Unknown Bird of the North Pacific Ocean.
Physical description: Seabird, possibly cormorant-like. White.
Behavior: Perches on high cliffs along the coast.
Distribution: Ostrov Bering, Commander Islands, in the Bering Sea.
Significant sighting: Seen by German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller while he was shipwrecked in 1741 and 1742 on Ostrov Bering in the Commander Islands off Kamchatka, Siberia. Possible explanations:
(1) The Surfbird (Aphriza virgata), a plain gray Pacific sandpiper with white underparts, was proposed by Chris Orrick.
(2) An unknown species of pure-white Cormorant (Phalacrocorax spp.).
(3) The Pigeon guillemot (Cepphus columba) in white winter plumage has been suggested by Lars Thomas.
Source: Karl Shuker, Mysteries ofthe Planet Earth (London: Carlton, 1999), p. 84.
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