eastern record of the the bow and the observer (Fig. 4B). Several photographs species in South America. were made before the warbler took off to continue fl ying Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea: on 27 May 2015, in a southerly direction. Th e photographs confi rmed a bright red passerine with black wings was observed a clear unique black-and-white streaked pattern, approximately 312 km off the coast. Th e weather was identifying the bird as a Black-and-white Warbler. Adult fi ne with slight cloud cover and a weak northeasterly males have obvious black streaking, particularly on the wind (Fig. 4C). Th e bird approached from the stern underparts and the cheek and are sometimes referred to and was fl ying fast, low, and right over the vessel. It as a fl ying “humbug”. Females and especially immatures was then observed from the front deck as it sped by are paler and have less streaking on the cheeks than adult the bow, heading in a NW direction. Th e black wings males. Th e molt limit between greater coverts and greater were contrasting with an overall bright red body and the st primary coverts show that our warbler was a 1 CY bird. photographs supplemented by the features noted at sea, Black-and-white Warblers breed in northern and identifi ed the bird as Scarlet Tanager (Fig. 4C). eastern North America and typically migrate towards Scarlet Tanager breeds in eastern and central Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, including North America and mainly migrates through the Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Caribbean lowlands of Central America and in smaller ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS numbers through the West Indies to winter in western South America (Isler & Isler 1999). On migration, it is Several people contributed substantially to this uncommon in the Dutch Antilles of Aruba, Bonaire, and manuscript. In the first place, we thank Arie L. Spaans for stimulating the documentation of at-sea birds sightings in Curaçao, rare in western Venezuela, and only a vagrant Suriname and facilitating their identification through his to Trinidad and Tobago (Restall et al. 2006). Males in breeding plumage have been recorded once in French network of contacts. Jan Hein Ribot is acknowledged for carefully documenting these sightings in the Suriname Guyana (15 April 2007; Dechelle & Ingels 2007) and avifauna database. Several experts are to be thanked for once in Guyana (10 June 1959; Braun et al. 2007), the their help with the identification of our observations: species has not been recorded in Suriname before (Spaans Peter Adriaens, Rob van Bemmelen, Kees Camphuysen, et al. 2015). Steve Geelhoed, Ruud van Halewijn, Johan Ingels, Ko de Korte, Ian Nisbet and Hans Verdaat. We are grateful to Conclusions Jo Anna Lutmerding for assistance in tracing the origin of the banded Sandwich Tern. Andy C. Williams and Paul This study reports on the observation of 13 remarkable Goldsberry are acknowledged for their help during the bird species in the waters offshore Suriname between 2013 dedicated marine fauna surveys. Special thanks to Tullow and 2015. Although very little information is available Oil Suriname B.V. and Dave Bolger and John Doherty on the avifauna frequenting Suriname's territorial from Tullow Oil for their support. We are also grateful waters, some of these sightings came nevertheless as to the captain and crew of FV Neptune-6, and Heiploeg “offshore surprises”. Unexpected sightings included Suriname N.V. to support the fisheries surveys. The first those of the passerines (Black-and-white Warbler and author wishes to express special thanks to Carl Beel, whose Scarlet Tanager), but also Ruff and B lack Noddy. These enthusiasm for offshore bird observations encouraged the species most likely deflected from their normal migration compilation of this paper. Finally, we thank Johan Ingels, routes, and they probably remain vagrants to Suriname Arie L. Spaans and three anonymous reviewers for their waters. While the observations of Bridled Tern were also valuable comments and help in the ageing of the birds in unforeseen, their presence might relate to influx events the photographs. of Sargassum seaweed in the western central Atlantic (including Suriname territorial waters) in 2013 and 2014 (Doyle & Franks 2015). In contrast, the occurrence of REFERENCES South Polar Skua, Long-tailed Jaeger and Roseate Tern off Suriname was previously reported t hrough tracking Almeida B.J.M., Rodrigues R.C., Mizrahi D. & Lees A.C. 2013. A studies. Their presence is now supported by field Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus in Maranhao: the second observations and confirmed by photographs. The status Brazilian record. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 21: 213–216. Amatali M.A. 1993. 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Offshore surprises: new at-sea bird records for Suriname (2013–2015)

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Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 190–205. ARTICLE September 2017 Offshore surprises: new at-sea bird records for Suriname (2013–2015) 1,2,4 3 3 Tomas Willems , Marijke N. de Boer & James T. Saulino Institute for Agricultural and Fisheries Research (ILVO), Animal Sciences, Bio-Environmental Research Group, Ankerstraat 1, B-8400 Oostende, Belgium. Ghent University, Department of Biology, Marine Biology, Krijgslaan 281 - S8, B-9000 Gent, Belgium. Seven Seas Marine Consultancy, PO Box 11422, 1001 GK Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Corresponding author: tomaswillems@gmail.com Received on 06 February 2017. Accepted on 04 September 2017. ABSTRACT: Bird observations were collected from various types of survey vessels in Suriname's territorial waters between 2013 and 2015. Dedicated, effort-related surveys were carried out from geophysical seismic survey vessels within an area located 80–110 km offshore (in 2013) and 165–290 km (in 2015). Opportunistic observations were recorded during fisheries surveys on a shrimp trawler operating along the 30 m depth contour, approximately 40–60 km offshore (in 2014). In total, 10 bird (sub-)species were observed during these surveys that previously were not recorded for Suriname, including Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, Ruff Calidris pugnax, South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki, Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus, Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis (ssp. acuflavidus), Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus, Black Noddy Anous minutus, Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea and Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia. In addition, Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus and Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii were photographed for the first time in Suriname. A Sooty S hearwater Ardenna grisea was recorded just outside the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), and therefore does not count as a new country record. This paper contributes to a better understanding of the avifauna frequenting the waters off Suriname, which historically has been poorly studied. Most of the species reported here are migratory. The timing of our sightings therefore also helps in a better understanding of their at-sea distribution and migration patterns. KEY-WORDS: at-sea distribution, avifauna, EEZ, Guianan Ecoregion, migration patterns. INTRODUCTION documented information on the bird species frequenting Suriname's marine waters, and to contribute to a better Suriname is home to a great diversity of tropical flora and understanding of their distribution. fauna (Latawiec et al. 2014). Whereas the avifauna of Suriname's terrestrial and intertidal habitats is relatively well documented (Ottema & Spaans 2008, Ottema et al. METHODS 2009, Spaans et al. 2015), little is known of the birds Study area inhabiting the country's coastal and offshore marine waters. A study between May and July 2012 (de Boer et al. 2014) was the first dedicated bird survey conducted Suriname is situated along the northern coast of South offshore Suriname within the last forty years, with America, it meets the Atlantic Ocean in the north and borders Brazil in the south. Together with its neighboring previous knowledge relying only on sporadic observations countries Guyana, to the west, and French Guiana, to the (Ottema et al. 2009, A.L. Spaans pers. comm.). In 2013 and 2015, dedicated marine fauna east, the region is referred to as the Guianas. Suriname's observations were made from survey vessels operating territorial waters (Exclusive Economic Zone; EEZ) stretch off Suriname, related to offshore seismic explorations. 370 km (200 nautical miles) offshore from the 386 km long coastline. The inner part of the EEZ is characterized Furthermore, birds were opportunistically recorded by a wide and smoothly sloping continental shelf, which during fisheries surveys on a shrimp trawler in 2014. This paper reports on some remarkable bird observations is part of the Guianan Ecoregion of the North Brazil Shelf during these surveys, representing species or subspecies Province (Spalding et al. 2007). Beyond the 100 m depth that were not yet (adequately) recorded for Suriname. contour, water depth rapidly increases to 4600 m as the shelf plunges into the depths of the Western Central By discussing each observation, we aim to increase the Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Atlantic Basin (Fig. 1). The Suriname EEZ is profoundly geophysical seismic surveys in 2013 and 2015. The 2013 influenced by the turbid freshwater discharge from the surveys (12 June to 5 July and 6 August to 18 September) Amazon River (Heileman 2008), which is carried north- took place onboard the Polarcus Naila (length 90 m) west by the North Brazil Current and the Guiana Current which operated 80–110 km off the Suriname coast in (e.g. Hellweger & Gordon 2002). As a consequence, shelf water depths ranging from 40 to 60 m. The 2015 survey waters in the region can be characterised by three major (2 May to 17 September) took place onboard Ramform zones parallel to the coast (e.g. Lowe-McConnell 1962, Sterling (length 102 m), which mainly operated between Willems et al. 2015). The brown nearshore waters have 150 and 300 km offshore, in water depths ranging 100– a high turbidity and low salinity due to suspension of 2000 m, although deeper waters (c. 5000 m) well outside the muddy deposits and freshwater input of both the the EEZ were also visited in late May and June. Amazon and local rivers. Between 20 and 50 km offshore, Both vessels operated with a speed over ground of c. the combination of riverine nutrient input and decreased 4 knots. Observations were carried out during all daylight turbidity creates a productive zone with high chlorophyll hours (06:10–19:00 h, local time). One observer would concentrations, termed the green water zone. Offshore carry out a 2 h observation watch whilst the other observer from this zone irradiance further increases, while nutrients was on break. Observational effort was conducted from become limited for primary production, resulting in the bridge wings and foredeck (both at 20 m height on blue waters. Blue waters cover most of the EEZ and Polarcus Naila, and 18.5 and 14 m height on Ramform receive nutrients from upwelling along the continental Sterling). The observers scanned t he sea predominately slope (Artigas et al. 2003). Sea surface temperatures are with the naked eye, but also used binoculars (8 × 43 and around 27–29 C throughout the year, and wind and 10 × 42). Environmental observations collected included wave patterns in the area are dominated by north-eastern Beaufort wind speed (Bft) and direction, swell height trade winds (Miloslavich et al. 2011). Most rainfall and (low <2 m, medium 2–4 m and large >4 m) and visibility peak river discharge occur between December and July (estimated by eye: poor <1 km, moderate 1–5 km and (Amatali 1993). From August to November, the Guiana good >5 km), glare intensity (strong, weak, variable or no Current weakens and the weather is drier and calmer, glare) and Beaufort Sea Scale (BSS). A GPSMAP76CSx causing warmer sea surface waters (e.g. Augustinus 2004). (Garmin GPS) was used to log the ship›s position every minute. The presence of floating mats of brown Dedicated marine fauna surveys macroalgae of the genus Sargassum was logged on an hourly basis. Dedicated, effort-related marine fauna observations were A daily presence/absence log was kept for the carried out in the offshore waters of Suriname during seabird species observed during the surveys. Further, Figure 1. Map of the Suriname Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ). The location of observation of 13 remarkable bird species is indicated with symbols. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. systematic transect seabird surveys were carried out in Great Shearwater Ardenna gravis (10%) and Brown 2015 for periods of 12 weeks (2 May–22 July) and 3 Booby Sula leucogaster (9%). Unidentified tern sp. (16%) weeks (27 August–17 September). This involve d standard and storm-petrel sp. (11%) were also recorded regularly observational periods of 60 min duration, carried out by (Table 1). In 2015, Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus one observer operating a 500 m wide transect on one was recorded most frequently (26%), followed by Great side and ahead of the vessel, but without specifying band Shearwater (20%), Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus transect subdivisions (Webb & Durinck 1992). All birds, (14%), Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus (13%), both resting on the water and flying were recor ded within Masked Booby (10%) and Audubon's Shearwater visual range (c. 1000 m) and an index of abundance was Puffinus lherminieri (9%). Unidentified s hearwater and -1 computed (birds.km ; de Boer et al. 2014). large skuas were recorded in 15% and 11% of the days, Digital cameras with zoom lenses (Canon 7D with respectively (Table 1). During the systematic transect a 200 mm, f2.8 lens, Canon EOS550D with a 100–400 survey in 2015, a total of 3615 seabirds were recorded mm, f4.5–5.6 lens and a Nikon D7000 with 80–300 mm, during all weather conditions. When adjusting for “good f4.5–5.6 lens) were used to take photographs of seabirds viewing conditions” (BSS 0–4, good visibility and swell when feasible. This allowe d for subsequent identification <4 m), a total of 3598 seabirds were recorded over 6644 checks of difficult or distant birds and provided reference km of transect. From this survey, the relative abundance material. Regular observation was also undertaken to of seabirds was computed within the 1000 m strip-width -1 check for species known to follow ships. All seabird as 0.36 birds.km . During June the abundance was the -1 identifications were confirmed by at least two observers highest (0.60 birds.km ), with Great Shearwater (0.20 -1 -1 or by photographs to alleviate any “single observer” issues. birds.km ) and Sooty Tern (0.32 birds.km ) being the most frequently recorded species. Skuas and jaegers peaked -1 Opportunistic records in May (0.03 birds.km ) and terns were most abundant -1 -1 in June (0.34 birds.km ), late August (0.60 birds.km ) -1 Between March and November 2014, birds were observed, and September (0.28 birds.km ). These observations are and opportunistically recorded, during six fisheries in agreement with the previous dedicated marine fauna surveys (five to seven days each) onboar d FV Neptune-6, survey off Suriname in June–July 2012 (de Boer et al. a 25 m–long outrigger shrimp trawler. The vessel mostly 2014), when Great Shearwater was also most abundant operated along the 30 m depth contour, between 40 and in June. However, in 2012 shearwaters were dominant, 60 km off the coast, fishing for Atlantic Sea bob Shrimp whereas terns were the most frequently recorded in 2015. Xiphopenaeus kroyeri with otter bottom trawls. Whenever During the dedicated marine fauna surveys, time and workload permitted, birds resting on or circling several species were observed and photographed that around the vessel were observed using binoculars (10 × are relatively little known or were previously unreported 42), and photographed with a DSLR camera (Nikon for Suriname. As outlined below, these include Manx D7000, 80–200 mm, f2.8 lens with 1.7× teleconverter). Shearwater Puffinus puffinus, Sooty S hearwater Ardenna Potentially interesting sightings were recorded with date, grisea, Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, Ruff Ca lidris time and position from the vessel's GPS. No information pugnax, South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki, Long- on weather or sea state was recorded. tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus and Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus, but also two passerines: Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea and Black-and-white Warbler RESULTS AND DISCUSSION Mniotilta varia (Table 2). In addition, terrestrial birds were observed on General survey results their northbound migration (in 2015) and southbound migration (in 2013 and 2015), but non-migratory Dedicated marine fauna surveys: in 2013 and 2015, terrestrial birds were also occasionally observed. dedicated marine fauna surveys took place during 70 and The terrestrial birds recorded included Cattle Egret 140 days, respectively. During these surveys a total of 25 Bubulcus ibis (Status in Suriname: breeding resident), seabird species were recorded and identified to species Semipalmated Plover Charadrius semipalmatus (northern level. Some birds could only be identified to a higher migrant & present year-round), Short-billed Dowitcher taxonomic level (Table 1). Limnodromus griseus (northern migrant & present The 2013 survey took place relatively close to the year-round), Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus (northern coast. Magnificent Frigatebir d Fregata magnificens was the migrant & present year-round), Spotted Sandpiper Actitis most frequently recorded species during this survey (in macularius (northern migrant & present year-round), 47% of the days), followed by Laughing Gull Leucophaeus Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes (northern migrant & atricilla (27%), Masked Booby Sula dactylatra (10%), present year-round), Willet Tringa semipalmata (northern Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Table 1. Results of the dedicated marine fauna surveys off Suriname coast. Overview of the total number of days during which different seabir d species were recorded during the absence/presence seabird census carried out in 2013 (total number of survey days n = 70) and 2015 (n = 140). 2013 2015 Common name Scientific name No. % of No. % of of days total days of days total days Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea 00 1 0.7 Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 00 4 2.9 Cory's Shearwater Calonectris diomedea 00 11 7.9 Great Shearwater Ardenna gravis 710 28 20 Audubon's Shearwater Puffinus lherminieri 1 1.4 13 9.3 Shearwater sp. Puffinus sp. 2 2.9 21 15 Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii 00 5 3.6 Petrel sp. 1 1.4 3 2.1 Wilson's Stormpetrel Oceanites oceanicus 1 1.4 2 1.4 Leach's Stormpetrel Oceanodroma leucorhoa 2 2.9 75 Stormpetrel sp. Oceanites/Oceanodroma sp. 8 11.4 4 2.9 Red-billed Tropicbird Phaethon aethereus 1 1.4 18 12.9 Large Skua Stercorarius sp. 1 1.4 16 11.4 South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki 00 75 Pomarine Skua Stercorarius pomarinus 3 4.3 19 13.6 Parasitic Jaeger Stercorarius parasiticus 1 1.4 1 0.7 Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus 00 5 3.6 Jaeger sp. Stercorarius sp. 5 7.1 11 7.9 Laughing Gull Leucophaeus atricilla 19 27.1 75 Magnificent Frigatebir d Fregata magnificens 33 47.1 5 3.6 Masked Booby Sula dactylatra 710 14 10 Brown Booby Sula leucogaster 6 8.6 6 4.3 Red-footed Booby Sula sula 1 1.4 75 Brown Noddy Anous stolidus 00 1 0.7 Sooty Tern Onychoprion fuscatus 5 7.1 36 25.7 Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus 1 1.4 00 Least Tern Sternula antillarum 3 4.3 3 2.1 Cayenne/Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis 1 1.4 2 1.4 Common Tern Sterna hirundo 2 2.9 5 3.6 Royal Tern Thalasseus maximus 1 1.4 00 Tern sp. Sterna sp. 11 15.7 4 2.9 migrant & present year-round), Ruddy Turnstone from July to August), Fork-tailed Flycatcher Tyrannus savanna (breeding resident), Caribbean Martin Progne Arenaria interpres (northern migrant & present year- dominicensis (northern migrant & present year-round), round), Red Knot Calidris canutus (northern migrant & Grey-breasted Martin Progne chalybea (breeding resident) present year-round), Sanderling Calidris alba (northern and Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica (northern migrant & migrant & present year-round), Semipalmated Sandpiper Calidris pusilla (northern migrant & present year- present year-round) (status in Suriname all according to Spaans et al. 2015). round), Least Sandpiper Calidris minutilla (northern Opportunistic records: in 2014, six fisheries surveys migrant & present year-round), Short-tailed Swift took place on the shrimp trawler, totaling 37 days spent Chaetura brachyura (breeding resident), Small-billed at sea. When discarding fish (from bycatch), this attracted Elaenia Elaenia parvirostris (southern migrant & present Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Table 2. Details on the observations of 13 bird species offshore Suriname in 2013–2015. DS = dedicated marine fauna surveys; OR = opportunistic records, EEZ = Exclusive Economic Zone. Decimal Decimal Common name Scientific name Number Date EEZ Method Behaviour Note Latitude Longitude 12 May First record Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus 2 7.8775 -54.6123 IN DS Travel W 2015 for Suriname 7 Jun 1 9.3366 -51.6577 OUT DS Travel E 07 Jun Travel 1 9.5652 -51.5585 OUT DS 2015 NW 4 Jul 1 7.8316 -54.0895 IN DS Travel NE 18 Jul 1 8.2690 -54.0979 IN DS Travel NE 17 Sep Travel 1 6.6522 -54.6491 IN DS 2015 NW 9 May Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea 1 10.5119 -53.7821 OUT DS Travel N First 4 Jun Travel Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii 1 11.3458 -51.4595 OUT DS photograph 2015 NW for Suriname 5 Jun 1 10.9464 -51.3892 OUT DS Travel SE 5 Jun 1 10.2902 -51.7117 OUT DS Travel E 29 Jun Travel 1 8.0719 -53.9851 IN DS 2015 NW 01 Jul Travel 1 7.9058 -54.0491 IN DS 2015 NW 16 Jul 2 7.8788 -54.2402 IN DS Travel E 18 Aug Resting on First record Ruff Philomachus pugnax 1 8.0704 -54.2977 IN DS 2015 water for Suriname Stercorarius 25 May First record South Polar Skua 1 6.1833 -54.1833 IN OR Travel maccormicki 2014 for Suriname 3 May Travel 1 7.3909 -55.0654 IN DS 2015 NW 7 May Travel 1 10.9682 -54.4549 OUT DS 2015 NW 9 May 1 10.9804 -53.6731 OUT DS Travel N 9 May 1 10.8799 -53.6988 OUT DS Travel N 9 May 1 10.5119 -53.7821 OUT DS Travel N 10 May 2 9.7256 -53.9231 OUT DS Travel N 10 May 1 9.7040 -53.9231 OUT DS Travel N 10 May 1 9.3357 -54.1720 IN DS Travel N 11 May 1 8.7274 -54.7720 IN DS Travel N Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Decimal Decimal Common name Scientific name Number Date EEZ Method Behaviour Note Latitude Longitude 11 May 1 8.7044 -54.7744 IN DS Travel S 13 May 2 7.6665 -54.7182 IN DS Travel N 17 May 1 9.6135 -52.4838 OUT DS Travel NE 17Jun 1 6.5188 -55.4521 IN DS Travel NE Stercorarius 4 Apr Feeding on First record Long-tailed Jaeger 1 6.3833 -54.1167 IN OR longicaudus 2014 discards for Suriname 18 Nov Feeding on 1 6.3000 -55.1833 IN OR 2014 discards 18 May 1 6.8347 -55.1550 IN DS Travel N 17 Jun 1 6.6044 -55.3880 IN DS Travel NE 15 Jul 1 8.1930 -54.0332 IN DS Travel S 16 Jul 1 7.5328 -54.3541 IN DS Travel N First Lesser Black- 8 Oct Resting on Larus fuscus graesslii 1 6.3000 -55.2000 IN OR photograph backed Gull 2014 ship for Suriname Thalasseus 4 Apr Resting on First record Sandwich Tern sandvicensis 1 6.3500 -54.1000 IN OR 2014 ship for Suriname acuflavidus 15 Jul Resting on First record Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii 4 6.3000 -54.8833 IN OR 2014 ship for Suriname 7 Oct Resting on 1 6.3167 -55.1667 IN OR 2014 ship Resting on Onychoprion 20 Jun First record Bridled Tern 1 6.7482 -55.2957 IN DS floating anaethetus 2013 for Suriname log 3 Apr 1 6.3667 -54.1000 IN OR Travel 23 May Resting on First record Black Noddy Anous minutus 1 6.2000 -54.1667 IN OR 2014 ship for Suriname 27 May Travel First record Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea 1 8.8159 -55.5189 IN DS 2015 NW for Suriname Black-and-white 16 Jul Resting on First record Mniotilta varia 1 8.1481 -54.0366 IN DS Warbler 2015 ship for Suriname many birds to the shrimp trawler. The species composition As discussed below, these species include South Polar of these accompanying birds consisted of hundreds Skua, Long-tailed Jaeger, Lesser Black-backed Gull of terns, mainly Common Terns Sterna hirundo and Larus fuscus, Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis (ssp. Cayenne Terns Thalasseus sandvicensis ( ssp. eurygnathus). acuflavidus), Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii, Bridled Tern Further, up to 60 Magnificent Frigatebir ds were counted and Black Noddy Anous minutus (Table 2). circling around and resting on the boat. Occasionally, flocks of skuas were also attracted to the vessel. Species accounts From this shrimp trawler, several species were observed and photographed in 2014 that are relatively Manx Shearwater Puffinus puffinus: on 12 May 2015, little known or were previously unreported for Suriname. two small shearwaters Puffinus sp. were observed 213 km Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. off the Suriname coast (Fig. 1). The weather was choppy May and 8 August 2015), Cory's Shearwater (Calonectris with a strong northeasterly breeze (6 Bft). There was no diomedea; n = 36 between 5 May and 29 June 2015), cloud cover and there was a moderate swell (3 m). The Audubon's Shearwater (n = 35 between 1 May and 12 two shearwaters were synchronically flying with a typical September 2015) and Sooty Shearwater (n = 1 on 9 May 2015) (Table 1). The first three have previously been series of strong, shallow beats of straight wings and long glides on slightly arched wings, and were flying over a described for Suriname (Ottema et al. 2009, de Boer et string of Sargassum algae (Fig. 2A). The photograph s, al. 2014). The Sooty S hearwater (Fig. 2B) was observed together with the observed flight pattern, identified t he just outside the Suriname EEZ (Fig. 1) and therefore birds as Manx Shearwaters Puffinus puffinus. More Manx does not constitute a new country record. Although Sooty Shearwater was recently recorded in French Shearwaters were recorded on 7 June, 4 and 18 July and 17 September 2015. The shearwaters were either flying Guiana (Réserve Naturelle Nationale de l'Ile du Grand- WNW (n = 3) or in the opposite direction ENE (n = 3) Connétable 2016) its occurrence off Suriname (Spaans (Table 2). The 17 September bird was observed relatively et al. 2015) and Guyana (Braun et al. 2007) remains close to the coast (70 km), while the records in June were unconfirmed. Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii: during the located outside the EEZ (Fig. 1). Manx Shearwaters breed in the North Atlantic from dedicated marine fauna surveys, six observations of Newfoundland in the north to the Azores and Canary Bulwer's Petrel were made, of which three were recorded Islands in the south (Hamer 2003). Manx Shearwaters within the EEZ of Suriname (Fig. 1, Table 2). These petrels are rarely encountered in the West Indies, with records appeared slender-winged with a long wedge-shaped tail and a broad pale “carpal bar” on the upperwing, and were primarily made from November through March (Raffaele et al. 1998). Since 2001, a notable “spring passage” of notably larger than any storm-petrels encountered during Manx Shearwaters has been described off Guadeloupe the surveys. Photographs were taken of all six encounters, in the Lesser Antilles (eastern Caribbean; Levesque & which confirmed t he identification of Bulwer's Petrel. At Yésou 2005a). Studies using geolocators show that the least one of these birds was clearly in wing molt, having replaced P1 and P2 (Fig. 2C). Howell (2012) states species follows a westward curved route through the eastern Caribbean (Guilford et al. 2009). Using various that adult Bulwer's Petrel wing molt occurs away from data loggers, Freeman et al. (2013) also revealed a major breeding grounds, with earlier onset of molt - as here - nd westward shift in distribution of Manx Shearwaters during suggesting a 2 calendar year (CY) bird. their northward migration from their winter grounds in Bulwer's Petrel has previously been recorded off the South Atlantic to their breeding grounds in the North Suriname (17 May 2012), but was not verified by Atlantic. This westwar d shift coincides with an increase in photographs (de Boer et al. 2014). The species has also sea surface temperatures recorded at locations where Manx been recorded off French Guiana, but not since 1992 Shearwaters were stopping-over to forage, indicating (Claessens 2015). No records exist for Guyana (Braun et their capacity to rapidly respond to changing oceanic al. 2007). Sightings of Bulwer's Petrels are rare in this part conditions (Freeman et al. 2013). Our records either of the Atlantic (Flood & Fisher 2013). Undocumented involved birds that were passing the region during their sightings were made in the nutrient-rich upwelling spring migration (May and early June) or involved non- areas off northeast Brazil in December –January (e.g. van breeding sub-adults which summer (May–Sep) off the Oordt & Kruijt 1953), but the first official Brazilian mid-Atlantic coast and SE United States (Post 1967, Lee record occurred off Rio de Janeiro state in December 1995, Howell et al. 2012, Wingate pers. comm.). Manx 2011 (Klein et al. 2012). There are a handful of recor ds Shearwaters have also been sighted off French Guiana, known for the eastern seaboard of North America (North with recent records for the months of July, November, Carolina, LeGrand et al. 1999) and few unconfirmed December and March (Bordin et al. 2012, Claessens records are known for the Lesser Antilles (Guadeloupe) in 2015). Manx Shearwaters have yet to be observed off June and July 2003 (Levesque & Yésou 2005b). Further, Guyana (Braun et al. 2007, BirdLife International Bulwer's Petrel has been recorded off Curaçao (May; 2015). Our records are the first for Suriname (Spaans et Voous 1983), off Dominica (April; Norton et al. 2003), al. 2015), and it does not seem unlikely that these birds on Soldado Rock off Trinidad (January, Ffrench 1991), make regular stopovers for foraging in Suriname waters. and several unconfirmed re cords were made off Barbados Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea: the offsh ore (Raffaele et al. 1998). The recor ds made in the present seabird community in Suriname has previously been study occurred in June (n = 4) and July (n = 2; Table described as one dominated by foraging plunge-diving 2). There are not enough sightings recor ds of this species shearwaters (May-July; de Boer et al. 2014). Other in the western central Atlantic to indicate any pattern of shearwaters recorded during the current study include occurrence. However, the timings of our records together Great Shearwater (number of records n = 1017 between 8 with the unconfirmed re cord made off Suriname in 2012 Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Figure 2. Pictures of remarkable bird species observed off shore Suriname in 2013–2015. (A) Manx Shearwater Puffi nus puffi nus, (B) Sooty Shearwater Ardenna grisea, (C) Bulwer's Petrel Bulweria bulwerii, (D) Ruff Calidris pugnax, (E) South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki (left: May 2014; right: May 2015). Photo authors: M de Boer (C, E-right photo), J. Saulino (A, B), T. Willems (E-left photo) and A. Williams (D). Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. (de Boer et al. 2014), match those records made in the the North Atlantic and North Pacific (Olsen & Larsson Lesser Antilles (Guadeloupe and Curaçao) indicating that 1997). Using geolocators, Kopp et al. (2011) found that Bulwer's Petrels show some trans-Atlantic movements individuals breeding on King George Island migrated during the months of June and July. both to the Atlantic and the Pacific to overwinter. Those Ruff Calidris pugnax: on 18 August 2015, a that spent the austral winter in the North Atlantic used medium-sized wader briefly landed on the water a flyway along the east coast of South America during their northbound migration, with several records in alongside the vessel 236 km from the Suriname coast (Fig. 1). The weath er was fine with some cloud cover, a the Suriname EEZ in early May. The timing of our light northeasterly wind (3 Bft) and a gentle swell (<2 observations, which present the first field sightings of m). The bir d had a distinctive small head, medium-length South Polar Skua for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015), bill, rather long neck, and a pot-bellied body. In flight, confirms the passage of this species along the north-eastern coast of South America in (boreal) spring. Similarly, most it had long legs with prominent feet projecting beyond the tail, and displayed a thin, indistinct white wingbar observations of South Polar Skua in French Guiana are and white ovals on the sides of the tail. Its upperparts made in May (Claessens et al. 2014). The species is yet to had a neat, scale-like appearance with a dark center to be confirmed off Guyana (Braun et al. 2007). the feathers. These characteristics identified t he sandpiper Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus: on 4 April 2014, a smaller and more slender jaeger was noted as a juvenile Ruff most likely a male as suggested by the relatively long bill (Fig. 2D). among tens of Pomarine and Parasitic Jaegers S. parasiticus Ruff is a fully migratory sandpiper with t he bulk of circling around the shrimp trawler. From photographs, the population wintering in sub-Saharan Africa, although the bird was identified as an immature Long-tailed small numbers winter in northwestern and central Europe Jaeger, based on the following characteristics. The body was rather narrow and elongate with long, tern-like (Hagemeijer & Blair 1997). Ruff is very rare in South America, with only four published records from Brazil wings and a small head and bill, the rump and undertail had neat and regular barring, and both wings had white (Lees et al. 2014) and two records from French Guiana (in September and October; Pereira et al. 2014, Claessens shafts on the two outer primaries. Further, the barred 2015). It is a more regular visitor, however, to North underwing coverts, in combination with the very worn, brown outer primaries indicated the bird was probably in America (O'Brien et al. 2006). Our record is the first for nd Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015). its 2 CY (Fig. 3A). Later in the year (November 2014), a second immature Long-tailed Jaeger was observed from South Polar Skua Stercorarius maccormicki: on 23 May 2014, a large skua was noted briefly in the vicinity of the shrimp trawler. In addition, three individuals were the shrimp trawler, and subsequently photographed. The recorded during the dedicated surveys (June–July 2015), nd rd bird had a heavy flight, short tail, wings with wide bases all involving immature birds (2 or 3 CY) (Table 2). and prominent white patches on the upper wings. While Long-tailed Jaeger is a northern circumpolar breeder, and during the non-breeding season the species these characteristics eliminated all smaller skuas (Praveen et al. 2013), the identification of large Stercorarius spp. is is normally found far out at sea, being the most pelagic often problematic, notably birds sighted at low latitudes of all jaegers (Furness 1987, Olsen & Larsson 1997). (de Boer & Saulino 2015). Nevertheless, based on the Although Long-tailed Jaegers are known to winter at light cream-colored body, the bird was identified as an sea in the south Atlantic (Lambert 1980, Ryan 1989), it was only recently that the exact wintering areas and intermediate color-morph South Polar Skua. The other large skuas (S. skua, S. antarctica and S. chilensis) are not migration routes became better understood. Using satellite transmitters and geolocators, it was revealed that known to show such a cold-toned plumage at any stage (Olsen & Larsson 1997). Further, the state of primary Long-tailed Jaegers breeding in northeast Greenland molt (primaries replaced to P4) suggested a bird of at least and Svalbard migrate to the west coast of north Africa rd nd after the breeding season, and continue south to spend 3 CY, as molt in a 2 CY would be more advanced in May (Fig. 2E). In 2013 one large skua was observed, and the winter off Namibia and South Africa (Sittler et al. 2011, Gilg et al. 2013). However, during the northbound in 2015 a total of 10 large skuas were recorded within the EEZ waters. Seven of these large skuas were positively spring migration (April–June), a more western migration route may be used, along the north coast of South identified as South Po lar Skua with an additional seven America, including Suriname (Gilg et al. 2013). Our identified just outside the EEZ. In 2015, the species was mainly observed in May, with the earliest record made on results represent the first recor ds of Long-tailed Jaeger for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015). It may be quite possible 3 May and only one record was made in mid-June (17 June 2015; Table 2). that the species may be a frequent visitor in the area, as non-breeding immatures (at least from April through South Polar Skua breeds in coastal Antarctica and November; this study) or as adults migrating north (Gilg on adjacent islands. The species winters at sea, both in Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Figure 3. Pictures of remarkable bird species observed off shore Suriname in 2013–2015. (A) Long-tailed Jaeger Stercorarius longicaudus (left: April 2014; right: November 2014), (B) Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus graellsii, (C) Sandwich Tern Th alasseus sandvicensis acufl avidus, (D) Roseate Tern Sterna dougallii (left: North-American population; right: Caribbean population, with Common Tern), (E) Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus melanopterus. Photo authors: M de Boer (E-right photo) and T. Willems (A–D, E-left photo). Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. et al. 2013). Off French Guiana, Long-tailed Jaegers have leg. Although it was not possible to read the complete been observed from March through November, including band inscription from the photographs, the first four digits an adult bird in April (Bordin et al. 2012, Claessens et al. (1483) revealed that the bird was originally banded in 2014). The species has not yet been reported off Guyana either North Carolina or Virginia, USA (J.A. Lutmerding (Braun et al. 2007). - USGS Bird Banding Program pers. comm.), confirming Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus: on 8 October the identification of the bird as the North American ssp. 2014, an immature large gull (Larus sp.) was observed acuflavidus. resting on the shrimp trawler. From photographs it was This observation marks the first recor d of ssp. identified as a juvenile Lesser B lack-backed Gull Larus acuflavidus for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015). Wintering fuscus (ssp. graellsii), molting into first winter plumage as far southeast as Suriname seems exceptional for ssp. (Fig. 3B). The bir d displayed pale markings on the acuflavidus , which generally winters on the Pacific Coast, inner greater coverts and anchor-markings on the fresh and the western Caribbean (Buckley & Buckley 1984). scapulars. These characteristic s, in combination with the Further south along the Atlantic Coast, Sandwich Tern overall slender appearance of the body, and the rather is replaced by ssp. eurygnathus, which breeds from the slim bill distinguished the bird from both Great Black- Caribbean to Argentina (Efe et al. 2009). Interbreeding backed Gull L. marinus and Kelp Gull L. dominicanus between ssp. eurygnathus and ssp. acuflavidus has been (Olsen & Larsson 2003). Moreover, Kelp Gulls breed in observed in the Caribbean, where the ranges of both the Southern Hemisphere, and individuals in this molting subspecies overlap (Hayes 2004). Efe et al. (2009) argue stage are therefore only to be expected later in the year (P. that based on mtDNA analyses, they comprise a single Adriaens pers. comm.). species in the Americas (proposed as T. acuflavidus), Lesser Black-backed Gull mainly breeds in versus the European Sandwich Tern T. sandvicensis. The northwestern Europe, and winters from central and North American Sandwich Tern T. s. acuflavidus, whether southern Europe south to West Africa (Olsen & Larsson a subspecies or morph/race, is probably an uncommon 2003). Of the three recognized subspecies (fuscus, visitor to the coast of Suriname, and along the Atlantic intermedius and graellsii), populations of L. f. graellsii coast of northern South America in general. An extensive th have increased in Western Europe since the early 20 offshore bird and marine mammal survey off French Guiana reported one ssp. acuflavidus, versus a total of 100 Century with subsequent changes in migratory behavior (Baker 1980). The increase has accelerated in Iceland, ssp. eurygnathus (Bordin et al. 2012). Sightings are also Britain and Ireland, and the species has subsequently known from the north-eastern coast of Brazil (WikiAves colonized Greenland (Boertmann 2008), coinciding 2017). with an increase of Lesser Black-backed Gulls wintering Roseate T ern Sterna dougallii: among many Common Terns Sterna hirundo resting on the shrimp trawler, along the Atlantic coasts of North America (Post & Lewis 1995). This change in status in the USA and Roseate Terns were identified on 15 July (n = 4) and 7 Canada has been followed by a steady trickle of vagrants October (n = 1) 2014 (Fig. 3D). The bir ds were initially to Central and South America (Almeida et al. 2013). discovered based on their distinctive call, and identified Most sightings come from Atlantic-facing coastlines of by their overall whitish appearance, with pale inner primaries with a broad white inner edge, and very pale Colombia (Salaman et al. 2008), Venezuela (Fairbank 1999), Trinidad and Tobago (Ffrench & White 1999), upper parts. The July birds were in breeding plumage, Guyana (Braun et al. 2007), French Guiana (Claessens with an entirely black cap, long tail streamers projecting et al. 2014) and Brazil (Almeida et al. 2013). Our record beyond the wing-tips when perched, and the absence of a represents the fifth sighting of Lesser B lack-backed Gull dark carpal bar on the wing (Svensson et al. 2009). Roseate Terns mainly breed in tropical and for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015), but the first one confirmed b y photographs. subtropical areas of the North Atlantic and Indian Ocean, Sandwich Tern Thalasseus sandvicensis (ssp. with smaller breeding populations in the temperate zone acuflavidus): on 3 April 2014, many Sandwich Terns of North America, Europe, South Africa, and western Thalasseus sandvicensis ssp. eurygnathus (“Cayenne Tern”) Australia (Gochfeld & Burger 2016). At any stage in the breeding cycle, the bill of Roseate Terns breeding in the were observed resting on the shrimp trawler when an atypical individual with an entirely black bill with a well- Caribbean is much redder than the corresponding stage defined ye llow tip was noted (Fig. 3C). It was identified in birds from eastern North America, with virtually no as Sandwich Tern ssp. acuflavidus, from North America. overlap (Nisbet et al. 2014). In July, at least one bird In contrast to the highly variable bill coloration pattern with an entirely black bill was observed, while the bill was half-red in others, suggesting the presence of birds in ssp. eurygnathus, the bill in ssp. acuflavidus is virtually always black with a yellow tip (Hayes 2004). The bir d was from both populations (I.C.T. Nisbet pers. comm.). in adult summer plumage, and was banded on the right These observations mark the first field re cords of Roseate Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Tern for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015). Due to their (tree trunks, branches) were observed, whilst during the similarity to Common Terns, the species might have 2014 sighting Sargassum was noticed in the area. This been overlooked in the past. Indeed, through geolocator might suggest that Bridled Terns follow floating debris tracking studies, the coastal waters off the Guianas were and Sargassum rafts, even if these drift inshore in shallow seas. The massive arrival of Sargassum in the Guianan identified as stopover and wintering areas for Roseate Terns outside the breeding season (Mostello et al. 2014), Ecoregion was also suggested as explanation for the first and the species has been observed off Guyana (Braun observation of Bridled Tern off French Guiana in 2011 et al. 2007), French Guiana (Bordin et al. 2012) and (Claessens et al. 2014). The species has been recorded off north-eastern Brazil (Lees et al. 2014). While the tracked Guyana as well, but its status is unclear due to paucity of data (Braun et al. 2007). While detailed migratory birds originated from North American populations, our observations indicate that Suriname waters might movements of Bridled Tern remain largely unknown act as a wintering area for Caribbean birds as well. Due (Gochfeld et al. 2013), our results suggest its presence to declining population trends, Roseate Tern is listed off the Guianas is linked to large Sargassum influx events, as “Endangered” in the USA (Mostello et al. 2014). caused by oceanographic features. Black Noddy Anous minutus: on 23 May 2014, a Whereas the species has been intensively studied at North American nesting colonies, it is poorly known outside the noddy Anous sp. was noted resting on the shrimp trawler. breeding season, when most mortality probably occurs From photographs, the bird could be identifie d as Black (Nisbet et al. 2014). It seems likely that the waters off the Noddy, based on the long and slightly thin bill, and the Guianas are important stopover and wintering sites for extensive amount of white on the crown and forehead (Fig. 4A). The other Atlantic noddy, Brown No ddy Anous Roseate Tern, where discarded fish from shrimp trawlers might constitute an important food source. stolidus, looks very similar, but is somewhat larger, with Bridled Tern Onychoprion anaethetus: terns of the a heavier bill and less white on the head (Contreras- Sooty/Bridled type were observed resting on a floating log González et al. 2010). The plumage of the bird showed in June 2013, and flying b y the shrimp trawler in April substantial wear on the wing coverts, primaries, and tail, and seemed in an early phase of post-breeding molt 2014 (Table 2). From photographs, they were identified as Bridled Terns based on the shape of the white forehead (Bridge et al. 2007). patch, extending back over the eye like a supercilium Similar heavily worn individuals were observed in (Fig. 3E). In the very similar Sooty Tern the forehead May–June in the Caribbean (Aruba; R. van Halewyn pers. patch extends to the eye. The underwing pattern was also comm.). With only one unconfirmed re cord for Suriname (07 October 1968; Spaans et al. 2015), this is the first distinctive, with the bases of the primaries white rather than dark (as in Sooty Tern), so that the wing tips appeared documented observation of Black Noddy for Suriname. white edged with black (Marantz & Kratter 1998). Both No records of this species are known from either Guyana birds were non-breeding adults with white mottling on or French Guiana (Braun et al. 2007, Claessens 2015), the crown typical for winter plumage, and lacking pale but the species was recently recorded off northern Brazil (França et al. 2016). Identification of flying noddies at sea feather edging to the upperparts as in juveniles (Southey 2013). is challenging (e.g. Camacho & Torres 2011), therefore, These observations mark the first confirmed re cords Black Noddies may previously have been overlooked of Bridled Tern for Suriname (Spaans et al. 2015). Both and misidentified as Brown Noddy, w hich is regularly observations were made far from the closest breeding observed in the Guianas (Braun et al. 2007, Bordin et al. 2012, Spaans et al. 2015) and breeds off French Guiana colony on the Caribbean island of Tobago some 900 km away (Chardine et al. 2000b). During the non-breeding (Tostain et al. 1992). Nevertheless, the closest nesting season, i.e. July–April for the Caribbean population, sites of Black Noddy are in the eastern Caribbean, some Bridled Terns migrate away from nesting areas and are 1000 km away, where it is a rare breeder. According to found far offshore over deep waters. They are mostly Chardine et al. (2000a), Black Noddy (ssp. americanus) is the rarest (100–150 pairs) of all seabirds breeding in solitary, foraging along oceanic fronts, and typically associate with Sargassum rafts that accumulate along the Caribbean area, while Brown Noddy is one of the current edges (Gochfeld et al. 2013). Although the 2013 most abundant species (43,000–48,000 pairs). East of observation occurred at the end of the breeding season Suriname, the closest nesting sites of Black Noddy (ssp. (20 June), the winter plumages suggested both birds were atlanticus) are the archipelagos off the state of Rio Gran de do Norte, Brazil, more than 2500 km away (Gochfeld non-breeding wanderers. Whereas the 2013 bird was seen further offshore (85 km off the coast in waters <50 m in et al. 2015). The population of origin, and hence the depth), the 2014 individual was observed 50 km from the subspecies, of the observed bird remains unknown. Given nearest coast in shallow waters (<40 m depth). During the large distances to both breeding areas, and the fact the 2013 sighting, significant amounts of floating debris that Black Noddies are mostly found close to the nesting Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Figure 4. Pictures of remarkable bird species observed off shore Suriname in 2013–2015. (A) Black Noddy Anous minutus, (B) Black- and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia, (C) Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea. Photo authors: J. Saulino (B, C) and T. Willems (A). sites year-round (Chardine et al. 2000a), the species is Venezuela and Columbia (Curson et al. 1994, BirdLife probably a rare vagrant to the waters off the Guianas. International 2013). Black-and-white Warblers have not Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia: on 16 July previously been recorded in Suriname or its neighboring 2015, a boldly streaked warbler was observed 135 km off countries French Guiana or Guyana (Bra un et al. 2007, the coast. Th e weather was fi ne with some cloud cover, a BirdLife International 2013, Claessens 2015, Spaans et al. light easterly wind (3 Bft) and a gentle swell (<2 m). Th e 2015). Our observation therefore presents a new record small warbler briefl y rested on the ship's railings close to for the Guianas, and also the most eastern record of the the bow and the observer (Fig. 4B). Several photographs species in South America. were made before the warbler took off to continue fl ying Scarlet Tanager Piranga olivacea: on 27 May 2015, in a southerly direction. Th e photographs confi rmed a bright red passerine with black wings was observed a clear unique black-and-white streaked pattern, approximately 312 km off the coast. Th e weather was identifying the bird as a Black-and-white Warbler. Adult fi ne with slight cloud cover and a weak northeasterly males have obvious black streaking, particularly on the wind (Fig. 4C). Th e bird approached from the stern underparts and the cheek and are sometimes referred to and was fl ying fast, low, and right over the vessel. It as a fl ying “humbug”. Females and especially immatures was then observed from the front deck as it sped by are paler and have less streaking on the cheeks than adult the bow, heading in a NW direction. Th e black wings males. Th e molt limit between greater coverts and greater were contrasting with an overall bright red body and the st primary coverts show that our warbler was a 1 CY bird. photographs supplemented by the features noted at sea, Black-and-white Warblers breed in northern and identifi ed the bird as Scarlet Tanager (Fig. 4C). eastern North America and typically migrate towards Scarlet Tanager breeds in eastern and central Mexico, the Caribbean, Central America, including North America and mainly migrates through the Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 25(3): 2017 At-sea bird records for Suriname Willems et al. Caribbean lowlands of Central America and in smaller ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS numbers through the West Indies to winter in western South America (Isler & Isler 1999). On migration, it is Several people contributed substantially to this uncommon in the Dutch Antilles of Aruba, Bonaire, and manuscript. In the first place, we thank Arie L. Spaans for stimulating the documentation of at-sea birds sightings in Curaçao, rare in western Venezuela, and only a vagrant Suriname and facilitating their identification through his to Trinidad and Tobago (Restall et al. 2006). Males in breeding plumage have been recorded once in French network of contacts. Jan Hein Ribot is acknowledged for carefully documenting these sightings in the Suriname Guyana (15 April 2007; Dechelle & Ingels 2007) and avifauna database. Several experts are to be thanked for once in Guyana (10 June 1959; Braun et al. 2007), the their help with the identification of our observations: species has not been recorded in Suriname before (Spaans Peter Adriaens, Rob van Bemmelen, Kees Camphuysen, et al. 2015). Steve Geelhoed, Ruud van Halewijn, Johan Ingels, Ko de Korte, Ian Nisbet and Hans Verdaat. We are grateful to Conclusions Jo Anna Lutmerding for assistance in tracing the origin of the banded Sandwich Tern. Andy C. Williams and Paul This study reports on the observation of 13 remarkable Goldsberry are acknowledged for their help during the bird species in the waters offshore Suriname between 2013 dedicated marine fauna surveys. Special thanks to Tullow and 2015. Although very little information is available Oil Suriname B.V. and Dave Bolger and John Doherty on the avifauna frequenting Suriname's territorial from Tullow Oil for their support. We are also grateful waters, some of these sightings came nevertheless as to the captain and crew of FV Neptune-6, and Heiploeg “offshore surprises”. Unexpected sightings included Suriname N.V. to support the fisheries surveys. The first those of the passerines (Black-and-white Warbler and author wishes to express special thanks to Carl Beel, whose Scarlet Tanager), but also Ruff and B lack Noddy. These enthusiasm for offshore bird observations encouraged the species most likely deflected from their normal migration compilation of this paper. Finally, we thank Johan Ingels, routes, and they probably remain vagrants to Suriname Arie L. Spaans and three anonymous reviewers for their waters. While the observations of Bridled Tern were also valuable comments and help in the ageing of the birds in unforeseen, their presence might relate to influx events the photographs. of Sargassum seaweed in the western central Atlantic (including Suriname territorial waters) in 2013 and 2014 (Doyle & Franks 2015). In contrast, the occurrence of REFERENCES South Polar Skua, Long-tailed Jaeger and Roseate Tern off Suriname was previously reported t hrough tracking Almeida B.J.M., Rodrigues R.C., Mizrahi D. & Lees A.C. 2013. A studies. Their presence is now supported by field Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus in Maranhao: the second observations and confirmed by photographs. The status Brazilian record. Revista Brasileira de Ornitologia 21: 213–216. Amatali M.A. 1993. 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Journal

Ornithology ResearchSpringer Journals

Published: Sep 1, 2017

Keywords: at-sea distribution; avifauna; EEZ; Guianan Ecoregion; migration patterns

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