Beck's is back: Photos prove 'lost' bird still alive

Conservation & Preservation

A bird not seen for almost 80 years has been discovered in the Pacific to the delight of conservationists.

Only two records of Beck’s petrel existed previously, from the late 1920s when ornithologist Rollo Beck collected two of the tube-nosed seabirds on his quest for museum specimens from the region.

Now, an expert on a ship in the Bismarck Archipelago, north-east of Papua New Guinea, has photographed more than 30 Beck’s petrels and his account is being published (March 7) in the Bulletin of the British Ornithologists' Club. Young birds were amongst the group indicating that the birds have a breeding site close by.

Hadoram Shirihai, an ornithologist from Israel, led the two-week voyage last summer. He said: “I may have seen then in 2003 on a previous trip which made me eager to return. I wanted to know more about these amazing petrels and understand better how we can help them.

“I regard the 2007 voyage to mark the certain rediscovery of the species. It was possible for the first time to observe Beck’s and [the very similar] Tahiti petrel side by side.”

To read the rest of this story and see a picture of this rediscovered bird, please visit the following webpage:

 The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds


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