See that black mass out there in the ocean? It's not an oil slick or even a cloud shadow.
It's a flock of sea birds, as far as the eye can see from one side of Half Moon Bay to the other. The birds are called Shearwaters. There are 30 different kinds of shearwaters, and we believe these are sooty shearwaters. These birds live on the water and come on land only to breed. They migrate up to 40,000 miles a year. They also have a long life span, with a number of birds being on record as living over 50 years.
The birds feed on fish, squid, and other oceanic food. Some will follow fishing boats to get their scraps, but they are also known to follow whales and feed on fish disturbed by them. Their primary technique for feeding is diving with some species being able to dive down 230 feet.
In this case, the birds are following and feasting on a large bait ball of sardines....and they're not the only ones having a grand time out there! If you look toward the top of this photo, you'll see one of five or six whales that were out there chowing down in the bay as well.
Here's a closer view of the birds and a boat trying to get some of those fish as well to use as bait.