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When I am not birding, my "day job" is as a SC State Park Ranger. Today while patrolling the beach, I came upon a large white and black bird washed up (deceased) at the high tide line. It was still wet, so it had been washed up by the last high tide overnight. Pristine condition, other than missing one eye. The only injury evident was a broken neck. Otherwise, suitable for mounting as an educational specimen at our Nature Center. USFWS was notified in case they want it for a necropsy. 

It was a Northern Gannet. A bird I'm not likely to ever see again.

So my question is, would you consider it as a "lifer"? Or no, because it was not alive?

I appreciate any feedback.  I have a pic but won't post it. 

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No, dead birds are not countable. That said, it should be fairly easy to see a live Northern Gannet- they are common along the east coast, including the Carolinas. I got my lifer in North Carolina.

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9 minutes ago, Hasan said:

No, dead birds are not countable. That said, it should be fairly easy to see a live Northern Gannet- they are common along the east coast, including the Carolinas. I got my lifer in North Carolina.

I've worked here for 17 years. Never seen one. Nor has our naturalist or anyone else currently working here. Might be common offshore but not on our island or onshore.  Thanks for the answer though. 

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I don't know where in SC you are located, but here's a map from eBird showing observations of Gannet. The red pins are recent sightings. You will almost certainly not see Northern Gannet inland, but looking out over open ocean they can occasionally come very close to shore, though often they are a decent ways out. They are much easier to see from land than many seabirds.

164306191_ScreenShot2021-02-26at10_32_13PM.thumb.png.b1386f2703984b6d82d1d7970bb0df92.png

Edited by Hasan
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Ha! Edited just now. I misread the original post and thought SC was Santa Cruz County and that you had found THE Northern Gannet in CA deceased. I was freaking out for bit. 

There is ONE Northern Gannet in the entire Pacific, but yes, in South Carolina they are ubiquitous. See @Hasan's posts.

Edited by DLecy
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3 minutes ago, DLecy said:

Could you please post the picture! There has been ONE Northern Gannet in the entire Pacific Ocean for many years now, seen intermittently in various counties including San Mateo, San Francisco, and Marin.

If this is THE NOGA, many, many people would want to know you found it deceased. You can also send it to me privately if you prefer, through this platform. I know people in the birding community I could share this with who would greatly appreciate knowing it is deceased. Are you sure it's not a Masked/Nazca Booby? 

Northern Gannet is a mega rarity anywhere in the entire Pacific Ocean, so this is of interest to many people. It was last confirmed on the Farallones on 2/19/21. 

This one was on the Atlantic, on the coast of South Carolina rather than on the Pacific.

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11 minutes ago, Hasan said:

I don't know where in SC you are located, but here's a map from eBird showing observations of Gannet. The red pins are recent sightings. You will almost certainly not see Northern Gannet inland, but looking out over open ocean they can occasionally come very close to shore, though often they are a decent ways out. They are much easier to see from land than many seabirds.

164306191_ScreenShot2021-02-26at10_32_13PM.thumb.png.b1386f2703984b6d82d1d7970bb0df92.png

I'm on Hunting Island, off the coast of Beaufort. So yes it looks like some have been seen.

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4 minutes ago, carlinsc said:

This one was on the Atlantic, on the coast of South Carolina rather than on the Pacific.

Yes, I wrote my original post after misreading your post. My bad. As I said, There is one NOGA in the pacific so I was freaking thinking it was THE NOGA and you had found it dead out here in Santa Cruz, not South Carolina. I read the original post too quickly. 

I am much calmer now.

Edited by DLecy
typo
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3 minutes ago, DLecy said:

Yes, I wrote my original post after misreading your post. My bad. As I said, There is one NOGA in the pacific so I was freaking thinking it was THE NOGA and you had found it dead out here in Santa Cruz, not South Carolina. I read the original post too quickly. 

I am much calmer now.

Now I understand and I am glad it is not the one that you thought it was! 

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I will say that I am sure that I will rarely get as close to a Gannet (or any other bird) as I did today to experience how absolutely beautiful they are. I have, on occasion, been able to find an injured bird that could be saved (2 bald eagles as well as others) and take part in their rescue. But up close, this gannet was an extraordinary creature. 

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1 hour ago, DLecy said:

Yes, I wrote my original post after misreading your post. My bad. As I said, There is one NOGA in the pacific so I was freaking thinking it was THE NOGA and you had found it dead out here in Santa Cruz, not South Carolina. I read the original post too quickly. 

I am much calmer now.

That’s what I thought as well. I still need to get better looks at it. I’ve had it from a seawatch, it was obviously the bird and it wasn’t reported from the farllons for a few days before and after, but never counted it because I couldn’t get photos. It seems like it’s gone every time we take our bot out to the farallons. 

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5 hours ago, carlinsc said:

I'm on Hunting Island, off the coast of Beaufort. So yes it looks like some have been seen.

Gods, I haven't been there in 40 years.  My college Marine Sci 101 class made a field trip down there.  We were each assigned a square meter of salt marsh , and spent 2 hours counting life forms in our square.  I recall most of us didn't finish our entire square.

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Your list your rules is how I was told a life list works with a few limitations like you cannot count captured birds. That said as others have pointed out it looks like you are very likely to see Northern Gannet where you are. I live in NE Florida and recently saw several from the beach. They were close enough to see with the naked eye. Other times we have seen them you needed a scope. Other birds that typically live on the ocean some times come close to shore but not close enough to see with the naked eye. Love having a scope.

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10 hours ago, Connor Cochrane said:

That’s what I thought as well. I still need to get better looks at it. I’ve had it from a seawatch, it was obviously the bird and it wasn’t reported from the farllons for a few days before and after, but never counted it because I couldn’t get photos. It seems like it’s gone every time we take our bot out to the farallons. 

I dipped on it a few times back when it was hanging out at Devil's Slide in San Mateo County. Still need it for my state list. Bonkers bird for CA.

If you ever need an extra set of eyes on a trip to the Farallones, don't hesitate to reach out. 😎 

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