Stellers Sea Raven

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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