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Updated on Wednesday, April 16 at 07:31 PM EST
The most recently received Mail is at the top.


Loggerhead Kingbird,©Barry Kent Mackay

16 Apr Re: Help with red-breasted Merganser - additional photos [Peter Pyle ]
16 Apr Re: peep question [Jeff Gilligan ]
16 Apr Help with red-breasted Merganser - additional photos [Deborah Allen ]
16 Apr Re: Help with Red-breasted Merganser [Peter Pyle ]
16 Apr Re: Help with Red-breasted Merganser ["Mike O'Keeffe" ]
16 Apr Re: Help with Red-breasted Merganser [Kevin McLaughlin ]
16 Apr Help with Red-breasted Merganser [Robert DeCandido PhD ]
16 Apr Re: Kelp vs. Western [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
16 Apr Re: peep question [David Irons ]
15 Apr Re: European Golden Plover [COLIN BRADSHAW ]
15 Apr Re: European Golden Plover [Killian Mullarney ]
15 Apr Re: European Golden Plover [Lee G R Evans ]
15 Apr peep question ["Lethaby, Nick" ]
15 Apr European Golden Plover [Harvey Tomlinson ]
15 Apr Paul R Wood/UK/TLS/PwC is out of the office. [Paul Wood ]
14 Apr ADMIN: BirdWG01 list problems [Chuck Otte ]
14 Apr 1st year yellow-legged Gull or strange LBBG? [Suzanne Sullivan ]
13 Apr Kelp vs. Western [Noah Arthur ]
13 Apr Salutations! [Kristen and Mitchell Harris ]
10 Apr Re: possible Ring-billed Gull? [Peter Adriaens ]
10 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Andy Kratter ]
10 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Wayne Hoffman ]
10 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Peter Pyle ]
10 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Blake Mathys ]
10 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [julian hough ]
10 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Mark Stackhouse ]
10 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey []
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Christopher Vogel ]
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey ["Lethaby, Nick" ]
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Mark Stackhouse ]
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Tony leukering ]
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Tony leukering ]
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Peter Pyle ]
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Mark Stackhouse ]
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey ["Lethaby, Nick" ]
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Peter Pyle ]
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Noah Arthur ]
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Mark Stackhouse ]
9 Apr Re: possible Ring-billed Gull? [Amar Ayyash ]
9 Apr Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [Paul Lehman ]
9 Apr Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey [John Puschock ]
8 Apr possible Ring-billed Gull? [Neil Davidson ]
7 Apr Hummingbird, Delaware, USA [Ted Floyd ]
7 Apr Black-eared vs Black (Pariah) Kite - Identification [Robert DeCandido PhD ]
6 Apr Estrilda waxbills in Northern Tanzania [Joseph Morlan ]
31 Mar The problem of sampling colour from digital images ["Mike O'Keeffe" ]
28 Mar Re: Slaty-backed structure observations [Paul Hurtado ]
26 Mar Re: Which Side of the Line: Lesser Canada or Taverner's Cackling? [David Irons ]
25 Mar Re: Which Side of the Line: Lesser Canada or Taverner's Cackling? [Clive Harris ]
25 Mar Re: Which Side of the Line: Lesser Canada or Taverner's Cackling? [David Irons ]
25 Mar Which Side of the Line: Lesser Canada or Taverner's Cackling? [jeremy gatten ]
20 Mar Help w/ European Birds on textiles [Robert DeCandido PhD ]
18 Mar Slaty-backed structure observations [Noah Arthur ]
18 Mar Re: Possible answers to earlier 1st year "Northern Herring Gull" questions [Peter Post ]
18 Mar Possible answers to earlier 1st year "Northern Herring Gull" questions [Suzanne Sullivan ]
17 Mar Help Needed w/GWFG Races [Bates Estabrooks ]
13 Mar Re: Cackling Goose variability [Don Roberson ]
10 Mar Molt in adult-like Purple Martins [Martin Reid ]
10 Mar Re: Teal ID opinions [David Irons ]
10 Mar Teal ID opinions [Rohan A VanTwest ]
7 Mar Re: Hybrid Swallow ["Mike O'Keeffe" ]
7 Mar Re: Hybrid Swallow ["Mike O'Keeffe" ]
7 Mar Re: Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability [Wayne Hoffman ]
7 Mar Re: Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability [Joseph Morlan ]
7 Mar Re: Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability [Tony Leukering ]
7 Mar Re: Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability [David Irons ]
7 Mar Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability [Blake Mathys ]
7 Mar Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA [David Irons ]
6 Mar Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA [Brian Sullivan ]
6 Mar Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA [Jean Iron ]
6 Mar Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA [Brian Sullivan ]
6 Mar Re: Hybrid Swallow [Alvaro Jaramillo ]
6 Mar Re: Hybrid Swallow [Daniel Lane ]
6 Mar Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA [Brian Sullivan ]
6 Mar Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA [Angus Wilson ]
6 Mar Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA [Blake Mathys ]

Subject: Re: Help with red-breasted Merganser - additional photos
From: Peter Pyle <ppyle AT BIRDPOP.ORG>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:06:23 -0700
Hi Deborah and all -

The wing photos (and another sent off-line by Peter Post) confirm it 
a first-spring male. In this photo:

http://www.agpix.com/view_caption.php?image_id=678970&photog=1

The primaries appear worn and tapered (juvenal), the greater coverts 
are rounded and have indistinct brownish tips (they are squared and 
have more-distinct and blacker tips in adults), and there are two 
generations of lesser coverts, rounder and browner juvenal and 
more-squared and grayer formative feathers. It appears the middle 
tertials have been replaced formative (as would be expected of a 
first-cycle bird that had replaced all rectrices) and are white or 
mostly white, indicating male (all tertials are brown in females).

Cheers,

Peter

At 04:28 PM 4/16/2014, Deborah Allen wrote:
>Hi All,
>
>Thank you for all the helpful comments.
>
>Here are two more photos of the Red-breasted Merganser in question:
>
>http://www.agpix.com/view_caption.php?image_id=678970&photog=1
>
>http://www.agpix.com/view_caption.php?image_id=678969&photog=1
>
>and the first photo posted:
>
>http://www.agpix.com/view_caption.php?image_id=677393&photog=1
>
>I hope the two additional photos will suffice to nail down the i.d.
>
>Deborah Allen
>
>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: peep question
From: Jeff Gilligan <jeffgilligan10 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 16:59:08 -0700
On Apr 15, 2014, at 12:57 PM, "Lethaby, Nick"  wrote:

> All:
>  
> While looking through the pictures of the possible European Golden Plover, I 
noticed this one labeled ďMinature Western SandpiperĒ: 

>  
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9573151600/in/set-72157633378691097/
>  
> I would be interested if everyone agrees that this is a Western Sandpiper as 
it looks rather dull for a May bird and is lacking dark flank chevrons. The 
bill doesnít look typical for a Semipalmated. 

>  
> Nick Lethaby
> office: +1 805 562 5106
> mobile: +1 805 284 6200
> e-mail: nlethaby AT ti.com
>  
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


No - it does not look right for a Western, or like a Semipalmated should look 
like in my experience, though I have seen far fewer of them in spring than I do 
Westerns. I agree regarding your comments about the absence of chevrons and the 
rather dull coloration of the bird. The bill looks too finely pointed for 
either species, and very short for a Western. 


Jeff Gilligan
Oregon


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Help with red-breasted Merganser - additional photos
From: Deborah Allen <dallenyc AT EARTHLINK.NET>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 18:28:01 -0500
Hi All,

Thank you for all the helpful comments. 

Here are two more photos of the Red-breasted Merganser in question:

http://www.agpix.com/view_caption.php?image_id=678970&photog=1

http://www.agpix.com/view_caption.php?image_id=678969&photog=1

and the first photo posted:

http://www.agpix.com/view_caption.php?image_id=677393&photog=1

I hope the two additional photos will suffice to nail down the i.d. 

Deborah Allen

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Help with Red-breasted Merganser
From: Peter Pyle <ppyle AT BIRDPOP.ORG>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:45:54 -0400
I agree with Kevin that this is likely a first-spring male as opposed to
an older female showing male-like characters in the head, but I'd prefer
to see the open wing to be absolutely certain.

The outer primaries look black and there appear to be no juvenal tail
feathers remaining, both suggesting adult (although a small proportion of
first-year birds replace all rectrices during the preformative molt). The
breast, back, and flank feathers appear somewhat uniform, not with obvious
brown juvenal feathers as typically occur in first-spring male diving
ducks, but appearance in these areas may also fit some first-spring males.
The newer-looking patch of flank feathers might suggest first-cycle but
might also occur in adults due either to an extra molt of these feathers
or of a protracted/suspended prebasic molt.

Favoring first-cycle male, the iris may be too red for an adult female,
and I'm not sure that females would show white shaft streaks to the
longest scapulars, whereas first-spring males may acquire white in these
feathers on the way to the adult male pattern (completely or primarily
white). The crest looks a bit weak, which may be more of a first-cycle
character than a female character.

If any open-wing shots have been taken it would be fairly straightforward
to confirm this as a first-cycle male (or not).

Peter

> Hi Robert.
>
> I had always been uncomfortable with Palmer's Handbook pointing to birds
> such as this being adult females in late winter and spring. Unless someone
> can explain this, I must differ. I have spent a concerted amount of time
> this past winter studying RBMs at the western end of Lake Ontario to try
> and
> resolve the situation in my own mind. I have looked at birds in the field
> and have also examined a great many photos. I will leave wing pattern
> alone
> here as the bird's posture has the scapulars covering the tertials and
> secondaries. The combination of a red eye, black around the eye and the
> "two-part" shaggy head plumage indicate a male in its second calendar
> year.
> Two points to add as well : the literature indicates that young males are
> very slow to attain adult-type plumage in first cycle i.e. the second year
> of life, thus are female-like further into the New Year than perhaps any
> other species of diving duck with the possible exception of Common
> Merganser; I will have to check further to see if any adult females can
> show
> such a well-developed male-type crest as displayed by this bird. The
> National Geographic guide for example, does not seem to differentiate
> between the sexes in that respect.
>
> Kevin McLaughlin,
> Hamilton, Ontario.
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
> [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Robert DeCandido PhD
> Sent: April-16-14 12:59 PM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Help with Red-breasted Merganser
>
> Hi...some confusion exists over this individual in Central Park here in
> NYC...what is the age/sex of this Red-breasted Merganser?
>
> http://www.agpix.com/view_caption.php?image_id=677393&photog=1
>
> just interested in accuracy...for the historical record.
>
> Thanks!
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Help with Red-breasted Merganser
From: "Mike O'Keeffe" <okeeffeml AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 22:20:58 +0100
Hi all,

In the spirit of Easter I have started a project to bring the plates of
Robert Ridgway's Colour Standards and Colour Nomenclature (1912) back to
life in the modern sRBG Colour Space (the default colour pallet used by the
internet and all digital imaging devices).  For those interested please read
more here...
http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2014/04/colour-standards-and-colo
ur-nomenclature.html

Regards

Mike O'Keeffe
Ireland

www.birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Help with Red-breasted Merganser
From: Kevin McLaughlin <kam50 AT SHAW.CA>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 14:54:17 -0400
Hi Robert.

I had always been uncomfortable with Palmer's Handbook pointing to birds
such as this being adult females in late winter and spring. Unless someone
can explain this, I must differ. I have spent a concerted amount of time
this past winter studying RBMs at the western end of Lake Ontario to try and
resolve the situation in my own mind. I have looked at birds in the field
and have also examined a great many photos. I will leave wing pattern alone
here as the bird's posture has the scapulars covering the tertials and
secondaries. The combination of a red eye, black around the eye and the
"two-part" shaggy head plumage indicate a male in its second calendar year.
Two points to add as well : the literature indicates that young males are
very slow to attain adult-type plumage in first cycle i.e. the second year
of life, thus are female-like further into the New Year than perhaps any
other species of diving duck with the possible exception of Common
Merganser; I will have to check further to see if any adult females can show
such a well-developed male-type crest as displayed by this bird. The
National Geographic guide for example, does not seem to differentiate
between the sexes in that respect.

Kevin McLaughlin,
Hamilton, Ontario.


-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Robert DeCandido PhD
Sent: April-16-14 12:59 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Help with Red-breasted Merganser

Hi...some confusion exists over this individual in Central Park here in
NYC...what is the age/sex of this Red-breasted Merganser?

http://www.agpix.com/view_caption.php?image_id=677393&photog=1

just interested in accuracy...for the historical record.

Thanks!

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Help with Red-breasted Merganser
From: Robert DeCandido PhD <rdcny AT EARTHLINK.NET>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 11:58:40 -0500
Hi...some confusion exists over this individual in Central Park here in 
NYC...what is the age/sex of this Red-breasted Merganser?

http://www.agpix.com/view_caption.php?image_id=677393&photog=1

just interested in accuracy...for the historical record.

Thanks!

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Kelp vs. Western
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 09:25:56 -0700
Noah

   Actually Kelp looks like an overgrown, thickset Lesser Black-backed Gull
save for the darker tail. They actually do not look like Western Gulls in
first cycle. I see Kelp Gulls pretty frequently, and have yet to come up
with anything that resembles one on the West Coast. I do think that it is a
bird that is very unlikely to be found on the West Coast vs. the East Coast
but I could be wrong. 

 

Regards, 

 

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Noah Arthur
Sent: Sunday, April 13, 2014 8:30 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Kelp vs. Western

 

I've been wondering about Kelp Gulls flying under the radar on the West
Coast lately. 1st-cycle Western and Kelp look so similar that it seems like
a young Kelp could easily go unnoticed, especially in the spring and summer
(which is winter for a Kelp Gull), when few people are out looking for
gulls. Does anyone know of good field marks for separating these two in
1st-cycle plumage?

 

Thanks!

 

Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: peep question
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Wed, 16 Apr 2014 06:54:14 +0000
Nick,

The small-billed peep is strange. Doesn't look like a Western to me, as the 
bill is quite short and very delicate at the tip. The plumage is definitely not 
typical of a Western on this date. 


Dave Irons

Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:57:39 +0000
From: nlethaby AT TI.COM
Subject: [BIRDWG01] peep question
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU









All:
 
While looking through the pictures of the possible European Golden Plover, I 
noticed this one labeled ďMinature Western SandpiperĒ: 

 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9573151600/in/set-72157633378691097/
 
I would be interested if everyone agrees that this is a Western Sandpiper as it 
looks rather dull for a May bird and is lacking dark flank chevrons. The bill 
doesnít look typical for a Semipalmated. 

 
Nick Lethaby
office: +1 805 562 5106
mobile: +1 805 284 6200
e-mail: nlethaby AT ti.com
 



Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: European Golden Plover
From: COLIN BRADSHAW <drcolin.bradshaw AT BTINTERNET.COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 23:48:49 +0100
It's very difficult to judge from the photos but if I found this bird in the 
UK, I'd be jumping up and down with excitement thinking I'd found†dominica. 


1. I can't see any EGP having white breast patches this size, I can't imagine 
many PGPs like this either. 

2. The bird just looks too dainty for an EGP
3. The bill is too long for EGP
4. The flank colour [and perhaps even utcs] are a red herring as it hasn't 
moulted its underparts fully yet 

5. The primaries look heavily abraded and my experience of 1st alt AGP is that 
they can look quite short winged 


I suspect this is a moulting 1st alt AGP

cheers

Colin


________________________________
 From: Harvey Tomlinson 
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU 
Sent: Tuesday, 15 April 2014, 20:18
Subject: [BIRDWG01] European Golden Plover
 


Hi Birders, 
This past Sept 2013 I 
photographed an interesting plover at Brigantine NJ . 
I watched and took numerous photos for over an hour and when I got home and did 

some more research came to the conclusion it was an EGPL.
I posted the sighting 
to Jersey Birds and received overwhelming confirmation of my 
assessment.
But, an expert on 
shorebirds cast some doubt, so I pulled back and didn't take it any 
further.
I was asked to send 
photos for an online ABA article, and received kudos from the 
Cornell eBird team, but out of respect for this expert I declined the 
article†and decided to wait for the New Jersey Record Committee's vote. It 
would be a State record.
It seems the committee 
held is bi-annual meeting†two Sunday's past, yet for reasons unbeknownst to 
me it did not make their docket.
They were reviewing 
reports for the later half of 2013.
I did not 
send†this out to this list serve for opinions†so as not to cloud the 
issue, yet now it doesn't matter much. 
There won't be another 
committee†vote until next fall.
I am asking for 
opinions now†only because†the committee didn't vote on 
it.
Hybrid and PGPL have 
been mentioned, although structure and under tail coverts speak against PGPL. 
IMHO
I did report on the 
under wing color, which I saw 3x's, but do not have a 
photo.
Leave it out of the 
equation for now. I think there is enough information on the photos to make an 
assessment even though the quality is only fair and full of 
artifacts.
Thanks if you do 
respond,
Harvey 
Tomlinson
Del 
Haven, NJ
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9673632995/in/set-72157633378691097
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9673632995/in/set-72157633378691097
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9673059685/in/set-72157633378691097
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/12305219845/in/set-72157633378691097
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/13739481493/in/set-72157633378691097
†
†
†
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: European Golden Plover
From: Killian Mullarney <ktmullarney AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:24:31 +0100
Hello Harvey,

It is difficult to be certain what species of golden plover you observed at
Brigantine on 3rd September 2013, but I feel pretty certain it is not a
European. The single most incompatible (with EGPL) feature clearly visible
in a couple of your photos is the large size of the spots, or notches on
some of the more intact scapulars and wing coverts, best shown in this
image:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9673059685/in/set-72157633378691097/

In alternate (breeding) plumage these feathers are always more finely
patterned in EGPL than in either AGPL or PGPL, such that if you are close
enough to actually count the number of 'spots' on the visible portion of
the scapular feathers you can generally see eight or more spots in EGPL,
six or less in the other two species. Of course some feathers will be
partly concealed, and others will be more exposed than usual, but
the difference in the overall pattern can usually be rather easily
determined, even at long range.

Regards,

Killian Mullarney
Ireland


On Tue, Apr 15, 2014 at 8:18 PM, Harvey Tomlinson  wrote:

>   Hi Birders,
>
> This past Sept 2013 I photographed an interesting plover at Brigantine NJ.
> I watched and took numerous photos for over an hour and when I got home and
> did some more research came to the conclusion it was an EGPL.
>
> I posted the sighting to Jersey Birds and received overwhelming
> confirmation of my assessment.
>
> But, an expert on shorebirds cast some doubt, so I pulled back and didn't
> take it any further.
>
> I was asked to send photos for an online ABA article, and received kudos
> from the Cornell eBird team, but out of respect for this expert I declined
> the article and decided to wait for the New Jersey Record Committee's vote.
> It would be a State record.
>
> It seems the committee held is bi-annual meeting two Sunday's past, yet
> for reasons unbeknownst to me it did not make their docket.
>
> They were reviewing reports for the later half of 2013.
>
> I did not send this out to this list serve for opinions so as not to cloud
> the issue, yet now it doesn't matter much.
>
> There won't be another committee vote until next fall.
>
> I am asking for opinions now only because the committee didn't vote on it.
>
> Hybrid and PGPL have been mentioned, although structure and under tail
> coverts speak against PGPL. IMHO
>
> I did report on the under wing color, which I saw 3x's, but do not have a
> photo.
>
> Leave it out of the equation for now. I think there is enough information
> on the photos to make an assessment even though the quality is only fair
> and full of artifacts.
>
> Thanks if you do respond,
>
> Harvey Tomlinson
>
> Del Haven, NJ
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9673632995/in/set-72157633378691097
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9673632995/in/set-72157633378691097
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9673059685/in/set-72157633378691097
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/12305219845/in/set-72157633378691097
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/13739481493/in/set-72157633378691097
>
>
>
>
>
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: European Golden Plover
From: Lee G R Evans <LGREUK400 AT AOL.COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:37:57 -0400
Harvey
 
Very difficult to make any meaningful deliberation with the available  
images but my gut feeling would be that this is a PACIFIC rather than European 

Golden Plover, although for an adult to be in such good plumage in September 
is  rather unusual for fulva, the greater percentage of Europeans also 
heavily moulted by such a date. It appears to be quite small and long-legged in 

some of  the images, particularly compared with the Black-bellied Plover 
alongside. A  difficult one
 
 
 
You can now follow Lee on Twitter at LeeEvansBirding


Lee G R Evans, Ornithological Consultant, Author, Bird  Guide & Tour Leader
General Ornithology - _www.uk400clubonline.co.uk_ 
(http://www.uk400clubonline.co.uk/) 
British  Birding Association - _http://bbabirding.blogspot.co.uk_ 
(http://bbabirding.blogspot.co.uk/) 
Professional  Guiding - Latest Tour Information - 
http://ultimateguidingbirdwise.blogspot.co.uk/
Breaking  News/Bird Information/Announcements - 
_http://uk400clubrarebirdalert.blogspot.co.uk_ 
(http://uk400clubrarebirdalert.blogspot.co.uk/) 

Rare  Birds in Britain - http://rarebirdsinbritain.blogspot.co.uk/
Western  Palearctic Bird News - 
http://rarebirdsinthewesternpalearctic.blogspot.co.uk/
Items  For Sale or Exchange - 
http://leesmemorabiliaandcollectables.blogspot.co.uk/

Local  Websites
Bedfordshire Birding - http://bedfordshirebirding.blogspot.co.uk/
Hertfordshire  Birding - http://hertfordshirebirding.blogspot.co.uk/
Buckinghamshire  Birding - http://buckinghamshirebirding.blogspot.co.uk/
Birds  of Tring Reservoirs - http://birdingtringreservoirs.blogspot.co.uk/
Amersham  Birding - http://birdingamersham.blogspot.co.uk/

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: peep question
From: "Lethaby, Nick" <nlethaby AT TI.COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 19:57:39 +0000
All:

While looking through the pictures of the possible European Golden Plover, I 
noticed this one labeled "Minature Western Sandpiper": 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9573151600/in/set-72157633378691097/

I would be interested if everyone agrees that this is a Western Sandpiper as it 
looks rather dull for a May bird and is lacking dark flank chevrons. The bill 
doesn't look typical for a Semipalmated. 


Nick Lethaby
office: +1 805 562 5106
mobile: +1 805 284 6200
e-mail: nlethaby AT ti.com


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: European Golden Plover
From: Harvey Tomlinson <ShearH2Os AT AOL.COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 15:18:27 -0400
 
Hi Birders,   
This past Sept 2013 I  photographed an interesting plover at Brigantine NJ. 
 I watched and took numerous photos for over an hour and when I got home 
and did  some more research came to the conclusion it was an EGPL. 
I posted the sighting  to Jersey Birds and received overwhelming 
confirmation of my  assessment. 
But, an expert on  shorebirds cast some doubt, so I pulled back and didn't 
take it any  further. 
I was asked to send  photos for an online ABA article, and received kudos 
from the  Cornell eBird team, but out of respect for this expert I declined 
the  article and decided to wait for the New Jersey Record Committee's vote. 
It  would be a State record. 
It seems the committee  held is bi-annual meeting two Sunday's past, yet 
for reasons unbeknownst to  me it did not make their docket. 
They were reviewing  reports for the later half of 2013. 
I did not  send this out to this list serve for opinions so as not to cloud 
the  issue, yet now it doesn't matter much.  
There won't be another  committee vote until next fall. 
I am asking for  opinions now only because the committee didn't vote on  
it. 
Hybrid and PGPL have  been mentioned, although structure and under tail 
coverts speak against PGPL.  IMHO 
I did report on the  under wing color, which I saw 3x's, but do not have a  
photo. 
Leave it out of the  equation for now. I think there is enough information 
on the photos to make an  assessment even though the quality is only fair 
and full of  artifacts. 
Thanks if you do  respond, 
Harvey  Tomlinson 
Del  Haven, NJ 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9673632995/in/set-72157633378691097 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9673632995/in/set-72157633378691097 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/9673059685/in/set-72157633378691097 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/12305219845/in/set-72157633378691097 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/shearh2o/13739481493/in/set-72157633378691097 

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Subject: Paul R Wood/UK/TLS/PwC is out of the office.
From: Paul Wood <paul.r.wood AT UK.PWC.COM>
Date: Tue, 15 Apr 2014 06:27:56 +0100
I will be out of the office from 14/04/2014 until 22/04/2014.

I will respond to your message when I return.




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Subject: ADMIN: BirdWG01 list problems
From: Chuck Otte <cotte AT KSU.EDU>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2014 12:49:58 -0500
Good day BIRDWG01!

There are several announcements about the list. Please read and save for 
future use.

Overnight 278 subscribers were removed from BIRDWG01 by the ListServ 
computer because of onging issues with recent changes by Yahoo and the 
way that they handle email (more on that in a second.) A few of you have 
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Other providers have "honored" Yahooīs policy although they have not set 
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remove the Yahoo posts. These include Comcast, ATT, MSN, and Hotmail. 

If you have a Yahoo address, I encourage you to contact Yahoo.com support 
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which have had no problems are Google (Gmail.com) and Apple 
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any .org, .gov, or .edu address as far as I know right now.  

To repeat, if you are subscribed to the list with a Yahoo address your 
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-----
Chuck Otte                      cotte AT ksu.edu
County Extension Agent, Ag & Natural Resources
Geary County Extension Office, PO BOX 28         785-238-4161
Junction City, Kansas 66441-0028             FAX 785-238-7166
http://www.geary.ksu.edu/

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Subject: 1st year yellow-legged Gull or strange LBBG?
From: Suzanne Sullivan <swampy435 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 14 Apr 2014 09:01:48 -0400
All,

I would greatly appreciated if some of the Larus experts out there would be
willing to look at photos of the above mentioned gull and provide
comments. I think it might be a possible 1st year YLGU. It certainly
has some features that point towards LBBG but also lacks features also
pointing towards YLGU.

I tried to find similar aged LBBG and YLGU reliable photos on line of
the open wing but it proved to be difficult and inconclusive for the
most part. In fact most of the open wing shots I viewed indicate it is
indeed a YLGU.  I was unable to get any standing shots of this bird
unfortunately .

This bird has solid dark wings, no light inner window on inner
primaries. Has no barring on the inner greater coverts often seen in
LBBG of this age. I believe an important id feature for LBBG. Also
little to no light edging  to greater and medium coverts, another
typical LBBG feature.  Does the lack of these field marks indicate
YLGU?

The tail is quite interesting. To me it seems to me to be very similar
to a young GBBG tail. I wonder if the tail is with in the range of
LBBG?  After viewing  photos on line and in Gulls of the World , the
extensive white in the tail and the spotting/wavy pattern indicate
more YLGU  and not LBBG. It certainly seems to be in the range of
YLGU. The under tail coverts show the random chevrons as opposed to
barring, more like YLGU than LBBG?

The under wing is most curious since it does not seem to be typical of
either species. Although, this area appears to be quite ambiguous. You
can see some light baring or spotting but not strong by any means.

In photo 0086 you can see how the upper mandible curves down and the
fairly deep gonydeal angle more YLGU than LBBG.

Molt timing is probably important here but also seems all over the
place depending on sub-species. There does appear to be grayish
feathers coming in on mantle.  I cropped in close on some photos to
show pattern on back and tail.

Here is the link - http://www.pbase.com/suzsull/llbgylgu_type
photos were taken at UMASS Lowell boathouse on Merrimac River.

Thank you in advance for any feed back.
Suzanne Sullivan
Wilmington MA
swampy435 AT gmail.com

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Kelp vs. Western
From: Noah Arthur <semirelicta AT YAHOO.COM>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2014 20:30:22 -0700
I've been wondering about Kelp Gulls flying under the radar on the West Coast 
lately. 1st-cycle Western and Kelp†look so similar that it seems like a young 
Kelp could easily go unnoticed, especially in the spring and summer (which is 
winter for a Kelp Gull), when few people are out looking for gulls. Does anyone 
know of good field marks for separating these two in 1st-cycle plumage? 

†
Thanks!
†
Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Salutations!
From: Kristen and Mitchell Harris <knmharris AT BELLSOUTH.NET>
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 2014 10:21:09 +0200
    
       
  
 
      
http://live2.factum.ch/best-offer/choose.php?zmrkwnmcp1796ra

























    Kristen and Mitchell Harris
   

     -----------------------
   


 Sun, 13 Apr 2014 10:21:09   

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
     
Subject: Re: possible Ring-billed Gull?
From: Peter Adriaens <p_adriaens AT YAHOO.COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 17:02:34 -0700
Hi Neil, 


despite your misgivings about this bird's structure, and despite the two 
comments from America on your blog, this is still a Kamchatka Gull. 


Kamtschatschensisis the largest and bulkiest taxon of Common/Mew Gull, and 
often has a bright pink bill base in its first winter, thus suggesting 
Ring-billed Gull. The structural features that you point out are still too 
subtle to use as true identification features, and fall within the variation of 
Kamchatka Gull. In fact, the long, sloping forehead favours kamtschatschensis. 



Futher characters that point to Kamchatka Gull are the pattern of the underwing 
(dark brown lesser coverts, and extensive brown on axillaries), pattern of the 
median coverts on upper wing (brown vertical streaks, unlike the pointed, 
V-shaped anchor pattern in RB Gull), extensive brown spots on belly (more 
prominent than pattern on neck, while the reverse is usually true in 
Ring-billed), and the prominent white fringes on tertials. 



Kind regards,
Peter

On Tuesday, April 8, 2014 1:58 PM, Neil Davidson  wrote:
 
I'm hoping to get some feedback on this old gull sighting (13 March 2011). 
>I was going through my Common Gull files trying to make sense of the huge 
>range of kamtschatschensis appearance I see in Japan when I came across 
>these images of a bird which in the field I'd thought might have been Ring-
>billed. I later discounted it because of the dark primary window and 
>corresponding greater coverts wedge and the lack of any positive Ring-
>billed plumage features. I realize many people will be as unfamiliar with 
>kamt. as I am with Ring-billed but I'm really hoping for confirmation that 
>I can safely rule out Ring-billed. You can find a selection of images here:-
>
>
>
>
>http://birdingkyoto.blogspot.jp/
>
>
>
>The bird doesn't have any plumage features strongly indicative of RBG such 
>as banded tail or inner greater coverts barring. All the plumage features 
>can be shown by kamt. though the fine head streaking leaving an isolated 
>rear ear coverts spot would be unusual, they normally have a spot partly 
>masked by surrounding markings or none at all on less heavily marked birds, 
>but this is probably of little significance either way.
>
>
>
>So why would I even consider RBG? A number of points combine to create a 
>very un-Common Gull jizz. Depending on attitude the head is angular with a 
>deep, paralle-edged bill or when rounder the bill gives it a front-heavy 
>look. Even large kamt tend not to show such an angular appearance nor have 
>such a powerful bill. It looks very chesty and the body is obviously deep 
>from shoulder to belly. The rear is less attenuated than I expect from 
>common, partly due to the deep body but also the blade of the primary 
>projection is very deep based (each individual feather is broad unlike the 
>narrower, more pointed feathers of most kamt.) and lacks the typical long 
>appearance of Common. In most, but not all cases, p5 of kamt. falls 
>conspicuously beyond the tertials resulting in four unevenly spaced tips 
>along the blade whereas this bird only has three evenly spaced tips, again 
>contributing to a short, deep-bodied appearance. The legs are exceptionally 
>long producing a very upright stance when alert and a freer gait. In flight 
>it is broad-winged and more powerful looking than even the largest of birds 
>I'm used to seeing.
>
>† † 
>
>Two other interesting but inconclusive points are the very worn tertials, I 
>don't think I've ever seen this on any kamt. and while I'd expect RBG moult 
>to be more advanced at this time, it's equally odd to see kamt without 
>juvenile lower rear scapulars, very few have dropped most before the end of 
>March.
>
>
>
>So much as I'd like it to be a RBG for rarity value, I'd be very interested 
>in knowing why I can rule it out.
>
>
>
>Thanks in advance,
>
>Neil Davidson 
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>
>
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Andy Kratter <kratter AT FLMNH.UFL.EDU>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 16:42:04 -0500
Wayne et al.
There is a fourth possibility: the past few years Neotropic and Double-crested 
cormorants have had 

mixed pairs in south Florida, and produced young. So a hybrid parental origin 
is not out of the 

question.  That should muddle things further. Sorry to throw out the "H" word.

Andy Kratter

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman AT PEAK.ORG>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:10:41 -0700
Hi -
 I do not have a strong opinion on the the identity of this bird, but I
want to caution everyone that Double-crested Cormorants are among the North
American birds showing the most geographic variation in size, proportions,
and plumage (and several of the other most-variable birds may deserve
splitting - e.g., Cackling Goose, Hermit Thrush, Yellow Warbler).  So, I
would be very careful applying information we know about molt timing,
details of feather shape etc. in one part of the species range to the whole
range.  I see three viable hypotheses for the  identity of this bird:  1)
it is a Neotropic Cormorant; 2) it is a fairly normal Double-crested
Cormorant vagrant from a distant population (e.g. Bahamas, S. Florida); and
3) it is an aberrant "local" Double-crested Cormorant.  Distinguishing
between numbers 2 and 3 may be as difficult as between 1 and the others.

Wayne


On Thu, Apr 10, 2014 at 11:06 AM, Peter Pyle  wrote:

> The new photos allow a better assessment of age - it looks like a
> first-cycle bird (SY) undergoing the second prebasic molt. The tertials
> have been replaced (second basic) and contrast with an even panel of
> juvenal secondaries. It looks like inner primaries have also been replaced
> and molting, as would be expected with this pattern of tertial/secondary
> replacement. The wing coverts appear to be a combination of juvenal and
> incoming second basic, perhaps with some formative coverts as well. The
> head is undergoing molt and the older feathers may be a mixture of juvenal
> and formative.
>
> All of this equates better with Neotropic to me at this time of year.
> Double-crested (at least here in California) show much more bleached
> juvenal feathers now (including paler heads and breats) and are not this
> advanced in the second prebasic molt yet. If it wintered in NJ locally I
> would expect it to be only beginning the second prebasic now. Molt timing
> is more consistent with a bird that wintered farther south and began the
> molt in January or earlier, something that Neotropics do but not typically
> Double-cresteds.
>
> Regarding the shape of the back feathers an secondary coverts, juvenal
> feathers are similar between the two species (pointed). The more-pointed
> shape of Neotropical and more-rounded shape of Double-crested begins to be
> expressed in formative and second-basic feathers, and becomes fully
> advanced in definitive basic feathers. The newer second-basic feathers
> appear to look more pointed than the juvenal feathers, which could be
> another factor favoring Neotropic.
>
> Peter
>
>
> > When I looked at the original photos, I felt, based on the overall
> > impression, that this NJ bird was a DCCO; however, the new photos push me
> > strongly toward NECO. Overall these photos make the bird appear smaller
> > and daintier to my eye, and the body proportions are exactly what I
> expect
> > for a NECO.
> >
> > Blake Mathys
> > ---------------------------------
> > http://blakemathys.com/
> > ---------------------------------
> >
> >
> > Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 07:51:07 -0600
> > From: westwings AT SISNA.COM
> > Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
> > To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >
> > I mentioned the shape of those feathers in my original analysis of this
> > bird, and, to me, it was the strongest mark in favor of DCCO, based upon
> > the original photos. I can't comment on how consistent this mark is, or
> > how much variation is possible, and unfortunately, I don't have a very
> > good set of images for NECO here to use for analysis (the curse of being
> > common). Perhaps I should go take some.
> > With regards to the NJ bird, a new set of images was posted yesterday
> that
> > shows this mark, and all others, much better than the original images.
> The
> > shape of the coverts/back feathers are clearly NECO-like in this new set
> > of images, removing what I thought was the strongest point for DCCO as
> the
> > identity of this bird. The new images make a much stronger case for this
> > bird being a NECO. They can be seen here:
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/65854329 AT N05/13749071255/
> > Again, I appreciate all of the discussion and input, as this is an i.d.
> > problem we face every winter here.
> > Mark
> >
> > Mark Stackhousemark AT westwings.comfrom Mexico:01-323-285-1243 (San Blas,
> > Nayarit)001-801-518-5618001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)from
> > U.S.011-52-323-285-1243 or1-801-518-56181-801-518-5618
> > CallSend SMSAdd to SkypeYou'll need Skype CreditFree via Skype
> > Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> >
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Peter Pyle <ppyle AT BIRDPOP.ORG>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 14:06:23 -0400
The new photos allow a better assessment of age - it looks like a
first-cycle bird (SY) undergoing the second prebasic molt. The tertials
have been replaced (second basic) and contrast with an even panel of
juvenal secondaries. It looks like inner primaries have also been replaced
and molting, as would be expected with this pattern of tertial/secondary
replacement. The wing coverts appear to be a combination of juvenal and
incoming second basic, perhaps with some formative coverts as well. The
head is undergoing molt and the older feathers may be a mixture of juvenal
and formative.

All of this equates better with Neotropic to me at this time of year.
Double-crested (at least here in California) show much more bleached
juvenal feathers now (including paler heads and breats) and are not this
advanced in the second prebasic molt yet. If it wintered in NJ locally I
would expect it to be only beginning the second prebasic now. Molt timing
is more consistent with a bird that wintered farther south and began the
molt in January or earlier, something that Neotropics do but not typically
Double-cresteds.

Regarding the shape of the back feathers an secondary coverts, juvenal
feathers are similar between the two species (pointed). The more-pointed
shape of Neotropical and more-rounded shape of Double-crested begins to be
expressed in formative and second-basic feathers, and becomes fully
advanced in definitive basic feathers. The newer second-basic feathers
appear to look more pointed than the juvenal feathers, which could be
another factor favoring Neotropic.

Peter


> When I looked at the original photos, I felt, based on the overall
> impression, that this NJ bird was a DCCO; however, the new photos push me
> strongly toward NECO. Overall these photos make the bird appear smaller
> and daintier to my eye, and the body proportions are exactly what I expect
> for a NECO.
>
> Blake Mathys
> ---------------------------------
> http://blakemathys.com/
> ---------------------------------
>
>
> Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 07:51:07 -0600
> From: westwings AT SISNA.COM
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>
> I mentioned the shape of those feathers in my original analysis of this
> bird, and, to me, it was the strongest mark in favor of DCCO, based upon
> the original photos. I can't comment on how consistent this mark is, or
> how much variation is possible, and unfortunately, I don't have a very
> good set of images for NECO here to use for analysis (the curse of being
> common). Perhaps I should go take some.
> With regards to the NJ bird, a new set of images was posted yesterday that
> shows this mark, and all others, much better than the original images. The
> shape of the coverts/back feathers are clearly NECO-like in this new set
> of images, removing what I thought was the strongest point for DCCO as the
> identity of this bird. The new images make a much stronger case for this
> bird being a NECO. They can be seen here:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/65854329 AT N05/13749071255/
> Again, I appreciate all of the discussion and input, as this is an i.d.
> problem we face every winter here.
> Mark
>
> Mark Stackhousemark AT westwings.comfrom Mexico:01-323-285-1243 (San Blas,
> Nayarit)001-801-518-5618001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)from
> U.S.011-52-323-285-1243 or1-801-518-56181-801-518-5618
> CallSend SMSAdd to SkypeYou'll need Skype CreditFree via Skype
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Blake Mathys <blakemathys AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 12:07:28 -0400
When I looked at the original photos, I felt, based on the overall impression, 
that this NJ bird was a DCCO; however, the new photos push me strongly toward 
NECO. Overall these photos make the bird appear smaller and daintier to my eye, 
and the body proportions are exactly what I expect for a NECO. 


Blake Mathys
---------------------------------
http://blakemathys.com/
---------------------------------


Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 07:51:07 -0600
From: westwings AT SISNA.COM
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU

I mentioned the shape of those feathers in my original analysis of this bird, 
and, to me, it was the strongest mark in favor of DCCO, based upon the original 
photos. I can't comment on how consistent this mark is, or how much variation 
is possible, and unfortunately, I don't have a very good set of images for NECO 
here to use for analysis (the curse of being common). Perhaps I should go take 
some. 

With regards to the NJ bird, a new set of images was posted yesterday that 
shows this mark, and all others, much better than the original images. The 
shape of the coverts/back feathers are clearly NECO-like in this new set of 
images, removing what I thought was the strongest point for DCCO as the 
identity of this bird. The new images make a much stronger case for this bird 
being a NECO. They can be seen here: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/65854329 AT N05/13749071255/
Again, I appreciate all of the discussion and input, as this is an i.d. problem 
we face every winter here. 

Mark 

Mark Stackhousemark AT westwings.comfrom Mexico:01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, 
Nayarit)001-801-518-5618001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)from 
U.S.011-52-323-285-1243 or1-801-518-56181-801-518-5618 

CallSend SMSAdd to SkypeYou'll need Skype CreditFree via Skype 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: julian hough <jrhough1 AT SNET.NET>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 06:59:36 -0700
I looked quickly at these feather shape features in the initial shots and 
couldn't determine accurately whether they were more pointed or more 
rounded...some of the upper scaps seemed to appear pointed but the images left 
me doubtful that I was assessing these correctly. 

I don't have a good grasp on these two species, but one picture seems to show a 
long, wedge-shaped tail, so wouldn't that be the feature to focus on before 
subtleties of back feather shape. Is that tail too long for a DCC??† 


Julian
†
Julian Hough
New Haven, CT 06519
www.naturescapeimages.wordpress.com


________________________________
 From: "edboyd1959 AT COMCAST.NET" 
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU 
Sent: Thursday, April 10, 2014 7:50 AM
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
 


Another point in this discussion that I have not seen brought up (and I may 
have missed a couple of posts) is the shape of the back feathers. The two 
attached photos were taken in early February near Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, 
Mexico. The two birds were sitting side by side a few yards apart. 
Double-crests have obtuse feathers that are nicely rounded, giving a scalloped 
appearance. Neotrops have longer, more sharply pointed back feathers. I assume 
that this is true in all cases, but it has been with the neotrops that I have 
been able to observe closely. Anyone else have information on this being a 
consistent field mark? 


Double-crest
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24110087 AT N05/13151321893/in/photostream/
NeoTrop
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24110087 AT N05/13151201225/in/photostream/

From the images of the NJ bird, the feathering is much more aligned with those 
of the double-crested I photographed. 


Ed Boyd
Westminster, MD

________________________________

From: "Mark Stackhouse" 
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Sent: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 6:59:33 PM
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey

lol, Tony.

Thanks for the reference - you did a good job with that, even if you come up 
short on "tackled." I know that sometimes NECO will show some yellow/orange in 
the lore and supraloral area, but the question I have, and seems pertinent to 
the NJ bird, is how often, and/or to what age, can DCCO not show ANY 
yellow/orange there? I was working on the assumption, as I suspect many do, 
that ALL post-juvenile DCCO show at least some yellow/orange in the lore. If 
that's the case, shouldn't any cormorant seen in March in NJ with completely 
dark lore/supraloral area be a NECO? 


Does anyone know at what point it's reasonable to assume, if ever, that all 
DCCO should show such yellow/orange? 


Mark


Mark Stackhouse
mark AT westwings.com
from Mexico:
01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
from †U.S.
011-52-323-285-1243 or
1-801-518-5618




On Apr 9, 2014, at 2:54 PM, Tony leukering wrote:

All:
>
>
>Two points in my previous post. †"Tackled" is probably too intense of a word; 
I actually gave the subject just a casual hip check. †Also, the captions are a 
bit mis-ordered. 

>
>
>Tony
>
>
>Tony Leukering
>currently Bad Axe, MI
>http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
>http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/
>
>On Apr 9, 2014, at 4:31 PM, Tony leukering  wrote:
>
>
>
>Mark et al.:
>>
>>
>>I tackled the supraloral orange in NECO a while back from a Colorado 
perspective 
(http://cfobirds.org/downloads/In%20the%20Scope/007%20In%20the%20Scope%20July%202008.pdf). 
†Thanks to Michael O'Brien for pointing me in that direction. 

>>
>>
>>Tony
>>
>>
>>Tony Leukering
>>currently Bad Axe, MI
>>http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
>>http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/
>>
>>On Apr 9, 2014, at 3:09 PM, Mark Stackhouse  wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>Thanks for posting those pictures, Peter. I was wondering the same thing, 
since I was told that the Farallons bird had dark lores, too. But after looking 
at the pictures, while the sitting bird could easily pass for a NECO due to the 
shape of the gular sac, and the dark lores, the photos of the bird in flight 
don't look at all like NECO to me. The Farallons bird is too heavy, 
thick-necked, large-headed, and the tail too short and too rounded. 

>>>
>>>What this has me questioning is the reliability of the two most 
commonly-used field marks for this species pair - the gular angle and the color 
of the lores. 

>>>
>>>How often, and in what ages/plumages does a DCCO have a non-yellow 
supraloral area? Similarly, how often can a DCCO have an acute, nearly acute, 
or apparently acute gular sac angle? 

>>>
>>>Here I've used the general shape to weed through the NECO's looking for 
DCCO, and then relying on the lores and gular sac to confirm the i.d. Perhaps 
I've been doing it backwards? 

>>>
>>>Mark
>>>
>>>Mark Stackhouse
>>>mark AT westwings.com
>>>from Mexico:
>>>01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
>>>001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
>>>from †U.S.
>>>011-52-323-285-1243 or
>>>1-801-518-5618
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>On Apr 9, 2014, at 12:36 PM, Lethaby, Nick wrote:
>>>
>>>
>>>All:
>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>Can someone give a definitive analysis of why the Farallons bird is not a 
Neotropic? That would be pretty educational as this looks a harder id problem 
than I previously realized. 

>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>Thanks,
>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>Nick
>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>-----Original Message-----
>>>>
>>>From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle 

>>>>
>>>Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:55 AM
>>>>
>>>To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>>>>
>>>Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced back 
and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like this as 
second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as first-cycle. 
Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue. 

>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
>>>>
>>>https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
>>>>
>>>It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the 
observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it was a 
juvenile Double-crested. 

>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the 
Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally. 

>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>Peter
>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that 
>>>>>
>>>my reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit, 
>>>>>
>>>Mexico), I would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the 
>>>>>
>>>rare species here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a 
>>>>>
>>>greater scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some 
>>>>>
>>>conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization over which field marks are 
most important. 

>>>>>
>>>Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I 
>>>>>
>>>can't see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems 
>>>>>
>>>acute to me, too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one 
>>>>>
>>>would like for a state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better view of 
this. 

>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in 
>>>>>
>>>some it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for 
>>>>>
>>>sure, as the lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the view.
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered 
>>>>>
>>>and black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the 
>>>>>
>>>lores, but is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show 
>>>>>
>>>completely black, feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult winter) 
plumage? 

>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of 
>>>>>
>>>the photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole 
>>>>>
>>>tail extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and 
>>>>>
>>>the shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of 
>>>>>
>>>the hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed" 
>>>>>
>>>(perhaps it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller 
>>>>>
>>>than other cormorants in the area.
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers 
>>>>>
>>>appear wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how 
>>>>>
>>>reliable or what range of variation is possible in this character. 
>>>>>
>>>Perhaps others could comment on this.
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO, 
>>>>>
>>>the color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with 
>>>>>
>>>DCCO, but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful 
>>>>>
>>>examination of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed 
photos. 

>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to 
>>>>>
>>>hear the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the 
>>>>>
>>>range of variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here 
>>>>>
>>>more carefully.
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>Mark Stackhouse
>>>>>
>>>mark AT westwings.com
>>>>>
>>>from Mexico:
>>>>>
>>>01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
>>>>>
>>>001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from †U.S.
>>>>>
>>>011-52-323-285-1243 or
>>>>>
>>>1-801-518-5618
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>>
>>>There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
>>>>>>
>>>birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.
>>>>>>
>>>One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
>>>>>>
>>>was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
>>>>>>
>>>research showed it to be otherwise. †The bill and head shape on the NJ
>>>>>>
>>>bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.
>>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>>
>>>Paul Lehman, †San Diego
>>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>>
>>>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>>>
>>>
>>>>
>>>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>>>
>>>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Mark Stackhouse <westwings AT SISNA.COM>
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 07:51:07 -0600
I mentioned the shape of those feathers in my original analysis of this bird, 
and, to me, it was the strongest mark in favor of DCCO, based upon the original 
photos. I can't comment on how consistent this mark is, or how much variation 
is possible, and unfortunately, I don't have a very good set of images for NECO 
here to use for analysis (the curse of being common). Perhaps I should go take 
some. 


With regards to the NJ bird, a new set of images was posted yesterday that 
shows this mark, and all others, much better than the original images. The 
shape of the coverts/back feathers are clearly NECO-like in this new set of 
images, removing what I thought was the strongest point for DCCO as the 
identity of this bird. The new images make a much stronger case for this bird 
being a NECO. They can be seen here: 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/65854329 AT N05/13749071255/

Again, I appreciate all of the discussion and input, as this is an i.d. problem 
we face every winter here. 


Mark
 
Mark Stackhouse
mark AT westwings.com
from Mexico:
01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
from  U.S.
011-52-323-285-1243 or
1-801-518-5618




On Apr 10, 2014, at 5:50 AM, edboyd1959 AT comcast.net wrote:

> Another point in this discussion that I have not seen brought up (and I may 
have missed a couple of posts) is the shape of the back feathers. The two 
attached photos were taken in early February near Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, 
Mexico. The two birds were sitting side by side a few yards apart. 
Double-crests have obtuse feathers that are nicely rounded, giving a scalloped 
appearance. Neotrops have longer, more sharply pointed back feathers. I assume 
that this is true in all cases, but it has been with the neotrops that I have 
been able to observe closely. Anyone else have information on this being a 
consistent field mark? 

> 
> Double-crest
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/24110087 AT N05/13151321893/in/photostream/
> NeoTrop
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/24110087 AT N05/13151201225/in/photostream/
> 
> From the images of the NJ bird, the feathering is much more aligned with 
those of the double-crested I photographed. 

> 
> Ed Boyd
> Westminster, MD
> 
> From: "Mark Stackhouse" 
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Sent: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 6:59:33 PM
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
> 
> lol, Tony.
> 
> Thanks for the reference - you did a good job with that, even if you come up 
short on "tackled." I know that sometimes NECO will show some yellow/orange in 
the lore and supraloral area, but the question I have, and seems pertinent to 
the NJ bird, is how often, and/or to what age, can DCCO not show ANY 
yellow/orange there? I was working on the assumption, as I suspect many do, 
that ALL post-juvenile DCCO show at least some yellow/orange in the lore. If 
that's the case, shouldn't any cormorant seen in March in NJ with completely 
dark lore/supraloral area be a NECO? 

> 
> Does anyone know at what point it's reasonable to assume, if ever, that all 
DCCO should show such yellow/orange? 

> 
> Mark
> 
> Mark Stackhouse
> mark AT westwings.com
> from Mexico:
> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
> from  U.S.
> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
> 1-801-518-5618
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Apr 9, 2014, at 2:54 PM, Tony leukering wrote:
> 
> All:
> 
> Two points in my previous post. "Tackled" is probably too intense of a word; 
I actually gave the subject just a casual hip check. Also, the captions are a 
bit mis-ordered. 

> 
> Tony
> 
> Tony Leukering
> currently Bad Axe, MI
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
> http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/
> 
> On Apr 9, 2014, at 4:31 PM, Tony leukering  wrote:
> 
> Mark et al.:
> 
> I tackled the supraloral orange in NECO a while back from a Colorado 
perspective 
(http://cfobirds.org/downloads/In%20the%20Scope/007%20In%20the%20Scope%20July%202008.pdf). 
Thanks to Michael O'Brien for pointing me in that direction. 

> 
> Tony
> 
> Tony Leukering
> currently Bad Axe, MI
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
> http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/
> 
> On Apr 9, 2014, at 3:09 PM, Mark Stackhouse  wrote:
> 
> Thanks for posting those pictures, Peter. I was wondering the same thing, 
since I was told that the Farallons bird had dark lores, too. But after looking 
at the pictures, while the sitting bird could easily pass for a NECO due to the 
shape of the gular sac, and the dark lores, the photos of the bird in flight 
don't look at all like NECO to me. The Farallons bird is too heavy, 
thick-necked, large-headed, and the tail too short and too rounded. 

> 
> What this has me questioning is the reliability of the two most commonly-used 
field marks for this species pair - the gular angle and the color of the lores. 

> 
> How often, and in what ages/plumages does a DCCO have a non-yellow supraloral 
area? Similarly, how often can a DCCO have an acute, nearly acute, or 
apparently acute gular sac angle? 

> 
> Here I've used the general shape to weed through the NECO's looking for DCCO, 
and then relying on the lores and gular sac to confirm the i.d. Perhaps I've 
been doing it backwards? 

> 
> Mark
> 
> Mark Stackhouse
> mark AT westwings.com
> from Mexico:
> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
> from  U.S.
> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
> 1-801-518-5618
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Apr 9, 2014, at 12:36 PM, Lethaby, Nick wrote:
> 
> All:
> 
> Can someone give a definitive analysis of why the Farallons bird is not a 
Neotropic? That would be pretty educational as this looks a harder id problem 
than I previously realized. 

> 
> Thanks,
> 
> Nick
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle 

> Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:55 AM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
> 
> It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced back 
and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like this as 
second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as first-cycle. 
Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue. 

> 
> Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
> It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the 
observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it was a 
juvenile Double-crested. 

> 
> Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the 
Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally. 

> 
> Peter
> 
> 
> I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that 
> my reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit, 
> Mexico), I would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the 
> rare species here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a 
> greater scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some 
> conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization over which field marks are 
most important. 

> Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:
> 
> Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I 
> can't see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems 
> acute to me, too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one 
> would like for a state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better view of 
this. 

> 
> Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in 
> some it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for 
> sure, as the lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the view.
> 
> Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered 
> and black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the 
> lores, but is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show 
> completely black, feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult winter) 
plumage? 

> 
> Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of 
> the photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole 
> tail extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.
> 
> General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and 
> the shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of 
> the hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed" 
> (perhaps it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller 
> than other cormorants in the area.
> 
> Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers 
> appear wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how 
> reliable or what range of variation is possible in this character. 
> Perhaps others could comment on this.
> 
> On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO, 
> the color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with 
> DCCO, but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful 
> examination of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed 
photos. 

> 
> Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to 
> hear the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the 
> range of variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here 
> more carefully.
> 
> 
> Mark Stackhouse
> mark AT westwings.com
> from Mexico:
> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from  U.S.
> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
> 1-801-518-5618
> 
> 
> 
> 
> On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
> birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.
> One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
> was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
> research showed it to be otherwise.  The bill and head shape on the NJ
> bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.
> 
> Paul Lehman,  San Diego
> 
> 
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> 
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: edboyd1959 AT COMCAST.NET
Date: Thu, 10 Apr 2014 11:50:57 +0000
Another point in this discussion that I have not seen brought up (and I may 
have missed a couple of posts) is the shape of the back feathers. The two 
attached photos were taken in early February near Puerto Morelos, Quintana Roo, 
Mexico. The two birds were sitting side by side a few yards apart. 
Double-crests have obtuse feathers that are nicely rounded, giving a scalloped 
appearance. Neotrops have longer, more sharply pointed back feathers. I assume 
that this is true in all cases, but it has been with the neotrops that I have 
been able to observe closely. Anyone else have information on this being a 
consistent field mark? 


Double-crest 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24110087 AT N05/13151321893/in/photostream/ 
NeoTrop 
https://www.flickr.com/photos/24110087 AT N05/13151201225/in/photostream/ 

From the images of the NJ bird, the feathering is much more aligned with those 
of the double-crested I photographed. 


Ed Boyd 
Westminster, MD 

----- Original Message -----

From: "Mark Stackhouse"  
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU 
Sent: Wednesday, April 9, 2014 6:59:33 PM 
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey 

lol, Tony. 

Thanks for the reference - you did a good job with that, even if you come up 
short on "tackled." I know that sometimes NECO will show some yellow/orange in 
the lore and supraloral area, but the question I have, and seems pertinent to 
the NJ bird, is how often, and/or to what age, can DCCO not show ANY 
yellow/orange there? I was working on the assumption, as I suspect many do, 
that ALL post-juvenile DCCO show at least some yellow/orange in the lore. If 
that's the case, shouldn't any cormorant seen in March in NJ with completely 
dark lore/supraloral area be a NECO? 


Does anyone know at what point it's reasonable to assume, if ever, that all 
DCCO should show such yellow/orange? 


Mark 

Mark Stackhouse 
mark AT westwings.com 
from Mexico: 
01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit) 
001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) 
from U.S. 
011-52-323-285-1243 or 
1-801-518-5618 




On Apr 9, 2014, at 2:54 PM, Tony leukering wrote: 




All: 

Two points in my previous post. "Tackled" is probably too intense of a word; I 
actually gave the subject just a casual hip check. Also, the captions are a bit 
mis-ordered. 


Tony 

Tony Leukering 
currently Bad Axe, MI 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/ 
http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/ 

On Apr 9, 2014, at 4:31 PM, Tony leukering < greatgrayowl AT aol.com > wrote: 


Mark et al.: I tackled the supraloral orange in NECO a while back from a Colorado perspective ( http://cfobirds.org/downloads/In%20the%20Scope/007%20In%20the%20Scope%20July%202008.pdf ). Thanks to Michael O'Brien for pointing me in that direction. Tony Tony Leukering currently Bad Axe, MI http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/ http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/ On Apr 9, 2014, at 3:09 PM, Mark Stackhouse < westwings AT SISNA.COM > wrote:
Thanks for posting those pictures, Peter. I was wondering the same thing, since I was told that the Farallons bird had dark lores, too. But after looking at the pictures, while the sitting bird could easily pass for a NECO due to the shape of the gular sac, and the dark lores, the photos of the bird in flight don't look at all like NECO to me. The Farallons bird is too heavy, thick-necked, large-headed, and the tail too short and too rounded. What this has me questioning is the reliability of the two most commonly-used field marks for this species pair - the gular angle and the color of the lores. How often, and in what ages/plumages does a DCCO have a non-yellow supraloral area? Similarly, how often can a DCCO have an acute, nearly acute, or apparently acute gular sac angle? Here I've used the general shape to weed through the NECO's looking for DCCO, and then relying on the lores and gular sac to confirm the i.d. Perhaps I've been doing it backwards? Mark Mark Stackhouse mark AT westwings.com from Mexico: 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit) 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from U.S. 011-52-323-285-1243 or 1-801-518-5618 On Apr 9, 2014, at 12:36 PM, Lethaby, Nick wrote:
All:
Can someone give a definitive analysis of why the Farallons bird is not a Neotropic? That would be pretty educational as this looks a harder id problem than I previously realized.
Thanks,
Nick
-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [ mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU ] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle
Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:55 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced back and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like this as second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as first-cycle. Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue.
Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it was a juvenile Double-crested.
Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally.
Peter
I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that
my reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit,
Mexico), I would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the
rare species here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a
greater scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some
conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization over which field marks are most important.
Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:
Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I
can't see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems
acute to me, too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one
would like for a state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better view of this.
Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in
some it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for
sure, as the lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the view.
Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered
and black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the
lores, but is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show
completely black, feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult winter) plumage?
Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of
the photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole
tail extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.
General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and
the shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of
the hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed"
(perhaps it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller
than other cormorants in the area.
Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers
appear wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how
reliable or what range of variation is possible in this character.
Perhaps others could comment on this.
On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO,
the color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with
DCCO, but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful
examination of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed photos.
Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to
hear the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the
range of variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here
more carefully.
Mark Stackhouse
mark AT westwings.com
from Mexico:
01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from U.S.
011-52-323-285-1243 or
1-801-518-5618
On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:
There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.
One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
research showed it to be otherwise. The bill and head shape on the NJ
bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.
Paul Lehman, San Diego
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Christopher Vogel <glaucidium AT YAHOO.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 17:40:07 -0700
It seems to me that the focus and discussion so far has been on the anterior 
portions of the bird, while the second and eighth photo seem to clearly (well, 
not so "clearly" in the second photo, but still obviously) show a cormorant 
with a tail that is too long to be a Double-crested's.  


When added to the facial features, which are not at all incongruous with those 
of a Neotropic Cormorant, it seems more of a stretch to try and turn this bird 
into a Double-crested, at least to me. 


 
Cheers
CJV
Cape May, NJ


On Wednesday, April 9, 2014 7:42 PM, "Lethaby, Nick"  wrote:
 
I would second Mark’s point here. It seems like if the Farallons bird was 
just a DCCO, then several of the field marks are NOT reliable, at least for 
some period of juvenile plumage. 

 
From:NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Mark Stackhouse 

Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 4:00 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
 
lol, Tony.
 
Thanks for the reference - you did a good job with that, even if you come up 
short on "tackled." I know that sometimes NECO will show some yellow/orange in 
the lore and supraloral area, but the question I have, and seems pertinent to 
the NJ bird, is how often, and/or to what age, can DCCO not show ANY 
yellow/orange there? I was working on the assumption, as I suspect many do, 
that ALL post-juvenile DCCO show at least some yellow/orange in the lore. If 
that's the case, shouldn't any cormorant seen in March in NJ with completely 
dark lore/supraloral area be a NECO? 

 
Does anyone know at what point it's reasonable to assume, if ever, that all 
DCCO should show such yellow/orange? 

 
Mark
 
Mark Stackhouse
mark AT westwings.com
from Mexico:
01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
from  U.S.
011-52-323-285-1243 or
1-801-518-5618
 


 
On Apr 9, 2014, at 2:54 PM, Tony leukering wrote:


All:
 
Two points in my previous post.  "Tackled" is probably too intense of a word; 
I actually gave the subject just a casual hip check.  Also, the captions are a 
bit mis-ordered. 

 
Tony

Tony Leukering
currently Bad Axe, MI
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/

On Apr 9, 2014, at 4:31 PM, Tony leukering  wrote:
Mark et al.:
> 
>I tackled the supraloral orange in NECO a while back from a Colorado 
perspective 
(http://cfobirds.org/downloads/In%20the%20Scope/007%20In%20the%20Scope%20July%202008.pdf). 
 Thanks to Michael O'Brien for pointing me in that direction. 

>
>Tony
>
>Tony Leukering
>currently Bad Axe, MI
>http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
>http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/
>
>On Apr 9, 2014, at 3:09 PM, Mark Stackhouse  wrote:
>Thanks for posting those pictures, Peter. I was wondering the same thing, 
since I was told that the Farallons bird had dark lores, too. But after looking 
at the pictures, while the sitting bird could easily pass for a NECO due to the 
shape of the gular sac, and the dark lores, the photos of the bird in flight 
don't look at all like NECO to me. The Farallons bird is too heavy, 
thick-necked, large-headed, and the tail too short and too rounded. 

>>
>>What this has me questioning is the reliability of the two most commonly-used 
field marks for this species pair - the gular angle and the color of the lores. 

>>
>>How often, and in what ages/plumages does a DCCO have a non-yellow supraloral 
area? Similarly, how often can a DCCO have an acute, nearly acute, or 
apparently acute gular sac angle? 

>>
>>Here I've used the general shape to weed through the NECO's looking for DCCO, 
and then relying on the lores and gular sac to confirm the i.d. Perhaps I've 
been doing it backwards? 

>>
>>Mark
>>
>>Mark Stackhouse
>>mark AT westwings.com
>>from Mexico:
>>01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
>>001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
>>from  U.S.
>>011-52-323-285-1243 or
>>1-801-518-5618
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>On Apr 9, 2014, at 12:36 PM, Lethaby, Nick wrote:
>>
>>
>>
>>All:
>> 
>>Can someone give a definitive analysis of why the Farallons bird is not a 
Neotropic? That would be pretty educational as this looks a harder id problem 
than I previously realized. 

>> 
>>Thanks,
>> 
>>Nick
>> 
>>-----Original Message-----
>>From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle 

>>Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:55 AM
>>To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>>Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
>> 
>>It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced back 
and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like this as 
second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as first-cycle. 
Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue. 

>> 
>>Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
>>https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
>>It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the 
observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it was a 
juvenile Double-crested. 

>> 
>>Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the 
Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally. 

>> 
>>Peter
>> 
>> 
>>I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that 
>>my reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit, 
>>Mexico), I would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the 
>>rare species here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a 
>>greater scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some 
>>conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization over which field marks are 
most important. 

>>Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:
>> 
>>Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I 
>>can't see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems 
>>acute to me, too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one 
>>would like for a state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better view of 
this. 

>> 
>>Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in 
>>some it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for 
>>sure, as the lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the view.
>> 
>>Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered 
>>and black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the 
>>lores, but is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show 
>>completely black, feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult winter) 
plumage? 

>> 
>>Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of 
>>the photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole 
>>tail extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.
>> 
>>General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and 
>>the shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of 
>>the hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed" 
>>(perhaps it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller 
>>than other cormorants in the area.
>> 
>>Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers 
>>appear wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how 
>>reliable or what range of variation is possible in this character. 
>>Perhaps others could comment on this.
>> 
>>On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO, 
>>the color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with 
>>DCCO, but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful 
>>examination of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed 
photos. 

>> 
>>Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to 
>>hear the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the 
>>range of variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here 
>>more carefully.
>> 
>> 
>>Mark Stackhouse
>>mark AT westwings.com
>>from Mexico:
>>01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
>>001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from  U.S.
>>011-52-323-285-1243 or
>>1-801-518-5618
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
>>birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.
>>One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
>>was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
>>research showed it to be otherwise.  The bill and head shape on the NJ
>>bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.
>> 
>>Paul Lehman,  San Diego
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>> 
>>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>> 
>> 
>>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>> 
>>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>
>>Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 
 
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: "Lethaby, Nick" <nlethaby AT TI.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 23:19:31 +0000
I would second Mark's point here. It seems like if the Farallons bird was just 
a DCCO, then several of the field marks are NOT reliable, at least for some 
period of juvenile plumage. 


From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Mark Stackhouse 

Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 4:00 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey

lol, Tony.

Thanks for the reference - you did a good job with that, even if you come up 
short on "tackled." I know that sometimes NECO will show some yellow/orange in 
the lore and supraloral area, but the question I have, and seems pertinent to 
the NJ bird, is how often, and/or to what age, can DCCO not show ANY 
yellow/orange there? I was working on the assumption, as I suspect many do, 
that ALL post-juvenile DCCO show at least some yellow/orange in the lore. If 
that's the case, shouldn't any cormorant seen in March in NJ with completely 
dark lore/supraloral area be a NECO? 


Does anyone know at what point it's reasonable to assume, if ever, that all 
DCCO should show such yellow/orange? 


Mark

Mark Stackhouse
mark AT westwings.com
from Mexico:
01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
from  U.S.
011-52-323-285-1243 or
1-801-518-5618




On Apr 9, 2014, at 2:54 PM, Tony leukering wrote:


All:

Two points in my previous post. "Tackled" is probably too intense of a word; I 
actually gave the subject just a casual hip check. Also, the captions are a bit 
mis-ordered. 


Tony

Tony Leukering
currently Bad Axe, MI
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/

On Apr 9, 2014, at 4:31 PM, Tony leukering 
> wrote: 

Mark et al.:

I tackled the supraloral orange in NECO a while back from a Colorado 
perspective 
(http://cfobirds.org/downloads/In%20the%20Scope/007%20In%20the%20Scope%20July%202008.pdf). 
Thanks to Michael O'Brien for pointing me in that direction. 


Tony

Tony Leukering
currently Bad Axe, MI
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/

On Apr 9, 2014, at 3:09 PM, Mark Stackhouse 
> wrote: 

Thanks for posting those pictures, Peter. I was wondering the same thing, since 
I was told that the Farallons bird had dark lores, too. But after looking at 
the pictures, while the sitting bird could easily pass for a NECO due to the 
shape of the gular sac, and the dark lores, the photos of the bird in flight 
don't look at all like NECO to me. The Farallons bird is too heavy, 
thick-necked, large-headed, and the tail too short and too rounded. 


What this has me questioning is the reliability of the two most commonly-used 
field marks for this species pair - the gular angle and the color of the lores. 


How often, and in what ages/plumages does a DCCO have a non-yellow supraloral 
area? Similarly, how often can a DCCO have an acute, nearly acute, or 
apparently acute gular sac angle? 


Here I've used the general shape to weed through the NECO's looking for DCCO, 
and then relying on the lores and gular sac to confirm the i.d. Perhaps I've 
been doing it backwards? 


Mark

Mark Stackhouse
mark AT westwings.com
from Mexico:
01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
from  U.S.
011-52-323-285-1243 or
1-801-518-5618




On Apr 9, 2014, at 12:36 PM, Lethaby, Nick wrote:


All:

Can someone give a definitive analysis of why the Farallons bird is not a 
Neotropic? That would be pretty educational as this looks a harder id problem 
than I previously realized. 


Thanks,

Nick

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle 

Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:55 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey

It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced back 
and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like this as 
second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as first-cycle. 
Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue. 


Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the 
observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it was a 
juvenile Double-crested. 


Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the 
Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally. 


Peter


I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that
my reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit,
Mexico), I would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the
rare species here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a
greater scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some
conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization over which field marks are 
most important. 

Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:

Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I
can't see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems
acute to me, too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one
would like for a state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better view of 
this. 


Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in
some it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for
sure, as the lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the view.

Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered
and black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the
lores, but is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show
completely black, feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult winter) 
plumage? 


Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of
the photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole
tail extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.

General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and
the shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of
the hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed"
(perhaps it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller
than other cormorants in the area.

Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers
appear wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how
reliable or what range of variation is possible in this character.
Perhaps others could comment on this.

On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO,
the color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with
DCCO, but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful
examination of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed photos.

Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to
hear the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the
range of variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here
more carefully.


Mark Stackhouse
mark AT westwings.com
from Mexico:
01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from  U.S.
011-52-323-285-1243 or
1-801-518-5618




On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:






There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.
One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
research showed it to be otherwise.  The bill and head shape on the NJ
bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.

Paul Lehman,  San Diego



Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Mark Stackhouse <westwings AT SISNA.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 16:59:33 -0600
lol, Tony.

Thanks for the reference - you did a good job with that, even if you come up 
short on "tackled." I know that sometimes NECO will show some yellow/orange in 
the lore and supraloral area, but the question I have, and seems pertinent to 
the NJ bird, is how often, and/or to what age, can DCCO not show ANY 
yellow/orange there? I was working on the assumption, as I suspect many do, 
that ALL post-juvenile DCCO show at least some yellow/orange in the lore. If 
that's the case, shouldn't any cormorant seen in March in NJ with completely 
dark lore/supraloral area be a NECO? 


Does anyone know at what point it's reasonable to assume, if ever, that all 
DCCO should show such yellow/orange? 


Mark

Mark Stackhouse
mark AT westwings.com
from Mexico:
01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
from  U.S.
011-52-323-285-1243 or
1-801-518-5618




On Apr 9, 2014, at 2:54 PM, Tony leukering wrote:

> All:
> 
> Two points in my previous post. "Tackled" is probably too intense of a word; 
I actually gave the subject just a casual hip check. Also, the captions are a 
bit mis-ordered. 

> 
> Tony
> 
> Tony Leukering
> currently Bad Axe, MI
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
> http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/
> 
> On Apr 9, 2014, at 4:31 PM, Tony leukering  wrote:
> 
>> Mark et al.:
>> 
>> I tackled the supraloral orange in NECO a while back from a Colorado 
perspective 
(http://cfobirds.org/downloads/In%20the%20Scope/007%20In%20the%20Scope%20July%202008.pdf). 
Thanks to Michael O'Brien for pointing me in that direction. 

>> 
>> Tony
>> 
>> Tony Leukering
>> currently Bad Axe, MI
>> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
>> http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/
>> 
>> On Apr 9, 2014, at 3:09 PM, Mark Stackhouse  wrote:
>> 
>>> Thanks for posting those pictures, Peter. I was wondering the same thing, 
since I was told that the Farallons bird had dark lores, too. But after looking 
at the pictures, while the sitting bird could easily pass for a NECO due to the 
shape of the gular sac, and the dark lores, the photos of the bird in flight 
don't look at all like NECO to me. The Farallons bird is too heavy, 
thick-necked, large-headed, and the tail too short and too rounded. 

>>> 
>>> What this has me questioning is the reliability of the two most 
commonly-used field marks for this species pair - the gular angle and the color 
of the lores. 

>>> 
>>> How often, and in what ages/plumages does a DCCO have a non-yellow 
supraloral area? Similarly, how often can a DCCO have an acute, nearly acute, 
or apparently acute gular sac angle? 

>>> 
>>> Here I've used the general shape to weed through the NECO's looking for 
DCCO, and then relying on the lores and gular sac to confirm the i.d. Perhaps 
I've been doing it backwards? 

>>> 
>>> Mark
>>> 
>>> Mark Stackhouse
>>> mark AT westwings.com
>>> from Mexico:
>>> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
>>> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
>>> from  U.S.
>>> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
>>> 1-801-518-5618
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> On Apr 9, 2014, at 12:36 PM, Lethaby, Nick wrote:
>>> 
>>>> All:
>>>> 
>>>> Can someone give a definitive analysis of why the Farallons bird is not a 
Neotropic? That would be pretty educational as this looks a harder id problem 
than I previously realized. 

>>>> 
>>>> Thanks,
>>>> 
>>>> Nick
>>>> 
>>>> -----Original Message-----
>>>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle 

>>>> Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:55 AM
>>>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>>>> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
>>>> 
>>>> It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced 
back and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like this as 
second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as first-cycle. 
Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue. 

>>>> 
>>>> Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
>>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
>>>> It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the 
observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it was a 
juvenile Double-crested. 

>>>> 
>>>> Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the 
Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally. 

>>>> 
>>>> Peter
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>> I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that 
>>>>> my reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit, 
>>>>> Mexico), I would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the 
>>>>> rare species here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a 
>>>>> greater scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some 
>>>>> conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization over which field marks 
are most important. 

>>>>> Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:
>>>>> 
>>>>> Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I 
>>>>> can't see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems 
>>>>> acute to me, too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one 
>>>>> would like for a state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better view 
of this. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in 
>>>>> some it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for 
>>>>> sure, as the lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the 
view. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered 
>>>>> and black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the 
>>>>> lores, but is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show 
>>>>> completely black, feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult 
winter) plumage? 

>>>>> 
>>>>> Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of 
>>>>> the photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole 
>>>>> tail extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.
>>>>> 
>>>>> General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and 
>>>>> the shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of 
>>>>> the hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed" 
>>>>> (perhaps it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller 
>>>>> than other cormorants in the area.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers 
>>>>> appear wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how 
>>>>> reliable or what range of variation is possible in this character. 
>>>>> Perhaps others could comment on this.
>>>>> 
>>>>> On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO, 
>>>>> the color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with 
>>>>> DCCO, but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful 
>>>>> examination of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed 
photos. 

>>>>> 
>>>>> Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to 
>>>>> hear the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the 
>>>>> range of variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here 
>>>>> more carefully.
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Mark Stackhouse
>>>>> mark AT westwings.com
>>>>> from Mexico:
>>>>> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
>>>>> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from  U.S.
>>>>> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
>>>>> 1-801-518-5618
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
>>>>>> birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.
>>>>>> One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
>>>>>> was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
>>>>>> research showed it to be otherwise.  The bill and head shape on the NJ
>>>>>> bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Paul Lehman,  San Diego
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> 
>>>>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>>>> 
>>>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>>> 
>>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>> 
>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Tony leukering <greatgrayowl AT AOL.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 16:54:53 -0400
All:

Two points in my previous post. "Tackled" is probably too intense of a word; I 
actually gave the subject just a casual hip check. Also, the captions are a bit 
mis-ordered. 


Tony

Tony Leukering
currently Bad Axe, MI
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/

> On Apr 9, 2014, at 4:31 PM, Tony leukering  wrote:
> 
> Mark et al.:
> 
> I tackled the supraloral orange in NECO a while back from a Colorado 
perspective 
(http://cfobirds.org/downloads/In%20the%20Scope/007%20In%20the%20Scope%20July%202008.pdf). 
Thanks to Michael O'Brien for pointing me in that direction. 

> 
> Tony
> 
> Tony Leukering
> currently Bad Axe, MI
> http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
> http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/
> 
>> On Apr 9, 2014, at 3:09 PM, Mark Stackhouse  wrote:
>> 
>> Thanks for posting those pictures, Peter. I was wondering the same thing, 
since I was told that the Farallons bird had dark lores, too. But after looking 
at the pictures, while the sitting bird could easily pass for a NECO due to the 
shape of the gular sac, and the dark lores, the photos of the bird in flight 
don't look at all like NECO to me. The Farallons bird is too heavy, 
thick-necked, large-headed, and the tail too short and too rounded. 

>> 
>> What this has me questioning is the reliability of the two most 
commonly-used field marks for this species pair - the gular angle and the color 
of the lores. 

>> 
>> How often, and in what ages/plumages does a DCCO have a non-yellow 
supraloral area? Similarly, how often can a DCCO have an acute, nearly acute, 
or apparently acute gular sac angle? 

>> 
>> Here I've used the general shape to weed through the NECO's looking for 
DCCO, and then relying on the lores and gular sac to confirm the i.d. Perhaps 
I've been doing it backwards? 

>> 
>> Mark
>> 
>> Mark Stackhouse
>> mark AT westwings.com
>> from Mexico:
>> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
>> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
>> from  U.S.
>> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
>> 1-801-518-5618
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>>> On Apr 9, 2014, at 12:36 PM, Lethaby, Nick wrote:
>>> 
>>> All:
>>> 
>>> Can someone give a definitive analysis of why the Farallons bird is not a 
Neotropic? That would be pretty educational as this looks a harder id problem 
than I previously realized. 

>>> 
>>> Thanks,
>>> 
>>> Nick
>>> 
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle 

>>> Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:55 AM
>>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>>> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
>>> 
>>> It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced 
back and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like this as 
second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as first-cycle. 
Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue. 

>>> 
>>> Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
>>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
>>> It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the 
observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it was a 
juvenile Double-crested. 

>>> 
>>> Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the 
Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally. 

>>> 
>>> Peter
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that 
>>>> my reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit, 
>>>> Mexico), I would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the 
>>>> rare species here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a 
>>>> greater scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some 
>>>> conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization over which field marks 
are most important. 

>>>> Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:
>>>> 
>>>> Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I 
>>>> can't see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems 
>>>> acute to me, too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one 
>>>> would like for a state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better view 
of this. 

>>>> 
>>>> Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in 
>>>> some it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for 
>>>> sure, as the lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the 
view. 

>>>> 
>>>> Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered 
>>>> and black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the 
>>>> lores, but is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show 
>>>> completely black, feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult 
winter) plumage? 

>>>> 
>>>> Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of 
>>>> the photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole 
>>>> tail extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.
>>>> 
>>>> General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and 
>>>> the shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of 
>>>> the hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed" 
>>>> (perhaps it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller 
>>>> than other cormorants in the area.
>>>> 
>>>> Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers 
>>>> appear wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how 
>>>> reliable or what range of variation is possible in this character. 
>>>> Perhaps others could comment on this.
>>>> 
>>>> On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO, 
>>>> the color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with 
>>>> DCCO, but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful 
>>>> examination of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed 
photos. 

>>>> 
>>>> Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to 
>>>> hear the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the 
>>>> range of variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here 
>>>> more carefully.
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Mark Stackhouse
>>>> mark AT westwings.com
>>>> from Mexico:
>>>> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
>>>> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from  U.S.
>>>> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
>>>> 1-801-518-5618
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>>> On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
>>>>> birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.
>>>>> One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
>>>>> was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
>>>>> research showed it to be otherwise.  The bill and head shape on the NJ
>>>>> bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.
>>>>> 
>>>>> Paul Lehman,  San Diego
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> 
>>>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>>> 
>>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>> 
>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>> 
>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>> 
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Tony leukering <greatgrayowl AT AOL.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 16:31:31 -0400
Mark et al.:

I tackled the supraloral orange in NECO a while back from a Colorado 
perspective 
(http://cfobirds.org/downloads/In%20the%20Scope/007%20In%20the%20Scope%20July%202008.pdf). 
Thanks to Michael O'Brien for pointing me in that direction. 


Tony

Tony Leukering
currently Bad Axe, MI
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/
http://www.aba.org/photoquiz/

> On Apr 9, 2014, at 3:09 PM, Mark Stackhouse  wrote:
> 
> Thanks for posting those pictures, Peter. I was wondering the same thing, 
since I was told that the Farallons bird had dark lores, too. But after looking 
at the pictures, while the sitting bird could easily pass for a NECO due to the 
shape of the gular sac, and the dark lores, the photos of the bird in flight 
don't look at all like NECO to me. The Farallons bird is too heavy, 
thick-necked, large-headed, and the tail too short and too rounded. 

> 
> What this has me questioning is the reliability of the two most commonly-used 
field marks for this species pair - the gular angle and the color of the lores. 

> 
> How often, and in what ages/plumages does a DCCO have a non-yellow supraloral 
area? Similarly, how often can a DCCO have an acute, nearly acute, or 
apparently acute gular sac angle? 

> 
> Here I've used the general shape to weed through the NECO's looking for DCCO, 
and then relying on the lores and gular sac to confirm the i.d. Perhaps I've 
been doing it backwards? 

> 
> Mark
> 
> Mark Stackhouse
> mark AT westwings.com
> from Mexico:
> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
> from  U.S.
> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
> 1-801-518-5618
> 
> 
> 
> 
>> On Apr 9, 2014, at 12:36 PM, Lethaby, Nick wrote:
>> 
>> All:
>> 
>> Can someone give a definitive analysis of why the Farallons bird is not a 
Neotropic? That would be pretty educational as this looks a harder id problem 
than I previously realized. 

>> 
>> Thanks,
>> 
>> Nick
>> 
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle 

>> Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:55 AM
>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
>> 
>> It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced back 
and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like this as 
second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as first-cycle. 
Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue. 

>> 
>> Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
>> It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the 
observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it was a 
juvenile Double-crested. 

>> 
>> Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the 
Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally. 

>> 
>> Peter
>> 
>> 
>>> I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that 
>>> my reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit, 
>>> Mexico), I would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the 
>>> rare species here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a 
>>> greater scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some 
>>> conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization over which field marks 
are most important. 

>>> Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:
>>> 
>>> Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I 
>>> can't see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems 
>>> acute to me, too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one 
>>> would like for a state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better view 
of this. 

>>> 
>>> Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in 
>>> some it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for 
>>> sure, as the lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the 
view. 

>>> 
>>> Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered 
>>> and black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the 
>>> lores, but is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show 
>>> completely black, feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult 
winter) plumage? 

>>> 
>>> Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of 
>>> the photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole 
>>> tail extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.
>>> 
>>> General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and 
>>> the shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of 
>>> the hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed" 
>>> (perhaps it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller 
>>> than other cormorants in the area.
>>> 
>>> Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers 
>>> appear wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how 
>>> reliable or what range of variation is possible in this character. 
>>> Perhaps others could comment on this.
>>> 
>>> On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO, 
>>> the color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with 
>>> DCCO, but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful 
>>> examination of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed 
photos. 

>>> 
>>> Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to 
>>> hear the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the 
>>> range of variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here 
>>> more carefully.
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Mark Stackhouse
>>> mark AT westwings.com
>>> from Mexico:
>>> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
>>> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from  U.S.
>>> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
>>> 1-801-518-5618
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>>> On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
>>>> birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.
>>>> One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
>>>> was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
>>>> research showed it to be otherwise.  The bill and head shape on the NJ
>>>> bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.
>>>> 
>>>> Paul Lehman,  San Diego
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> 
>>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>> 
>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>> 
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>> 
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Peter Pyle <ppyle AT BIRDPOP.ORG>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 15:50:45 -0400
Additional discussion on the Farallon bird is here:
http://californiabirds.org/11report/11report.pdf
Peter

> Thanks for posting those pictures, Peter. I was wondering the same thing,
> since I was told that the Farallons bird had dark lores, too. But after
> looking at the pictures, while the sitting bird could easily pass for a
> NECO due to the shape of the gular sac, and the dark lores, the photos of
> the bird in flight don't look at all like NECO to me. The Farallons bird
> is too heavy, thick-necked, large-headed, and the tail too short and too
> rounded.
>
> What this has me questioning is the reliability of the two most
> commonly-used field marks for this species pair - the gular angle and the
> color of the lores.
>
> How often, and in what ages/plumages does a DCCO have a non-yellow
> supraloral area? Similarly, how often can a DCCO have an acute, nearly
> acute, or apparently acute gular sac angle?
>
> Here I've used the general shape to weed through the NECO's looking for
> DCCO, and then relying on the lores and gular sac to confirm the i.d.
> Perhaps I've been doing it backwards?
>
> Mark
>
> Mark Stackhouse
> mark AT westwings.com
> from Mexico:
> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
> from  U.S.
> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
> 1-801-518-5618
>
>
>
>
> On Apr 9, 2014, at 12:36 PM, Lethaby, Nick wrote:
>
>> All:
>>
>> Can someone give a definitive analysis of why the Farallons bird is not
>> a Neotropic? That would be pretty educational as this looks a harder id
>> problem than I previously realized.
>>
>> Thanks,
>>
>> Nick
>>
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
>> [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle
>> Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:55 AM
>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
>>
>> It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced
>> back and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like
>> this as second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as
>> first-cycle. Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue.
>>
>> Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
>> https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
>> It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the
>> observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it
>> was a juvenile Double-crested.
>>
>> Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the
>> Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally.
>>
>> Peter
>>
>>
>>> I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that
>>> my reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit,
>>> Mexico), I would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the
>>> rare species here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a
>>> greater scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some
>>> conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization over which field
>>> marks are most important.
>>> Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:
>>>
>>> Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I
>>> can't see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems
>>> acute to me, too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one
>>> would like for a state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better
>>> view of this.
>>>
>>> Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in
>>> some it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for
>>> sure, as the lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the
>>> view.
>>>
>>> Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered
>>> and black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the
>>> lores, but is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show
>>> completely black, feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult
>>> winter) plumage?
>>>
>>> Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of
>>> the photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole
>>> tail extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.
>>>
>>> General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and
>>> the shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of
>>> the hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed"
>>> (perhaps it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller
>>> than other cormorants in the area.
>>>
>>> Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers
>>> appear wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how
>>> reliable or what range of variation is possible in this character.
>>> Perhaps others could comment on this.
>>>
>>> On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO,
>>> the color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with
>>> DCCO, but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful
>>> examination of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed
>>> photos.
>>>
>>> Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to
>>> hear the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the
>>> range of variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here
>>> more carefully.
>>>
>>>
>>> Mark Stackhouse
>>> mark AT westwings.com
>>> from Mexico:
>>> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
>>> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from  U.S.
>>> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
>>> 1-801-518-5618
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:
>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
>>>> birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a
>>>> Neotropic.
>>>> One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
>>>> was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
>>>> research showed it to be otherwise.  The bill and head shape on the NJ
>>>> bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.
>>>>
>>>> Paul Lehman,  San Diego
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>
>>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>>
>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>>
>>
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>>
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Mark Stackhouse <westwings AT SISNA.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 13:09:27 -0600
Thanks for posting those pictures, Peter. I was wondering the same thing, since 
I was told that the Farallons bird had dark lores, too. But after looking at 
the pictures, while the sitting bird could easily pass for a NECO due to the 
shape of the gular sac, and the dark lores, the photos of the bird in flight 
don't look at all like NECO to me. The Farallons bird is too heavy, 
thick-necked, large-headed, and the tail too short and too rounded. 


What this has me questioning is the reliability of the two most commonly-used 
field marks for this species pair - the gular angle and the color of the lores. 


How often, and in what ages/plumages does a DCCO have a non-yellow supraloral 
area? Similarly, how often can a DCCO have an acute, nearly acute, or 
apparently acute gular sac angle? 


Here I've used the general shape to weed through the NECO's looking for DCCO, 
and then relying on the lores and gular sac to confirm the i.d. Perhaps I've 
been doing it backwards? 


Mark

Mark Stackhouse
mark AT westwings.com
from Mexico:
01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
from  U.S.
011-52-323-285-1243 or
1-801-518-5618




On Apr 9, 2014, at 12:36 PM, Lethaby, Nick wrote:

> All:
> 
> Can someone give a definitive analysis of why the Farallons bird is not a 
Neotropic? That would be pretty educational as this looks a harder id problem 
than I previously realized. 

> 
> Thanks,
> 
> Nick
> 
> -----Original Message-----
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle 

> Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:55 AM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
> 
> It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced back 
and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like this as 
second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as first-cycle. 
Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue. 

> 
> Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
> It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the 
observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it was a 
juvenile Double-crested. 

> 
> Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the 
Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally. 

> 
> Peter
> 
> 
>> I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that 
>> my reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit, 
>> Mexico), I would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the 
>> rare species here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a 
>> greater scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some 
>> conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization over which field marks are 
most important. 

>> Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:
>> 
>> Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I 
>> can't see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems 
>> acute to me, too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one 
>> would like for a state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better view of 
this. 

>> 
>> Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in 
>> some it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for 
>> sure, as the lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the view.
>> 
>> Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered 
>> and black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the 
>> lores, but is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show 
>> completely black, feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult winter) 
plumage? 

>> 
>> Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of 
>> the photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole 
>> tail extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.
>> 
>> General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and 
>> the shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of 
>> the hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed" 
>> (perhaps it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller 
>> than other cormorants in the area.
>> 
>> Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers 
>> appear wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how 
>> reliable or what range of variation is possible in this character. 
>> Perhaps others could comment on this.
>> 
>> On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO, 
>> the color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with 
>> DCCO, but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful 
>> examination of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed 
photos. 

>> 
>> Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to 
>> hear the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the 
>> range of variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here 
>> more carefully.
>> 
>> 
>> Mark Stackhouse
>> mark AT westwings.com
>> from Mexico:
>> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
>> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from  U.S.
>> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
>> 1-801-518-5618
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:
>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
>>> birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.
>>> One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
>>> was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
>>> research showed it to be otherwise.  The bill and head shape on the NJ
>>> bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.
>>> 
>>> Paul Lehman,  San Diego
>>> 
>>> 
>>> 
>>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>> 
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>> 
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: "Lethaby, Nick" <nlethaby AT TI.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 18:36:04 +0000
All:

Can someone give a definitive analysis of why the Farallons bird is not a 
Neotropic? That would be pretty educational as this looks a harder id problem 
than I previously realized. 


Thanks,

Nick

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification 
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Peter Pyle 

Sent: Wednesday, April 09, 2014 10:55 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey

It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced back 
and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like this as 
second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as first-cycle. 
Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue. 


Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the 
observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it was a 
juvenile Double-crested. 


Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the 
Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally. 


Peter


> I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that 
> my reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit, 
> Mexico), I would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the 
> rare species here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a 
> greater scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some 
> conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization over which field marks are 
most important. 

> Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:
>
> Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I 
> can't see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems 
> acute to me, too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one 
> would like for a state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better view of 
this. 

>
> Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in 
> some it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for 
> sure, as the lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the view.
>
> Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered 
> and black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the 
> lores, but is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show 
> completely black, feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult winter) 
plumage? 

>
> Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of 
> the photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole 
> tail extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.
>
> General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and 
> the shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of 
> the hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed" 
> (perhaps it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller 
> than other cormorants in the area.
>
> Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers 
> appear wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how 
> reliable or what range of variation is possible in this character. 
> Perhaps others could comment on this.
>
> On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO, 
> the color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with 
> DCCO, but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful 
> examination of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed 
photos. 

>
> Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to 
> hear the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the 
> range of variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here 
> more carefully.
>
>
> Mark Stackhouse
> mark AT westwings.com
> from Mexico:
> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico) from  U.S.
> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
> 1-801-518-5618
>
>
>
>
> On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:
>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
>> birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.
>> One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
>> was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
>> research showed it to be otherwise.  The bill and head shape on the NJ
>> bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.
>>
>> Paul Lehman,  San Diego
>>
>>
>>
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Peter Pyle <ppyle AT BIRDPOP.ORG>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 13:55:04 -0400
It appears to be a second-cycle bird, with dark brown head but replaced
back and wing feathers (most, at least); either species could look like
this as second-cycle and some Neotropics might also match this as
first-cycle. Otherwise I don't feel very qualified with this issue.

Here is the Farallon bird mentioned by Paul Lehman:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/53425647 AT N02/5020740918/in/photostream/
It was not accepted as A Neotropic by the CBRC but was withdrawn by the
observer on the second round of consideration. In the end all agreed it
was a juvenile Double-crested.

Different issues would apply to a second-cycle bird, of course, but the
Farallon lesson shows how similar these can be, structurally.

Peter


> I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that my
> reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico), I
> would never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the rare species
> here). Paul's comments have caused me to give this bird a greater
> scrutiny, and it appears to me to be a case with some conflicting marks,
> and requiring a prioritization over which field marks are most important.
> Here's my breakdown of the features that I can see:
>
> Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I can't
> see it as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems acute to me,
> too much so for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one would like for a
> state-first NECO. It would be nice to have a better view of this.
>
> Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in some
> it appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for sure, as the
> lack of focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the view.
>
> Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered and
> black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the lores, but
> is it within the range of variation for a DCCO to show completely black,
> feathered lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult winter) plumage?
>
> Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of the
> photos due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole tail
> extended, it appears to be long and wedge-shaped.
>
> General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and the
> shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of the
> hunched posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed" (perhaps
> it was cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller than other
> cormorants in the area.
>
> Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers appear
> wide and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how reliable or what
> range of variation is possible in this character. Perhaps others could
> comment on this.
>
> On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO, the
> color of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with DCCO,
> but there are some conflicting features that justify a careful examination
> of this bird. Hopefully we can get better and more detailed photos.
>
> Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to hear
> the perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the range of
> variation for a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here more
> carefully.
>
>
> Mark Stackhouse
> mark AT westwings.com
> from Mexico:
> 01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
> 001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
> from  U.S.
> 011-52-323-285-1243 or
> 1-801-518-5618
>
>
>
>
> On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:
>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young
>> birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.
>> One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and
>> was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further
>> research showed it to be otherwise.  The bill and head shape on the NJ
>> bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.
>>
>> Paul Lehman,  San Diego
>>
>>
>>
>> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Noah Arthur <semirelicta AT YAHOO.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 10:21:42 -0700
This isn't an ID I've studied too extensively (although I did have a candidate 
here in CA a couple years ago), but to me I don't see any reason to question 
this bird as a Neotropic Cormorant. Its tail is almost as big as it! I really 
can't imagine a Double-crested with a tail like that. The short bill and white 
border around the†pointed gular pouch all look spot on for Neotropic as well. 


Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Mark Stackhouse <westwings AT SISNA.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 11:06:33 -0600
I have to say that when I first looked at these photos last night that my 
reaction was that if I saw that bird here (San Blas, Nayarit, Mexico), I would 
never have even tried to turn it into a DCCO (the rare species here). Paul's 
comments have caused me to give this bird a greater scrutiny, and it appears to 
me to be a case with some conflicting marks, and requiring a prioritization 
over which field marks are most important. Here's my breakdown of the features 
that I can see: 


Angle of the gulag sac: This looks weakly to support NECO. While I can't see it 
as well as I would like in the photos, the angle seems acute to me, too much so 
for DCCO, but not as clearly acute as one would like for a state-first NECO. It 
would be nice to have a better view of this. 


Bill shape: Weakly DCCO? I can't really tell from these photos - in some it 
appears stout and with a bulbous tip, but I can't say for sure, as the lack of 
focus and camera angle seems to be distorting the view. 


Lore color: Strongly NECO. The lores are clearly completely feathered and 
black. I know that NECO can sometimes show some yellow in the lores, but is it 
within the range of variation for a DCCO to show completely black, feathered 
lores, especially in non-juvenile (adult winter) plumage? 


Tail: Supports NECO. Although the tail shape is not clear in some of the photos 
due to camera angle, in those where you can see the whole tail extended, it 
appears to be long and wedge-shaped. 


General shape/size: Inconclusive. No size comparison is possible, and the 
shape, including head shape is difficult to see clearly because of the hunched 
posture of the bird and because it seems to be "fluffed" (perhaps it was 
cold?). The observer notes that it appeared smaller than other cormorants in 
the area. 


Shape of the coverts/mantle feathers: Supports DCCO. These feathers appear wide 
and blunt for a NECO. Personally, I'm not sure how reliable or what range of 
variation is possible in this character. Perhaps others could comment on this. 


On the balance, I'm still more comfortable with calling this a NECO, the color 
of the lores in particular being difficult to reconcile with DCCO, but there 
are some conflicting features that justify a careful examination of this bird. 
Hopefully we can get better and more detailed photos. 


Since we face the mirror-image of this i.d. problem here, I'd love to hear the 
perspective of others. If this bird is indeed within the range of variation for 
a DCCO, we will need to examine our birds here more carefully. 


 
Mark Stackhouse
mark AT westwings.com
from Mexico:
01-323-285-1243 (San Blas, Nayarit)
001-801-518-5618 (cellular - U.S. and Mexico)
from  U.S.
011-52-323-285-1243 or
1-801-518-5618




On Apr 9, 2014, at 6:38 AM, Paul Lehman wrote:

> 
> 
> 
> 
> 
> There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young birds 
show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic. One such bird 
occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and was actually initially 
accepted as a Neotropic, but then further research showed it to be otherwise. 
The bill and head shape on the NJ bird look more along the lines of a 
Doube-crested's. 

> 
> Paul Lehman,  San Diego
> 
> 
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: possible Ring-billed Gull?
From: Amar Ayyash <amarayyash AT YAHOO.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 09:29:44 -0700
Neil, I think there are enough oddities about this gull to steer the ID away 
from 1st cycle RIng-billed. 

Structurally, I'm sure we can come up with Ring-billeds that appear 
longer-legged like this bird with a flat head. And some of the chevron-like 
scaling on the side of the neck and parts of the breast can also be matched by 
Ring-billed, but I agree with most of your suspicions which I've summarized 
below: 


1) The inner primaries show solid, brown,†outer webs, while the inner webs are 
clean and pale. 


With Ring-billed, the inner primaries are typically pale, with some 
silvery-gray pigmentation. The dark pigmenation is more black than brown, and 
is usually most prominent along the shafts of the inner primaries.†Although 
faded Ring-billeds may show brownish tones to the remiges, it's not as uniform 
and neat as your gull. Here are some examples of typical inner primary patterns 
on 1st winter Ring-billeds: 

On Tuesday, April 8, 2014 7:08 AM, Neil Davidson  wrote:
 
I'm hoping to get some feedback on this old gull sighting (13 March 2011). 
I was going through my Common Gull files trying to make sense of the huge 
range of kamtschatschensis appearance I see in Japan when I came across 
these images of a bird which in the field I'd thought might have been Ring-
billed. I later discounted it because of the dark primary window and 
corresponding greater coverts wedge and the lack of any positive Ring-
billed plumage features. I realize many people will be as unfamiliar with 
kamt. as I am with Ring-billed but I'm really hoping for confirmation that 
I can safely rule out Ring-billed. You can find a selection of images here:-




http://birdingkyoto.blogspot.jp/



The bird doesn't have any plumage features strongly indicative of RBG such 
as banded tail or inner greater coverts barring. All the plumage features 
can be shown by kamt. though the fine head streaking leaving an isolated 
rear ear coverts spot would be unusual, they normally have a spot partly 
masked by surrounding markings or none at all on less heavily marked birds, 
but this is probably of little significance either way.



So why would I even consider RBG? A number of points combine to create a 
very un-Common Gull jizz. Depending on attitude the head is angular with a 
deep, paralle-edged bill or when rounder the bill gives it a front-heavy 
look. Even large kamt tend not to show such an angular appearance nor have 
such a powerful bill. It looks very chesty and the body is obviously deep 
from shoulder to belly. The rear is less attenuated than I expect from 
common, partly due to the deep body but also the blade of the primary 
projection is very deep based (each individual feather is broad unlike the 
narrower, more pointed feathers of most kamt.) and lacks the typical long 
appearance of Common. In most, but not all cases, p5 of kamt. falls 
conspicuously beyond the tertials resulting in four unevenly spaced tips 
along the blade whereas this bird only has three evenly spaced tips, again 
contributing to a short, deep-bodied appearance. The legs are exceptionally 
long producing a very upright stance when alert and a freer gait. In flight 
it is broad-winged and more powerful looking than even the largest of birds 
I'm used to seeing.



Two other interesting but inconclusive points are the very worn tertials, I 
don't think I've ever seen this on any kamt. and while I'd expect RBG moult 
to be more advanced at this time, it's equally odd to see kamt without 
juvenile lower rear scapulars, very few have dropped most before the end of 
March.



So much as I'd like it to be a RBG for rarity value, I'd be very interested 
in knowing why I can rule it out.



Thanks in advance,

Neil Davidson 













Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


 http://gull-research.org/delawarensis/1cy/1cyaug06.html

2) The underwing coverts are uniformly dark.

Most 1st cycle Ring-billeds show pale underwing linings, with the greater 
primary coverts being the palest. Given this is a mid-March bird, I'd expect 
the underwings to be mostly white by now, like this: 

http://gull-research.org/delawarensis/2cy/2cyfebr10.html

3) The tertial edges†have thick,†pale edges up to the bases of these feathers. 

This is odd seeing the tertial edges are considerably worn. With 1st cycle 
Ring-billeds, thick pale edges on the tertials correspond with feathers in 
crisp condition (as with a number of other species, usually earlier in the 
season). As the feathers wear, the pale fringes become much less uniform and 
visible. That's not the case with this bird. 



Best,

Amar Ayyash
Frankfort IL, USA
http://www.anythinglarus.com/
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: Paul Lehman <lehman.paul1 AT VERIZON.NET>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 05:38:03 -0700




There is a reasonable chance that this is a Double-crested. Some young 
birds show a gular patch shape with faint pale border like a Neotropic.  
One such bird occurred on the Farallon Islands a couple years back and 
was actually initially accepted as a Neotropic, but then further 
research showed it to be otherwise.  The bill and head shape on the NJ 
bird look more along the lines of a Doube-crested's.

Paul Lehman,  San Diego




Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Possible Neotropic Cormorant in New Jersey
From: John Puschock <g_g_allin AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Wed, 9 Apr 2014 04:49:33 +0000
Rob Fergus is looking for comments on a possible Neotropic Cormorant. He 
writes: 


"Possible Neotropic Cormorant
 observed in a tree at dusk in NJ.  In life noted small size, dark 
lores, sharp v-shaped gular pouch, long wedge-shaped tail, dark 
underparts. Comments appreciated. Photos on Flickr at 
https://flic.kr/p/mVhviz." 


If you have any comments, cc him at birdchaser AT hotmail.com.

Thanks,
John Puschock

Seattle, WA

g_g_allin AT hotmail.com 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: possible Ring-billed Gull?
From: Neil Davidson <neilcd21 AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 8 Apr 2014 06:23:47 -0500
I'm hoping to get some feedback on this old gull sighting (13 March 2011). 
I was going through my Common Gull files trying to make sense of the huge 
range of kamtschatschensis appearance I see in Japan when I came across 
these images of a bird which in the field I'd thought might have been Ring-
billed. I later discounted it because of the dark primary window and 
corresponding greater coverts wedge and the lack of any positive Ring-
billed plumage features. I realize many people will be as unfamiliar with 
kamt. as I am with Ring-billed but I'm really hoping for confirmation that 
I can safely rule out Ring-billed. You can find a selection of images here:-
 



http://birdingkyoto.blogspot.jp/



The bird doesn't have any plumage features strongly indicative of RBG such 
as banded tail or inner greater coverts barring. All the plumage features 
can be shown by kamt. though the fine head streaking leaving an isolated 
rear ear coverts spot would be unusual, they normally have a spot partly 
masked by surrounding markings or none at all on less heavily marked birds, 
but this is probably of little significance either way.



So why would I even consider RBG? A number of points combine to create a 
very un-Common Gull jizz. Depending on attitude the head is angular with a 
deep, paralle-edged bill or when rounder the bill gives it a front-heavy 
look. Even large kamt tend not to show such an angular appearance nor have 
such a powerful bill. It looks very chesty and the body is obviously deep 
from shoulder to belly. The rear is less attenuated than I expect from 
common, partly due to the deep body but also the blade of the primary 
projection is very deep based (each individual feather is broad unlike the 
narrower, more pointed feathers of most kamt.) and lacks the typical long 
appearance of Common. In most, but not all cases, p5 of kamt. falls 
conspicuously beyond the tertials resulting in four unevenly spaced tips 
along the blade whereas this bird only has three evenly spaced tips, again 
contributing to a short, deep-bodied appearance. The legs are exceptionally 
long producing a very upright stance when alert and a freer gait. In flight 
it is broad-winged and more powerful looking than even the largest of birds 
I'm used to seeing.

    

Two other interesting but inconclusive points are the very worn tertials, I 
don't think I've ever seen this on any kamt. and while I'd expect RBG moult 
to be more advanced at this time, it's equally odd to see kamt without 
juvenile lower rear scapulars, very few have dropped most before the end of 
March.



So much as I'd like it to be a RBG for rarity value, I'd be very interested 
in knowing why I can rule it out.



Thanks in advance,

Neil Davidson 











 

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Hummingbird, Delaware, USA
From: Ted Floyd <tedfloyd57 AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2014 15:06:20 -0700
Hello, Birders.
Here's a photo of, and discussion about, an interesting hummingbird from 
Delaware a little while back: 

http://blog.aba.org/2014/04/march-april-2014-featured-photo.html
Ted FloydLafayette, Boulder, County, USA 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Black-eared vs Black (Pariah) Kite - Identification
From: Robert DeCandido PhD <rdcny AT EARTHLINK.NET>
Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2014 16:39:00 -0500
Anyone interested in distinguishing between the two Asian subspecies of the
Black Kite...the Black-eared Milvus migrans lineatus and the Black (Pariah)
Kite M.m. govinda can access this free publication by DeCandido et al:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/l5mu76lxpma6qy2/Kite.BlackEared.Pariah.2014.pdf

Flight identification of Milvus migrans lineatus ĎBlack-earedí Kite and
Milvus migrans govinda ĎPariahí Kite in Nepal and Thailand

Authors are Robert DeCandido (NYC), Tulsi Subedi (Nepal), Martti Siponen
(Finland), Kaset Sutasha DVM (Thailand), Andrew Pierce (UK and Thailand),
Chukiat Nualsri (Thailand) & Philip D. Round (UK and Thailand).

Research for the article was done primarily at the Khao Dinsor raptor
migration site in Thailand and the Thoolakharka raptor watch site in Nepal.

Robert DeCandido PhD

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Estrilda waxbills in Northern Tanzania
From: Joseph Morlan <jmorlan AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Sun, 6 Apr 2014 14:31:55 -0700
We assumed these were female Black-cheeked Waxbills (Estrilda erythronotos
delamerei) based on range.  However one of East Africa's better known
authorities has suggested that these are actually the first documented
records of Red-rumped Waxbill (Estrilda charmosyna kiwanukae) for Tanzania.
http://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/Tanzania/Black-cheekedWaxbillTanzania-077.htm

http://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/Tanzania/Black-cheekedWaxbillP1120085.htm

Above I follow Clements for English names, but these species are locally
(e.g. IOC) known as  Black-faced Waxbill (Estrilda erythronotos delamerei)
and Black-cheeked Waxbill (Estrilda charmosyna kiwanukae) respectively.
They reportedly closely resemble E. c. kiwanukae but I'd like to get more
confirmation before submitting them to the East Africa Rarities Committee. 

Can anybody confirm which species they are?

Thanks in advance. 
-- 
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA
"It turns out we're very good at not seeing things" - Jack Hitt

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: The problem of sampling colour from digital images
From: "Mike O'Keeffe" <okeeffeml AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Mon, 31 Mar 2014 19:48:46 +0100
Hi,

 

This kind of thing regularly comes up in ID discussions.  For instance gull
enthusiasts may be interested in trying to match gull images against Kodak
grey scales. Sampling colour in digital images however can be problematic.
Even if a patch of colour on a feather looks to be totally uniform in 100
crop, when you zoom in to the pixel level you will quickly discover that the
pixels are not uniform at all, but may consist of a combination of different
hues, a gradient of tones and the the odd artefact pixel thrown in for good
measures (noise, jpeg compression artefacts etc).  Sampling colour based on
one pixel at a time in the middle of this complex mess can be frustrating
and hit and miss.

 

Well I have come up with a useful way to flatten colour patches, making it
easy to sample the colour.  Crucially, this takes the guesswork and
subjectivity out of the problem.

One more useful tool for the ID toolbox.

 

For more details please visit 

 

http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/ 

 

or more specifically 

 

http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2014/03/colour-sampling.html

 

and

 

http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/2014/03/colour-by-numbers.html

 

Regards

 

Mike O'Keeffe

Ireland


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Slaty-backed structure observations
From: Paul Hurtado <paul.j.hurtado AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 13:05:48 -0400
This should be incredibly easy to measure on museum specimens, if any exist
in nearby collections. :-)

http://ornis2.ornisnet.org/search.aspx

-Paul Hurtado


On Wed, Mar 19, 2014 at 1:37 AM, Noah Arthur  wrote:

> Hi everyone.
>
> I've often read that Slaties are supposed to be "pot-bellied and
> short-legged". This certainly seems to be true on some individuals, but
> decidedly not on others. In fact, many of the first-cycle Slaties on the
> Japanese gull website look downright long-legged and skinny!  At the same
> time, I've noticed that when perched, the flank feathers of Slaties
> often seem to cover up a lot of the folded wing (more than on other
> similar gulls).
>
> Could it be that Slaty-backs aren't structurally pot-bellied or
> short-legged, but that their *belly and flank feathers are longer *than
> they are in other gulls? This could explain why their flank feathers cover
> up so much of the folded wing, and why they can look very pot-bellied
> (belly feathers fluffed) or rather slim (belly feathers sleeked down).
>
> Some fat-looking Slaties:
> http://www23.tok2.com/home/jgull/Slaty010226/Slaty010226.html
> Some skinny-looking Slaties:
> http://www23.tok2.com/home/jgull/061101/slaty.htm
> Adult showing long flank feathers:
> 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529 AT N02/11830233006/in/photolist-j2p37A-j2oE4g-j2swiE-j2swxN-j2oEaZ-j2swpw-j2pSSZ-j2oCVV-j2oCXZ-j2orc4-j2sWMQ-j2sX4b-j2mjy6-j2oF92-j2qNQu-j2qhut-j2qPjf-j2p1bS-j2n6UC-j2sJXh-j2p22j-j2n6GU 

>
> Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html




-- 
Paul J. Hurtado
Postdoctoral Fellow, The Ohio State University
Mathematical Biosciences Institute, http://mbi.osu.edu/
Aquatic Ecology Laboratory, http://ael.osu.edu/

E-mail: hurtado.10 AT mbi.osu.edu
Webpage: http://people.mbi.ohio-state.edu/hurtado.10

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Which Side of the Line: Lesser Canada or Taverner's Cackling?
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Wed, 26 Mar 2014 07:16:11 +0000
Jeremy,
In addition to the points made by Clive Harris about the longer neck, large 
size, bill shape and head shape, (which point away from this bird being a 
Ridgway's), I think these images safely eliminate Lesser Canada, which has a 
thinner, less triangular bill that usually shows a slight droop at the tip. 

Here are a couple of other things to note that point to this bird being a 
Taverner's Cackling Goose. 

One good structural clue is tail length. Tavs have fairly long tails and on the 
ground the tail often extends beyond the tip of the wings (very posture 
dependent). At the very least the tail appears to extend even with the 
wingtips. When Ridgway's Cackling Geese are on the ground the tail is typically 
well hidden by the wings, which usually appear to extend beyond the tip of the 
tail. When Ridgway's and Taverner's fly over in mixed flocks, Tavs are of 
course noticeably larger and they usually look longer tailed in comparison to 
the smaller and comparatively short-tailed Ridgway's, something Steve Mlodinow 
pointed out to me several years ago. 

The pale creamy breast color on this bird is fairly typical of Taverner's in my 
opinion. Tavs lack the darker, glossy breasted look that is usually evident on 
Ridgway's (particular the adults). Further, I think that the best thing to look 
at is the detail in the mantle, scapulars, and covert feathers. Although a bit 
variable, on a Taverner's these feathers tend to look fairly uniform brown with 
little if any color change between the base of the feather and the narrow buffy 
edges. Conversely, Ridgway's show more pattern in these feathers. Basally, the 
individual feathers tend to be more grayish and then they darken subterminally 
and then show broader more whitish tips than Taverner's. The darker subterminal 
section of each feather tends to contrast quite a bit with the broad pale 
edges, creating the more "frosted" look of Ridgway's. This comparison is best 
made on adult birds and not so obvious on first-winter birds. 

Note that at this season you can often age Cackling Geese by the presence or 
absence of obvious molt. I spent about an hour photographing a mixed flock of 
minima and taverneri last weekend, specifically looking for birds that showed 
signs of molt. All of the molting birds that I saw were AHY (first-winter). The 
body molt that I observed was mostly confined to the belly, lower breast and 
flanks, with larger and darker new feathers growing in and small, rounded and 
scaly-looking juvenile feathers still present where the new feathers had yet to 
grow in. I found no adults (ASY) that showed signs of molt. Discussions with 
Peter Pyle and others suggest that the preformative molt in AHY birds is 
protracted, with much of it occurring on the wintering grounds, whereas I have 
not noticed any midwinter molt happening in (ASY) birds, which have presumably 
completed or mostly completed their prebasic molt before migrating. 

Looking at Clive's photos of the Taverner's in Washington D.C., I see several 
birds that show active molt on the underparts. There are two photos that 
provide a nice illustration of how you can separate AHY and ASY birds in late 
winter/early spring. 

CAGO_Feb11_12 -- There are four birds in this image. The bird on the front left 
is ASY. I cannot age the mostly obscured bird second from the left. The third 
bird from the left is AHY (first winter) and the righthand most bird is ASY. 
Note that neither of the ASY birds show obvious evidence of molt on the 
underparts, while the AHY bird is clearly molting in new feathers along the 
flanks. If you compare the mantle, scapular, and coverts feathers of the AHY 
bird with the ASY birds, you should be able to see a difference in both the 
size and shape of these feathers, which are smaller and more rounded in the AHY 
bird and larger and more square-tipped in the ASY birds. Also look at the paler 
belly feathers on the AHY and note how small and rounded they are. These are 
retained juvenile feathers that create a very scaly look to the underparts. 

CAGO_Feb11_3 -- This group is comprised of mostly adults (ASY), but the bird 
front and center and probably the bird behind it are AHY. This shot really 
illustrates the difference in size and shape (smaller and rounded at the tip) 
of the mantle, scap, and coverts and how this creates a scaly look. Again, note 
the difference in size and shape of the retained juvenile feathers on the 
underparts compared to the larger dark feathers coming in along the flanks. 

Dave IronsPortland, OR 


Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 18:15:29 -0700
From: clivegharris AT YAHOO.COM
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Which Side of the Line: Lesser Canada or Taverner's 
Cackling? 

To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU

Jeremy It looks like a Taverner's Cackling Goose to me based on the rather deep 
triangular bill and rounded head shape. I'm based in Maryland so am not very 
familiar with the full range of minima but it looks a bit too 
long-necked/pale/large for that and a better fit for taverneri. I believe 
Lesser Canada would show a thinner longer bill and a more angular head shape. 
Of course intermediate birds have been documented but this looks to be what I 
understand is regarded as a solid taverneri. Last month I found a group of 8 
small white-cheeked geese in Washington DC that were clearly not the expected 
Richardson's and after some research I felt they were Taverner's, an ID which 
was supported by Steve 

 Mlodinow. Pictures of those birds, which look very similar to yours, are here: 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/23281683 AT N04/sets/72157640856222854/ Regards Clive 
HarrisCabin John, MD 

        From: jeremy gatten 

 To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU 
 Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:00 PM
 Subject: [BIRDWG01] Which Side of the Line: Lesser Canada or Taverner's 
Cackling? 

   




Hi all,
I live on southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia and we regularly get an 
interesting assortment of geese from fall through spring. In the winter, we 
have groups of minima Cackling Geese, occidentalis Canada Geese (Dusky 
Canadas), and our introduced resident Canada Geese that are seemingly have a 
muddled ancestry. After that, I personally am a little unclear as to what we 
have when it comes to the parvipes Canada Geese (Lesser Canada) and taverneri 
Cackling Geese (Taverner's Cackling. I have seen blue-collared geese in Sooke 
(~25-30 km west of Victoria) during fall migration and those would be Lesser 
Canada Geese from what I understand. After that, I'm just not sure whether we 
regularly get overwintering Lesser Canadas or whether we have Taverner's 
Cacklers stopping in or staying, period. 

On March 22, 2014, I went to Royal
 Roads University and there was a nice mixed group of all the expected B. h./c. 
taxa for here, plus one that I wasn't sure about. It was with a group mostly 
made up of Dusky Canada Geese, and it was noticeably smaller than them. The 
chest was quite pale and there is some funky mottling at the transition from 
the black neck to the tan upper chest. The bill is pretty small and I think it 
suggests Cackling, but I don't have the experience to determine whether it is 
daintiest Canada bill or a more-robust-than-minima Cackling bill. The other 
option I will throw out there is perhaps this is just a very bulky minima. I 
don't exactly think it's a very strong option, but I just don't know the full 
range of variation and perhaps I am just identifying the most miniature, 
obvious minima Cacklers. 

I have put up some five photos on my Flickr account and I will link them
 separately as they are not in sequence in my Photostream:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13414021784/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13413595255/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361460583/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361737684/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361535783/
Hopefully those links work. I know there is a lot of literature on this, but it 
is still a lot of work to try to decode this without knowing if you're 
interpreting everything correctly. If you have experience and can lend your 
expertise, I would be most grateful! 

Thanks,
Jeremy GattenSaanichton, BC, Canada 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


    Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Which Side of the Line: Lesser Canada or Taverner's Cackling?
From: Clive Harris <clivegharris AT YAHOO.COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 18:15:29 -0700
Jeremy
†
It looks like a Taverner's Cackling Goose to me based on the rather deep 
triangular bill and rounded head shape.† I'm based in Maryland so am not very 
familiar with the full range of minima but it looks a bit too 
long-necked/pale/large for that and a better fit for taverneri. I believe 
Lesser Canada would show a thinner longer bill and a more angular head shape.† 
Of course intermediate birds have been documented but this looks to be what I 
understand is regarded as a solid taverneri. 

†
Last month†I†found a group of 8 small white-cheeked geese in Washington DC that 
were clearly not the expected Richardson's and after some research I felt they 
were Taverner's, an ID which was supported by Steve Mlodinow.† Pictures of 
those birds, which look very similar to yours, are here: 

†
http://www.flickr.com/photos/23281683 AT N04/sets/72157640856222854/
†
Regards
†
Clive Harris
Cabin John, MD
 

________________________________
 From: jeremy gatten 
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU 
Sent: Tuesday, March 25, 2014 7:00 PM
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Which Side of the Line: Lesser Canada or Taverner's 
Cackling? 

  


 
Hi all,

I live on southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia and we regularly get an 
interesting assortment of geese from fall through spring. †In the winter, we 
have groups of minima Cackling Geese, occidentalis Canada Geese (Dusky 
Canadas), and our introduced resident Canada Geese that are seemingly have a 
muddled ancestry. †After that, I personally am a little unclear as to what we 
have when it comes to the parvipes Canada Geese (Lesser Canada) andtaverneri 
Cackling Geese (Taverner's Cackling. †I have seen blue-collared geese in Sooke 
(~25-30 km west of Victoria) during fall migration and those would be Lesser 
Canada Geese from what I understand. †After that, I'm just not sure whether we 
regularly get overwintering Lesser Canadas or whether we have Taverner's 
Cacklers stopping in or staying, period. 


On March 22, 2014, I went to Royal Roads University and there was a nice mixed 
group of all the expected B. h./c. taxa for here, plus one that I wasn't sure 
about. †It was with a group mostly made up of Dusky Canada Geese, and it was 
noticeably smaller than them. †The chest was quite pale and there is some funky 
mottling at the transition from the black neck to the tan upper chest. †The 
bill is pretty small and I think it suggests Cackling, but I don't have the 
experience to determine whether it is daintiest Canada bill or a 
more-robust-than-minima Cackling bill. †The other option I will throw out there 
is perhaps this is just a very bulky minima. †I don't exactly think it's a very 
strong option, but I just don't know the full range of variation and perhaps I 
am just identifying the most miniature, obvious minima Cacklers. 


I have put up some five photos on my Flickr account and I will link them 
separately as they are not in sequence in my Photostream: 


https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13414021784/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13413595255/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361460583/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361737684/

https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361535783/

Hopefully those links work. †I know there is a lot of literature on this, but 
it is still a lot of work to try to decode this without knowing if you're 
interpreting everything correctly. †If you have experience and can lend your 
expertise, I would be most grateful! 


Thanks,
Jeremy Gatten
Saanichton, BC, Canada 
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Which Side of the Line: Lesser Canada or Taverner's Cackling?
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 17:21:54 -0700
I am at work with an iPhone and sausage fingers to work with, so this will be 
short. This bird looks like a Taverner's Cackling Goose. When I get home later 
tonight I will provide an explanation for this opinion. 


Dave Irons
Portland, OR

Sent from my iPhone

On Mar 25, 2014, at 4:15 PM, "jeremy gatten"  wrote:

> Hi all,
> 
> I live on southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia and we regularly get 
an interesting assortment of geese from fall through spring. In the winter, we 
have groups of minima Cackling Geese, occidentalis Canada Geese (Dusky 
Canadas), and our introduced resident Canada Geese that are seemingly have a 
muddled ancestry. After that, I personally am a little unclear as to what we 
have when it comes to the parvipes Canada Geese (Lesser Canada) and taverneri 
Cackling Geese (Taverner's Cackling. I have seen blue-collared geese in Sooke 
(~25-30 km west of Victoria) during fall migration and those would be Lesser 
Canada Geese from what I understand. After that, I'm just not sure whether we 
regularly get overwintering Lesser Canadas or whether we have Taverner's 
Cacklers stopping in or staying, period. 

> 
> On March 22, 2014, I went to Royal Roads University and there was a nice 
mixed group of all the expected B. h./c. taxa for here, plus one that I wasn't 
sure about. It was with a group mostly made up of Dusky Canada Geese, and it 
was noticeably smaller than them. The chest was quite pale and there is some 
funky mottling at the transition from the black neck to the tan upper chest. 
The bill is pretty small and I think it suggests Cackling, but I don't have the 
experience to determine whether it is daintiest Canada bill or a 
more-robust-than-minima Cackling bill. The other option I will throw out there 
is perhaps this is just a very bulky minima. I don't exactly think it's a very 
strong option, but I just don't know the full range of variation and perhaps I 
am just identifying the most miniature, obvious minima Cacklers. 

> 
> I have put up some five photos on my Flickr account and I will link them 
separately as they are not in sequence in my Photostream: 

> 
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13414021784/
> 
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13413595255/
> 
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361460583/
> 
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361737684/
> 
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361535783/
> 
> Hopefully those links work. I know there is a lot of literature on this, but 
it is still a lot of work to try to decode this without knowing if you're 
interpreting everything correctly. If you have experience and can lend your 
expertise, I would be most grateful! 

> 
> Thanks,
> Jeremy Gatten
> Saanichton, BC, Canada
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Which Side of the Line: Lesser Canada or Taverner's Cackling?
From: jeremy gatten <jarofme AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 25 Mar 2014 23:00:29 +0000
Hi all,
I live on southern Vancouver Island in British Columbia and we regularly get an 
interesting assortment of geese from fall through spring. In the winter, we 
have groups of minima Cackling Geese, occidentalis Canada Geese (Dusky 
Canadas), and our introduced resident Canada Geese that are seemingly have a 
muddled ancestry. After that, I personally am a little unclear as to what we 
have when it comes to the parvipes Canada Geese (Lesser Canada) and taverneri 
Cackling Geese (Taverner's Cackling. I have seen blue-collared geese in Sooke 
(~25-30 km west of Victoria) during fall migration and those would be Lesser 
Canada Geese from what I understand. After that, I'm just not sure whether we 
regularly get overwintering Lesser Canadas or whether we have Taverner's 
Cacklers stopping in or staying, period. 

On March 22, 2014, I went to Royal Roads University and there was a nice mixed 
group of all the expected B. h./c. taxa for here, plus one that I wasn't sure 
about. It was with a group mostly made up of Dusky Canada Geese, and it was 
noticeably smaller than them. The chest was quite pale and there is some funky 
mottling at the transition from the black neck to the tan upper chest. The bill 
is pretty small and I think it suggests Cackling, but I don't have the 
experience to determine whether it is daintiest Canada bill or a 
more-robust-than-minima Cackling bill. The other option I will throw out there 
is perhaps this is just a very bulky minima. I don't exactly think it's a very 
strong option, but I just don't know the full range of variation and perhaps I 
am just identifying the most miniature, obvious minima Cacklers. 

I have put up some five photos on my Flickr account and I will link them 
separately as they are not in sequence in my Photostream: 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13414021784/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13413595255/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361460583/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361737684/
https://www.flickr.com/photos/20408991 AT N03/13361535783/
Hopefully those links work. I know there is a lot of literature on this, but it 
is still a lot of work to try to decode this without knowing if you're 
interpreting everything correctly. If you have experience and can lend your 
expertise, I would be most grateful! 

Thanks,
Jeremy GattenSaanichton, BC, Canada 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Help w/ European Birds on textiles
From: Robert DeCandido PhD <rdcny AT EARTHLINK.NET>
Date: Thu, 20 Mar 2014 07:31:42 -0500
Hi,

The Metropolitan Museum of Art will be having an exhibition of the British
textile artist William Morris (19th century)...and they need help with
identifying the European birds (four species total) in these two textiles
(#1 and #2 - two species in each):

http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=17713095

http://photo.net/photodb/photo?photo_id=17713092

anyone have any opinions on what birds are shown?

Thanks,

rdc/nyc

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Slaty-backed structure observations
From: Noah Arthur <semirelicta AT YAHOO.COM>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 22:37:17 -0700
Hi everyone.†
†
I've often read that Slaties are†supposed to be "pot-bellied and short-legged". 
This certainly seems to be true on some individuals, but decidedly not on 
others.†In fact, many of†the first-cycle Slaties on the Japanese gull website 
look downright long-legged and skinny!††At the same time,†I've†noticed that 
when perched, the flank feathers of Slaties often†seem to cover up a lot of the 
folded wing (more than on other similar†gulls). 

†
Could it be that Slaty-backs aren't†structurally pot-bellied or short-legged, 
but that their belly and flank feathers are longer than they are in other 
gulls? This could explain why their flank feathers cover up so much of the 
folded wing, and why they can look very pot-bellied (belly feathers fluffed) or 
rather slim (belly feathers sleeked down). 

†
Some fat-looking Slaties: 
http://www23.tok2.com/home/jgull/Slaty010226/Slaty010226.html 

Some skinny-looking Slaties: http://www23.tok2.com/home/jgull/061101/slaty.htm
Adult showing†long flank feathers: 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/73989529 AT N02/11830233006/in/photolist-j2p37A-j2oE4g-j2swiE-j2swxN-j2oEaZ-j2swpw-j2pSSZ-j2oCVV-j2oCXZ-j2orc4-j2sWMQ-j2sX4b-j2mjy6-j2oF92-j2qNQu-j2qhut-j2qPjf-j2p1bS-j2n6UC-j2sJXh-j2p22j-j2n6GU 

†
Noah Arthur, Oakland, CA
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Possible answers to earlier 1st year "Northern Herring Gull" questions
From: Peter Post <pwpost AT NYC.RR.COM>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 20:02:09 -0400
Suzanne see:

See Prolonged Parental Care in Royal Terns. Auk 85:90-100, 1968.

https://sora.unm.edu/node/21689

Peter

Peter Post
New York City
pwpost AT nyc.rr.com

On Mar 18, 2014, at 12:16 PM, Suzanne Sullivan wrote:

> Calling All Larus Enthusiasts,
>
>
> To think that these birds appear to have come from so
> far and have stayed together, or so it appears, and the fact that she
> feed them, and it appears went to get them food, is amazing. Is there
> any other species of birds that would do this, feed their young at
> this stage of life?
>
> Gulls get such a bad rap, they really are amazing.
>
> http://www.pbase.com/suzsull/northern_herg
>
> Suzanne Sullivan
> Wilmington MA
> swampy1060 AT gmail.com
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Possible answers to earlier 1st year "Northern Herring Gull" questions
From: Suzanne Sullivan <swampy435 AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Tue, 18 Mar 2014 12:16:27 -0400
Calling All Larus Enthusiasts,

Back in December I asked the question about whether  a 1st year so
called "Northern Herring Gull"  would have similar wing pattern to a
Thayer's since the adult has such a pattern. There was great feed
back, but the answer generally speaking was no one really knows for
sure, or, probably not since it is suspected that the young bird would
likely be not much different then the typical 1st year Smithsonian.

What I observed this past week on Revere Beach, in Revere
Massachusetts is quite remarkable for several reasons.  If you do not
feel like reading my account of this observation just click on the
link (at end) to see the photos. Otherwise, here is the summary:

These photographs indicate , at least in this case, that yes indeed
the so called "Northern" HERG 1st year birds can indeed have a
Thayer's like wing pattern. These photos "tie" the young birds to the
adult. Basically - this assumed family, to me, shows a Thayer's or
probably even more like  SBGU wing patterns, a string of pearl like
pattern, in  both the adult and the 1st year bird. I have photographed
this pattern of a dark bar along the regimes with a lighter panel on
lower end of wing panel in many 1st year HERG's this season.  In many
cases "spots" on outer web of P2-4 merging into the light tongues and
or lighter inner webs of outer primaries. Very little contrast from
inner and outer primaries, unlike typical ( I say that with a smile)
Smithsonian HERG's with the lighter inner panel and the darker outer
primaries quite noticeable especially at this point in the year.

I was able/lucky enough to photograph these two 1st year HERG's
begging for food from an adult, assumed female Northern type HERG.
This adult shows very little black on outer primaries, large white
tongues (relatively speaking) on P6-9.  -  I was first attracted to
one of the young birds due to the "northern" look of it - darkish bill
still, what appears to be fresh scaps, worn dark coverts, not fully
molted on back,  back almost looks stripped, messy, darkish spotting
not velvety like Smith HERGs, white throats, almost Argentatus
looking. I couldn't believe my luck when it started to beg for food. I
have observed this behavior before, as I am sure other Gull watchers
have, but have never been sure if it was a parent or if something
random like a young bird taking advantage of raging hormones in an
adult that may not even be related. But then another 1st year bird
came and started begging also, and it looked almost identical to the
other. Siblings?

The adult then flew off across the street. I was able to get an almost
 open wing shot and when I saw the Thayer like pattern I pursued the
young birds for their open wing shots. Amazingly in about 5 minutes
the adult gull came back with a crop full of food and shared it with
it's off spring. To think that these birds appear to have come from so
far and have stayed together, or so it appears, and the fact that she
feed them, and it appears went to get them food, is amazing. Is there
any other species of birds that would do this, feed their young at
this stage of life?

Gulls get such a bad rap, they really are amazing.

http://www.pbase.com/suzsull/northern_herg

Suzanne Sullivan
Wilmington MA
swampy1060 AT gmail.com

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Help Needed w/GWFG Races
From: Bates Estabrooks <wgpu AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Mon, 17 Mar 2014 18:26:05 -0400
I took these pics this past Friday at Chota Refuge in Monroe County, Tennessee. 

Are there two subspecies/races here? I was thinking Tundra and Greenland 
(frontalis and flavirostris, resp.), but I'm a novice at this and would like to 
learn more. 

Thanks much.
Bates EstabrooksAndersonville, TN

http://www.flickr.com/photos/113273098 AT N08/sets/72157642512953784/ 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Cackling Goose variability
From: Don Roberson <creagrus AT MONTEREYBAY.COM>
Date: Thu, 13 Mar 2014 16:45:30 -0700
This is just a postscript to the commentary from February about neck 
rings in Aleutian Cackling Goose.  On 16 Jan 2014, there was a flock of 
24 Aleutians on the lake at Laguna Grande, Seaside, Monterey Co., CA. My 
impression at the time was that a fair percentage lacked neck-rings, but 
were otherwise 'obvious' Aleutians on size/color/shape, consistent with 
other local experience with such flocks. As opined by others and me on 
this topic, such individuals could be first-cycle birds.  Today (13 
March) I discovered what is surely the same flock feeding on a lawn 
adjacent to the lake, although today the count was 22 birds (in early 
March another observer counted 23 here).  Today, all had obvious 
neck-rings. However, 10 of the 22 had narrow white neck-rings that did 
not meet across the back of the neck, while the other 12 had wider white 
neck-rings that were broader in front but still met across the back of 
the neck, at least narrowly (some minor variation on how narrow at that 
spot), so that the 22 birds could be easily separately into two groups.  
This is consistent with a theory that first-cycle Aleutians -- or at 
least the ones that lack neck-rings in fall/early winter -- gain 
neck-rings by late winter/early spring. Of course there may be more to 
it than this -- and perhaps some of the birds whose neck-rings were not 
complete could be adults with just narrow rings -- but it is some 
evidence on the topic.

Don Roberson
Monterey, CA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Molt in adult-like Purple Martins
From: Martin Reid <upupa AT AIRMAIL.NET>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 16:10:13 -0500
Dear All,
I was able to photograph a few hirundines yesterday as they eked a living in 
the cold weather over a power station lake. 

I managed to get reasonable pics of two adult-like PUMAs, and was struck by 
their very different apparent P-molt timing. Peter Pyle's ID guide says that 
first-cycle birds start to replace their Ps in summer, while 2C and adult birds 
start to replace their Ps in early winter. One of these adult-like birds seems 
to have started to replace its Ps in the summer, judging by the degree of wear: 

http://www.martinreid.com/Main%20website/PUMAeastern01.html

Any thoughts?
Thanks,
Martin
---
Martin Reid
San Antonio
www.martinreid.com






Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Teal ID opinions
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 17:33:33 +0000
Rohan,
This is a Green-winged Teal and to my eye a fairly typical one. My question 
would be, what about this bird gave you cause to post it to this forum? Knowing 
that would probably lead to a more satisfactory answer from me or someone else. 
I have to wonder if the purplish speculum in the third photo was what caught 
your attention. It is not particularly unusual from Green-winged Teal to show 
blue or purple in the speculum at various angles. The color that you see in 
these iridescent feathers is not produced by pigment, thus it is not fixed. It 
is produced by light refracting off of the feather structure. Slight changes in 
light angle change the apparent colors we perceive. 

Dave IronsPortland, OR 

> Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:59:01 -0400
> From: rvantwes AT UOGUELPH.CA
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Teal ID opinions
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> 
> Hi all, I have posted 3 images of a female teal seen on the 8 March 2014 at 
Guelph, Ontario Canada. This bird was observed over 0.5 h in the presence of 6 
other duck species. However I am keeping these observations under my hat for 
now and would appreciate an opinion on its identify based on the 3 images 
posted at my flickr site alone. 

> 
> 1 of 3 images please use the right arrow:
> 
>  

> 
> My thanks in advance
> Cheers
> Rohan van Twest
> 
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Teal ID opinions
From: Rohan A VanTwest <rvantwes AT UOGUELPH.CA>
Date: Mon, 10 Mar 2014 11:59:01 -0400
Hi all, I have posted 3 images of a female teal seen on the 8 March 2014 at 
Guelph, Ontario Canada. This bird was observed over 0.5 h in the presence of 6 
other duck species. However I am keeping these observations under my hat for 
now and would appreciate an opinion on its identify based on the 3 images 
posted at my flickr site alone. 


1 of 3 images please use the right arrow:

  


My thanks in advance
Cheers
Rohan van Twest

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Hybrid Swallow
From: "Mike O'Keeffe" <okeeffeml AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 18:42:15 +0000
Hi,

 

Just looking at it from an image quality perspective most of the images are
somewhat harshly lit so hard to be sure about details like the back and rump
with the images of the bird at rest.  The flight shot is possibly the most
useful in terms of the arguments being presented (hybrid v moulting BS).  On
the plus side it is a well-lit and a reasonably well exposed image.  On the
negative side it is blurry and pixelated due to low resolution.  For me this
image scores just 41% using the Image Quality Tool (Rev. 1.2).  This might,
in part at least explain an apparent deadlock in the ID process at this
point.

If anyone wants to download and have a go at using the tool please visit 

http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/p/image-quality-tool.html

You need MS excel for the tool but the logic is provided to score images
manually if you don't have access to MS Excel.

 

I might also take the opportunity to thank those who responded both on and
offline in relation to the birding image quality tool and the blog.  It has
all greatly helped with the research and I am fairly happy with Rev. 1.2 of
the tool.  Please keep the comments and advice coming.  The blog branches
into a variety of fields relating to ID of birds from photos and I hope to
keep developing the tool and the blog so that it might hopefully act as a
useful long-term resource for this forum, among other uses.

 

Regards

 

Mike O'Keeffe

Ireland

 

From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Daniel Lane
Sent: 07 March 2014 03:14
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Hybrid Swallow

 

Hello again all,

 

In response to a few of the day's comments, I should clarify that I (or
Alvaro, I suspect) was not suggesting that the bird in question was the
offspring of South American-breeding Barn Swallow. I don't discount the
possibility, although I think it is rather unlikely. Instead, I simply was
stating that this particular bird agrees very much with Barn Swallows (North
American breeders) I see while on their travels in South America in their
non-breeding season (the plate I painted for Birds of Peru show three juvs,
two mostly fresh, and one fairly worn, in an effort to show the differences
at the different wear stages one is likely to see there). Young birds in
South America (and even here in North America by November and December) have
very bleached foreheads and throats as is the bird in question. The lack of
a dark collar does not bother me in the least, as North American birds tend
to have a weak collar, if any at all. The photos linked to by Jeff Bleam in
his latest post showing juvenile Barn Swallows with broad dark collars are
all from the Old World (Europe and Africa, if you see the locality
information on the right side of the webpages). The Old World subspecies of
Barn Swallows (rustica, for example) *do* have broad, obvious collars, but
this feature is all but lacking in American birds (erythrogaster). Any
comparison of European and North American field guides (or simply looking in
Sibley or National Geographic) should instantly show this distinction.

 

 

I have seen a probable Cliff X Barn hybrid while coleading a tour with Jon
Dunn in California in October 1999 (I'll have to dig up my field sketches of
that bird to remind myself of the markings that led us to that
identification, but I clearly remember the deeply notched tail and buff
rump, as noticeable as on Cliff, as two outstanding characters). There is
also a specimen of what is probably this hybrid combination (or perhaps Cave
X Barn?) in the LSU Museum, a bird found emaciated on a road in S Louisiana
in December (!). Again, the Cliff-like buff rump is one of the outstanding
characters. 

 

 

In Mr. Bleam's photo of the bird in question in flight: 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/byjcb/12868411693/

I don't see any such buff rump band, I *do* see a long tail, and dark neck
sides suggesting even the edges of a "semi-collar" (not completed across the
meeting of throat and breast feathers). Furthermore, the bird has no
darkness on the throat at all, which I could expect of Cliff parentage,
rather the throat and forehead are concolor (as they are in juv Barn). What
I see is a white patch on a rectrix (either a bit of poop or an out-of-place
outer rectrix showing the white typical of Barn, absent in Cliff), and buff
on the very sides of the rump where the flanks and undertail coverts should
be (which should be buff in a Barn, mostly whitish in a Cliff). The white
stripes in the back, to me, suggest exposed whitish down along the
mantle/scapular edge that I would mark down as being related to the odd
stage of molt of this individual. So, again, I see no evidence of any Cliff
Swallow in this bird at all. 

 

Here is a juv Barn showing the white borders to the scaps/mantle and
relative lack of a breastband:

http://mvgazette.com/sites/default/files/article-assets/main-photos/2008/lm_
young_barn_swallow.jpg

This is a juv. Barn Swallow by Greg Lasley in Texas, September:

http://www.greglasley.net/images/BA/Barn-Swallow-0035.jpg

And some photos of Barn Swallows in heavy molt in Argentina: 

http://www.avespampa.com.ar/Hirundinidae.htm

 

I would add that the wonderful series of photos by Suzanne Sullivan also
show Barns in comparable stages of molt. Many thanks to Suzanne for her
link!

http://www.pbase.com/suzsull/breeding_ground_molt_barn_swallows_plum_island

 

Relatively few North American birders are likely to see young Barn Swallows
in this molt stage, since such molt is usually conducted entirely on the
wintering grounds. Thus, it's understandable that the plumage is one rather
unfamiliar to most North American birders, but quite familiar with those who
have had the chance to see the species in Latin America, hence my (and
Alvaro's) comments.

 

Good birding,

Dan Lane

 

Daniel F. Lane

 

Research Associate
LSU Museum of Natural Science
119 Foster Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-3216 USA

 

 

Guide
Field Guides Inc.:
http://fieldguides.com/guides/dan-lane

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Hybrid Swallow
From: "Mike O'Keeffe" <okeeffeml AT EIRCOM.NET>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 18:42:15 +0000
Hi,

 

Just looking at it from an image quality perspective most of the images are
somewhat harshly lit so hard to be sure about details like the back and rump
with the images of the bird at rest.  The flight shot is possibly the most
useful in terms of the arguments being presented (hybrid v moulting BS).  On
the plus side it is a well-lit and a reasonably well exposed image.  On the
negative side it is blurry and pixelated due to low resolution.  For me this
image scores just 41% using the Image Quality Tool (Rev. 1.2).  This might,
in part at least explain an apparent deadlock in the ID process at this
point.

If anyone wants to download and have a go at using the tool please visit 

http://birdingimagequalitytool.blogspot.ie/p/image-quality-tool.html

You need MS excel for the tool but the logic is provided to score images
manually if you don't have access to MS Excel.

 

I might also take the opportunity to thank those who responded both on and
offline in relation to the birding image quality tool and the blog.  It has
all greatly helped with the research and I am fairly happy with Rev. 1.2 of
the tool.  Please keep the comments and advice coming.  The blog branches
into a variety of fields relating to ID of birds from photos and I hope to
keep developing the tool and the blog so that it might hopefully act as a
useful long-term resource for this forum, among other uses.

 

Regards

 

Mike O'Keeffe

Ireland

 

From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Daniel Lane
Sent: 07 March 2014 03:14
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Hybrid Swallow

 

Hello again all,

 

In response to a few of the day's comments, I should clarify that I (or
Alvaro, I suspect) was not suggesting that the bird in question was the
offspring of South American-breeding Barn Swallow. I don't discount the
possibility, although I think it is rather unlikely. Instead, I simply was
stating that this particular bird agrees very much with Barn Swallows (North
American breeders) I see while on their travels in South America in their
non-breeding season (the plate I painted for Birds of Peru show three juvs,
two mostly fresh, and one fairly worn, in an effort to show the differences
at the different wear stages one is likely to see there). Young birds in
South America (and even here in North America by November and December) have
very bleached foreheads and throats as is the bird in question. The lack of
a dark collar does not bother me in the least, as North American birds tend
to have a weak collar, if any at all. The photos linked to by Jeff Bleam in
his latest post showing juvenile Barn Swallows with broad dark collars are
all from the Old World (Europe and Africa, if you see the locality
information on the right side of the webpages). The Old World subspecies of
Barn Swallows (rustica, for example) *do* have broad, obvious collars, but
this feature is all but lacking in American birds (erythrogaster). Any
comparison of European and North American field guides (or simply looking in
Sibley or National Geographic) should instantly show this distinction.

 

 

I have seen a probable Cliff X Barn hybrid while coleading a tour with Jon
Dunn in California in October 1999 (I'll have to dig up my field sketches of
that bird to remind myself of the markings that led us to that
identification, but I clearly remember the deeply notched tail and buff
rump, as noticeable as on Cliff, as two outstanding characters). There is
also a specimen of what is probably this hybrid combination (or perhaps Cave
X Barn?) in the LSU Museum, a bird found emaciated on a road in S Louisiana
in December (!). Again, the Cliff-like buff rump is one of the outstanding
characters. 

 

 

In Mr. Bleam's photo of the bird in question in flight: 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/byjcb/12868411693/

I don't see any such buff rump band, I *do* see a long tail, and dark neck
sides suggesting even the edges of a "semi-collar" (not completed across the
meeting of throat and breast feathers). Furthermore, the bird has no
darkness on the throat at all, which I could expect of Cliff parentage,
rather the throat and forehead are concolor (as they are in juv Barn). What
I see is a white patch on a rectrix (either a bit of poop or an out-of-place
outer rectrix showing the white typical of Barn, absent in Cliff), and buff
on the very sides of the rump where the flanks and undertail coverts should
be (which should be buff in a Barn, mostly whitish in a Cliff). The white
stripes in the back, to me, suggest exposed whitish down along the
mantle/scapular edge that I would mark down as being related to the odd
stage of molt of this individual. So, again, I see no evidence of any Cliff
Swallow in this bird at all. 

 

Here is a juv Barn showing the white borders to the scaps/mantle and
relative lack of a breastband:

http://mvgazette.com/sites/default/files/article-assets/main-photos/2008/lm_
young_barn_swallow.jpg

This is a juv. Barn Swallow by Greg Lasley in Texas, September:

http://www.greglasley.net/images/BA/Barn-Swallow-0035.jpg

And some photos of Barn Swallows in heavy molt in Argentina: 

http://www.avespampa.com.ar/Hirundinidae.htm

 

I would add that the wonderful series of photos by Suzanne Sullivan also
show Barns in comparable stages of molt. Many thanks to Suzanne for her
link!

http://www.pbase.com/suzsull/breeding_ground_molt_barn_swallows_plum_island

 

Relatively few North American birders are likely to see young Barn Swallows
in this molt stage, since such molt is usually conducted entirely on the
wintering grounds. Thus, it's understandable that the plumage is one rather
unfamiliar to most North American birders, but quite familiar with those who
have had the chance to see the species in Latin America, hence my (and
Alvaro's) comments.

 

Good birding,

Dan Lane

 

Daniel F. Lane

 

Research Associate
LSU Museum of Natural Science
119 Foster Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-3216 USA

 

 

Guide
Field Guides Inc.:
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Subject: Re: Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability
From: Wayne Hoffman <whoffman AT PEAK.ORG>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 09:57:30 -0800
Hi, Blake - 

 

I have some thoughts on plumage variability in Red-tailed Hawks.  Sexual
preference is only one of several factors that can influence plumage pattern
and color in birds.  Thermal considerations, crypsis, and hunting tactics,
among other factors may be drivers.

 

I think that in raptorial birds, hunting may often be important in
influencing plumage, and should be considered.  Years ago I made a
presentation at an AOU meeting on polymorphism in jaegers.  Among them, dark
phases are exceedingly rare in Long-tailed, and seem to be a consistent
minority in Pomarine and most populations of Parasitic.  However, in SW
Alaska where I did some work in the 1970s, the Parasitics seemed
predominantly dark.  In that area they bred on islands (Kodiak group,
Shumagins, eastern Aleutians, etc. and seemed to forage extensively at sea
while breeding.  So I hypothesized that pale phases (really dark, but
counter-shaded)  might be more successful for hunting on land where they
attack from above, and all dark might be more successful for at-sea
kleptoparasitism, where at least sometimes the initial approach is from
lower over the water than the victim is flying.  The idea is that success
often depends on how close the jaeger gets before being recognized.

 

Now for Buteos, if the same general principle applies, prey may have a more
difficult time forming effective search images (recognition images?) for
polymorphic predators than for monomorphic ones.  If we cross-walk plumage
polymorphism in Buteo species (traditional generic limits) with prey
diversity and prey visual acuity, we may see some patterns.  Red-tails,
Harlan's Hawks,   Rough-legged Hawks, and Short-tailed Hawks are highly
polymorphic; Swainson's Hawks and Ferruginous Hawks are mostly pale phase,
with relatively rare dark phases,  and the others (Red-shouldered,
Broad-winged, Gray, White-tailed, Zone-tailed) are essentially monomorphic
(discounting age-related differences).   

 

Red-tails, including Harlan's, seem to have a more varied diet, including a
broader range of prey sizes, and including more mobile prey with better
eyesight.  Short-tailed Hawks' diet apparently includes quite a few birds,
so again prey with good eyesight and mobility.  So, less-common morphs might
have an advantage, setting up frequency-dependent selection to maintain
polymorphism.  I do not know a lot about Rough-legged Hawk diets.   In
winter here they seem to be vole specialists, but I do not know much about
how or what they hunt in summer.  

  

Most of the essentially monomorphic species tend to feed extensively on prey
with relatively poor vision or mobility (e.g. insects, reptiles,
amphibians).   Zone-tailed Hawk may be an exception to that, but if it is a
Turkey Vulture mimic as proposed, that would be an alternate strategy to
reduce recognition, and one that would certainly select against
polymorphism.

 

Under this scenario, I would expect Ferruginous Hawks to be more polymorphic
than they are, but maybe their ground-skimming attacks allow close approach
before they are recognized?

 

An important thing to realize about Red-tails is that even "within" morphs,
we see a lot of variation in appearance.  Eastern Red-tails do not have a
dark phase, but I think they show a lot more individual variation in plumage
detail than, say Red-shoulders or Broad-wings in the same region.

 

Anyway, it's a thought.

 

Wayne

 

From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Blake Mathys
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2014 7:21 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability

 

First, thank you all for your replies concerning the dark morph hawk from
Ohio. I found it enlightening, and it's certainly the most exciting bird
I've seen this year (I'm doing a Union County Big Year
(http://blakemathys.com/BigYear2014.html); while I suppose a vagrant
subspecies doesn't technically count for my county big year, it's still my
favorite bird of the year so far).

Regarding the kiskadee in New York, for once I feel that I actually have
some qualification to comment on an ID issue. My Ph.D. research involved
Great Kiskadees in Bermuda (and a comparison to their native Trinidad source
population), so I visited Bermuda four times over four years and captured,
banded, measured, and photographed kiskadees each time. I also visited
Trinidad twice for similar purposes. This allowed me to handle 132
individual Great Kiskadees, plus observe many others. Based on my
experience, I am not overly concerned by the New York kiskadee's appearance.
I definitely saw multiple individuals in Bermuda that had this more washed
out appearance, and found the other characteristics mentioned to be variable
also. It would not surprise me at all if this is a Bermuda kiskadee, it
looks "big" to me (Bermuda kiskadees are larger than their Trinidad source
population). I would guess that ship assistance is the best explanation for
this bird's provenance; I often saw kiskadees around water and boats, and in
fact saw one kiskadee nest built on the bow of a boat in Bermuda. I don't
have as much experience with the other subspecies, but to my eye this
individual fits Bermuda birds well. (And, one minor quibble with the New
York State Avian Records Committee report; kiskadees do in fact eat lizards
in Bermuda; it's only 1-2% of their diet, and they seem to have no effect on
the non-native lizard populations, but a kiskadee won't pass up an available
lizard meal (or any other meal, from what I've seen)).

This finally leads me to a more biological question, which concerns the
variability within species. I suppose that this isn't technically an
identification issue, but it certainly has bearing on many identification
problems. Why are some species so phenotypically variable? I was pondering
this question while looking at Wheeler's varied and diverse descriptions of
all of the flavors of Red-tailed Hawk. As bird identifiers we know that some
species (Red-tailed Hawk, Herring Gull(s), for example) have an almost
infinite array of diversity, at least in plumage combinations and
intensities. Is this because there are not strong selection pressures on
these species concerning their outward appearance? In this scenario, mate
selection and survival would be independent of coloration, and the different
loosely defined "forms" or "morphs" we see are just the result of genetic
predispositions for somewhat predictable patterns of color combinations.
When this is no longer the case, the phenotype then stabilizes on a specific
appearance (e.g., the lack of light morph Zone-tailed Hawks). If this were
the case, I find myself wondering about belly-bands on Red-tailed Hawks. Why
is this such a consistent feature in light morphs (except extremely pale
individuals)? It would seem there must be some selection pressure (sexual, I
would assume) for this character, but then dark morphs somehow successfully
attract mates without having it (or having too much of it, depending on how
you look at it). I don't think geographically driven selection can be the
entire answer, since we often have both dark and light morphs in the same
area (and sometimes the same nest). Any thoughts?

Blake Mathys
http://blakemathys.com/

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability
From: Joseph Morlan <jmorlan AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 09:29:22 -0800
On Fri, 7 Mar 2014 10:20:42 -0500, Blake Mathys 
wrote:

>Regarding the kiskadee in New York, for once I feel that I actually have some 
qualification to comment on an ID issue. My Ph.D. research involved Great 
Kiskadees in Bermuda (and a comparison to their native Trinidad source 
population), so I visited Bermuda four times over four years and captured, 
banded, measured, and photographed kiskadees each time. I also visited Trinidad 
twice for similar purposes. This allowed me to handle 132 individual Great 
Kiskadees, plus observe many others. Based on my experience, I am not overly 
concerned by the New York kiskadee's appearance. I definitely saw multiple 
individuals in Bermuda that had this more washed out appearance, and found the 
other characteristics mentioned to be variable also. It would not surprise me 
at all if this is a Bermuda kiskadee, it looks "big" to me (Bermuda kiskadees 
are larger than their Trinidad source population). I would guess that ship 
assistance is the best explanation for this bird's provenance; I often saw 

kiskadees around water and boats, and in fact saw one kiskadee nest built on 
the bow of a boat in Bermuda. I don't have as much experience with the other 
subspecies, but to my eye this individual fits Bermuda birds well. (And, one 
minor quibble with the New York State Avian Records Committee report; kiskadees 
do in fact eat lizards in Bermuda; it's only 1-2% of their diet, and they seem 
to have no effect on the non-native lizard populations, but a kiskadee won't 
pass up an available lizard meal (or any other meal, from what I've seen)). 


I think Great Kiskadees from Trinidad look quite different from other
populations.  In my visit to Trinidad, I photographed a Great Kiskadee...


http://app.getsmileapp.com/smiles/68c0c8fae8809970463b12a9208a41cbaad93aa968f8be62190cb95f6879aa20 


08 January 2007 - Asa Wright Nature Center, Trinidad. This is one of a pair
constructing a nest in a nearby rain gutter.  

The subspecies P. s. trinitatis is found throughout northern Venezuela and
Brazil (Pantanal) as well as Trinidad.   It is generally smaller and much
less rufous than other populations.  This is particularly evident in the
underside of the tail in the above photo.   

Also interesting is that it has a dark, not yellow commisure (gape flange).
Paul Donahue has said (pers. comm.) that the yellow gape mark on Great
Kiskadee is very widespread, found on birds from Paraguay, Bolivia and
southern Brazil northward.  The gape is apparently black on populations in
the Pantanal as well as Trinidad.

Thus it is notable that the bird from New York is not particularly rusty
and seems to have a black commisure consistent with P. s. trinitatis, the
race introduced to Bermuda. The commisure color difference has been
discussed here before...

http://listserv.ksu.edu/web?A1=ind1209d&L=birdwg01

In that discussion there was considerable doubt expressed that the gape
difference was anything more than just individual or seasonal variation.
However I continue to support the hypothesis that the difference is
largely, if not entirely, geographic.  
-- 
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA
"It turns out we're very good at not seeing things" - Jack Hitt

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability
From: Tony Leukering <greatgrayowl AT AOL.COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 11:22:54 -0500
Blake et al.:

Excellent questions, Blake. From my reading of literature, various color morphs 
(not a particularly good use of the term for Swainson's Hawk, but reasonable 
for Red-tailed Hawk) are suspected to have evolved to keep prey species 
guessing, essentially. Whether that surmise is accurate or not, variability in 
color in buteos seems (in ABA-area species, anyway) mostly confined to 
open-country members of the species (Swainson's, Red-tailed, Harlan's [if 
considered specifically unique], Ferruginous, Rough-legged), with the rare dark 
Broad-winged Hawk being a notable exception, that typically do not rely on 
being hidden from prey, but in being overlooked. Such color variation may 
assist in the endeavor. I also note that eastern (borealis) and, perhaps, 
northern (abieticola) Red-tailed Hawks, which occupy more-forested habitats, 
seem to lack the extreme color variation of western Red-tailed Hawks (calurus), 
which often inhabit more-open habitats. Note that this corresponds rather well 
with color variation in jaegers, which are open-country inhabitants. 


Regarding belly bands, I disagree, at least partly, with your surmise. In 
eastern Red-tailed Hawks, belly bands are often fairly minimal in adults, while 
being typically substantial in juveniles. This may present an example of 
disruptive color pattern (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disruptive_coloration), 
giving the inexperienced youngsters a bit of a foraging advantage. In western 
Red-tailed Hawks, even adults of light birds have fairly strong belly bands, 
which may be another aspect of their more-open habitats. Of course, Fuertes' 
Red-tailed Hawk (fuertesi) lacks a belly band in adults, and it occupies fairly 
open habitat, too. 


Unfortunately, I think that we, as humans when trying to understand variation 
in nature, try to put too many aspects into too few boxes and even those boxes 
tend to be too small. With variation presented by individuals due to sex-based 
recombination of genetic material, that individual variation is what might be 
termed "constrained infinity." That is, while there are constraints in 
appearance (there are no pink or purple Red-tailed Hawks), within those 
constraints, variation seems nearly limitless (which thus puts the kibosh to 
the definition of the PSC; 
http://www.encyclopedia.com/topic/phylogenetic_species_concept.aspx). 


That's my two-cents' worth (and that's almost certainly all that it is worth!).

Tony

 

 


Tony Leukering
Largo, FL

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/

http://aba.org/photoquiz/

 

 

-----Original Message-----
From: Blake Mathys 
To: BIRDWG01 
Sent: Fri, Mar 7, 2014 10:22 am
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability




First, thank you all for your replies concerning the dark morph hawk from Ohio. 
I found it enlightening, and it's certainly the most exciting bird I've seen 
this year (I'm doing a Union County Big Year 
(http://blakemathys.com/BigYear2014.html); while I suppose a vagrant subspecies 
doesn't technically count for my county big year, it's still my favorite bird 
of the year so far). 


Regarding the kiskadee in New York, for once I feel that I actually have some 
qualification to comment on an ID issue. My Ph.D. research involved Great 
Kiskadees in Bermuda (and a comparison to their native Trinidad source 
population), so I visited Bermuda four times over four years and captured, 
banded, measured, and photographed kiskadees each time. I also visited Trinidad 
twice for similar purposes. This allowed me to handle 132 individual Great 
Kiskadees, plus observe many others. Based on my experience, I am not overly 
concerned by the New York kiskadee's appearance. I definitely saw multiple 
individuals in Bermuda that had this more washed out appearance, and found the 
other characteristics mentioned to be variable also. It would not surprise me 
at all if this is a Bermuda kiskadee, it looks "big" to me (Bermuda kiskadees 
are larger than their Trinidad source population). I would guess that ship 
assistance is the best explanation for this bird's provenance; I often saw 
kiskadees around water and boats, and in fact saw one kiskadee nest built on 
the bow of a boat in Bermuda. I don't have as much experience with the other 
subspecies, but to my eye this individual fits Bermuda birds well. (And, one 
minor quibble with the New York State Avian Records Committee report; kiskadees 
do in fact eat lizards in Bermuda; it's only 1-2% of their diet, and they seem 
to have no effect on the non-native lizard populations, but a kiskadee won't 
pass up an available lizard meal (or any other meal, from what I've seen)). 


This finally leads me to a more biological question, which concerns the 
variability within species. I suppose that this isn't technically an 
identification issue, but it certainly has bearing on many identification 
problems. Why are some species so phenotypically variable? I was pondering this 
question while looking at Wheeler's varied and diverse descriptions of all of 
the flavors of Red-tailed Hawk. As bird identifiers we know that some species 
(Red-tailed Hawk, Herring Gull(s), for example) have an almost infinite array 
of diversity, at least in plumage combinations and intensities. Is this because 
there are not strong selection pressures on these species concerning their 
outward appearance? In this scenario, mate selection and survival would be 
independent of coloration, and the different loosely defined "forms" or 
"morphs" we see are just the result of genetic predispositions for somewhat 
predictable patterns of color combinations. When this is no longer the case, 
the phenotype then stabilizes on a specific appearance (e.g., the lack of light 
morph Zone-tailed Hawks). If this were the case, I find myself wondering about 
belly-bands on Red-tailed Hawks. Why is this such a consistent feature in light 
morphs (except extremely pale individuals)? It would seem there must be some 
selection pressure (sexual, I would assume) for this character, but then dark 
morphs somehow successfully attract mates without having it (or having too much 
of it, depending on how you look at it). I don't think geographically driven 
selection can be the entire answer, since we often have both dark and light 
morphs in the same area (and sometimes the same nest). Any thoughts? 


Blake Mathys
http://blakemathys.com/



 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 15:45:53 +0000
Blake,
Wow! What are the odds that I would raise a question that is barely tangential 
to the question that you ask about a Red-tailed Hawk only to learn that you 
might be the most qualified person in the world to answer it. Cue the "Twilight 
Zone" theme music. Interesting information about the Bermuda kiskadees. 

Thanks,
Dave Irons

Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 10:20:42 -0500
From: blakemathys AT HOTMAIL.COM
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU













First, thank you all for your replies concerning the dark morph hawk from Ohio. 
I found it enlightening, and it's certainly the most exciting bird I've seen 
this year (I'm doing a Union County Big Year 
(http://blakemathys.com/BigYear2014.html); while I suppose a vagrant subspecies 
doesn't technically count for my county big year, it's still my favorite bird 
of the year so far). 


Regarding the kiskadee in New York, for once I feel that I actually have some 
qualification to comment on an ID issue. My Ph.D. research involved Great 
Kiskadees in Bermuda (and a comparison to their native Trinidad source 
population), so I visited Bermuda four times over four years and captured, 
banded, measured, and photographed kiskadees each time. I also visited Trinidad 
twice for similar purposes. This allowed me to handle 132 individual Great 
Kiskadees, plus observe many others. Based on my experience, I am not overly 
concerned by the New York kiskadee's appearance. I definitely saw multiple 
individuals in Bermuda that had this more washed out appearance, and found the 
other characteristics mentioned to be variable also. It would not surprise me 
at all if this is a Bermuda kiskadee, it looks "big" to me (Bermuda kiskadees 
are larger than their Trinidad source population). I would guess that ship 
assistance is the best explanation for this bird's provenance; I often saw 
kiskadees around water and boats, and in fact saw one kiskadee nest built on 
the bow of a boat in Bermuda. I don't have as much experience with the other 
subspecies, but to my eye this individual fits Bermuda birds well. (And, one 
minor quibble with the New York State Avian Records Committee report; kiskadees 
do in fact eat lizards in Bermuda; it's only 1-2% of their diet, and they seem 
to have no effect on the non-native lizard populations, but a kiskadee won't 
pass up an available lizard meal (or any other meal, from what I've seen)). 


This finally leads me to a more biological question, which concerns the 
variability within species. I suppose that this isn't technically an 
identification issue, but it certainly has bearing on many identification 
problems. Why are some species so phenotypically variable? I was pondering this 
question while looking at Wheeler's varied and diverse descriptions of all of 
the flavors of Red-tailed Hawk. As bird identifiers we know that some species 
(Red-tailed Hawk, Herring Gull(s), for example) have an almost infinite array 
of diversity, at least in plumage combinations and intensities. Is this because 
there are not strong selection pressures on these species concerning their 
outward appearance? In this scenario, mate selection and survival would be 
independent of coloration, and the different loosely defined "forms" or 
"morphs" we see are just the result of genetic predispositions for somewhat 
predictable patterns of color combinations. When this is no longer the case, 
the phenotype then stabilizes on a specific appearance (e.g., the lack of light 
morph Zone-tailed Hawks). If this were the case, I find myself wondering about 
belly-bands on Red-tailed Hawks. Why is this such a consistent feature in light 
morphs (except extremely pale individuals)? It would seem there must be some 
selection pressure (sexual, I would assume) for this character, but then dark 
morphs somehow successfully attract mates without having it (or having too much 
of it, depending on how you look at it). I don't think geographically driven 
selection can be the entire answer, since we often have both dark and light 
morphs in the same area (and sometimes the same nest). Any thoughts? 


Blake Mathys
http://blakemathys.com/




 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Hawks, Kiskadees, and Variability
From: Blake Mathys <blakemathys AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 10:20:42 -0500








First, thank you all for your replies concerning the dark morph hawk from Ohio. 
I found it enlightening, and it's certainly the most exciting bird I've seen 
this year (I'm doing a Union County Big Year 
(http://blakemathys.com/BigYear2014.html); while I suppose a vagrant subspecies 
doesn't technically count for my county big year, it's still my favorite bird 
of the year so far). 


Regarding the kiskadee in New York, for once I feel that I actually have some 
qualification to comment on an ID issue. My Ph.D. research involved Great 
Kiskadees in Bermuda (and a comparison to their native Trinidad source 
population), so I visited Bermuda four times over four years and captured, 
banded, measured, and photographed kiskadees each time. I also visited Trinidad 
twice for similar purposes. This allowed me to handle 132 individual Great 
Kiskadees, plus observe many others. Based on my experience, I am not overly 
concerned by the New York kiskadee's appearance. I definitely saw multiple 
individuals in Bermuda that had this more washed out appearance, and found the 
other characteristics mentioned to be variable also. It would not surprise me 
at all if this is a Bermuda kiskadee, it looks "big" to me (Bermuda kiskadees 
are larger than their Trinidad source population). I would guess that ship 
assistance is the best explanation for this bird's provenance; I often saw 
kiskadees around water and boats, and in fact saw one kiskadee nest built on 
the bow of a boat in Bermuda. I don't have as much experience with the other 
subspecies, but to my eye this individual fits Bermuda birds well. (And, one 
minor quibble with the New York State Avian Records Committee report; kiskadees 
do in fact eat lizards in Bermuda; it's only 1-2% of their diet, and they seem 
to have no effect on the non-native lizard populations, but a kiskadee won't 
pass up an available lizard meal (or any other meal, from what I've seen)). 


This finally leads me to a more biological question, which concerns the 
variability within species. I suppose that this isn't technically an 
identification issue, but it certainly has bearing on many identification 
problems. Why are some species so phenotypically variable? I was pondering this 
question while looking at Wheeler's varied and diverse descriptions of all of 
the flavors of Red-tailed Hawk. As bird identifiers we know that some species 
(Red-tailed Hawk, Herring Gull(s), for example) have an almost infinite array 
of diversity, at least in plumage combinations and intensities. Is this because 
there are not strong selection pressures on these species concerning their 
outward appearance? In this scenario, mate selection and survival would be 
independent of coloration, and the different loosely defined "forms" or 
"morphs" we see are just the result of genetic predispositions for somewhat 
predictable patterns of color combinations. When this is no longer the case, 
the phenotype then stabilizes on a specific appearance (e.g., the lack of light 
morph Zone-tailed Hawks). If this were the case, I find myself wondering about 
belly-bands on Red-tailed Hawks. Why is this such a consistent feature in light 
morphs (except extremely pale individuals)? It would seem there must be some 
selection pressure (sexual, I would assume) for this character, but then dark 
morphs somehow successfully attract mates without having it (or having too much 
of it, depending on how you look at it). I don't think geographically driven 
selection can be the entire answer, since we often have both dark and light 
morphs in the same area (and sometimes the same nest). Any thoughts? 


Blake Mathys
http://blakemathys.com/




 		 	   		  
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA
From: David Irons <llsdirons AT MSN.COM>
Date: Fri, 7 Mar 2014 07:49:35 +0000
Greetings All,
I can't offer any help on the Red-tailed Hawk from Ohio, but I have another 
question. Has anyone else scratched their head after looking at the photo of 
the putative Great Kiskadee in the NYSARC report. As I recall, I saw this photo 
last year some time and was perplexed by it then and I still can't see how this 
a "pure" Great Kiskadee. I don't have an alternate theory, but I see hundreds 
of Great Kiskadees in the Rio Grande Valley every year and I've never seen one 
that looked like this. The problems I see are: 

1. The yellow on the underparts is considerably duller than any kiskadee that 
I've seen. This bird is paler sulfur yellow below with quite a bit of white 
feathering mixed in, whereas kiskadees are usually solid lemon yellow below. 
Looking at lots of Great Kiskadee photos online, I can only find a couple birds 
that approach being this pale and/or show white mixed in with the yellow. 

2. The supercilium seem rather narrow throughout and does not connect across 
the forehead. Admittedly, the crown of this bird is relaxed, which tends to 
pinch the white supercilium, but that doesn't explain away the absence of a 
clean white forehead. Looking at online images of birds with relaxed crowns, 
their supercilia still look broader than this bird and I can't find a single 
photo of kiskadee that lacks a broad white forehead. 

3. The black mask seem quite broad compared to a standard Great Kiskadee, but 
there are some online images that show birds with masks looking broader than 
most. 

4. It may just be the photo angle, but the wing coverts of this bird don't 
appear to have much of the typical rusty coloration. 

When I look at the sum package, the New York bird just doesn't look right. 
Aside from the white forehead, which seems to be universal, each of the 
characteristics discussed above is somewhat variable. That said, it would seem 
unlikely that a single individual so far out of rangeĖregardless of how it made 
to NYĖwould show this assortment of atypical plumage characteristics and also 
be missing the one element (a white forehead) that seems to be the most 
consistent aspect. 

Dave IronsPortland, OR
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 19:47:40 -0500
From: oceanwanderers AT GMAIL.COM
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU

Photos of a similar bird from western New York State, together with some 
discussion of the uncertainties are included in the 2011 Annual Report of the 
New York State Avian Records Committee (NYSARC). Your can read the report here: 



http://nybirds.org/NYSARC/Reports/NYSARC2011.html

There have been other sightings of such birds, most often from hawkwatch sites 
along 

the Lake Ontario shore. Like Blake, I am keen to know if these birds can be 
firmly identified as calurus and whether there is any new information on the 
occurrence of dark morph individuals within Eastern Red-tailed Hawk 
populations. 



Cheers, Angus Wilson
New York City, USA


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 		 	   		  
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Subject: Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA
From: Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 21:11:25 -0800
Hi Jean and Ron

Thanks for your note, and for the PDF you put together, which is great. I
don't consider the 1912 (published in 1913) Natashquan River record a
confirmed breeding occurrence because only one bird was seen and no nest
was found, though the bird was described as being territorial. Moreover, it
may not have been a true dark morph because the original observer (the
great Charles W. Townsend), said the tail seemed "nearly black" when seen
from below (wrong for any RTHA ssp. with the exception of rare examples of
*harlani*, and even those have pale tails when viewed from below), and in
his own words says "the individual I observed may have been merely an
exceptional case of melanism." With the odd tail characteristics it seems
more likely to have been a weird melanistic bird than a true dark morph. We
have documented melanistic Northern Harriers, Ospreys, and other species
not known to show a true dark morph, so assuming this individual is a true
dark morph might not be logical.

Regardless of the above, I agree with you that we shouldn't rule out a dark
morph in *abieticola*. It's a huge area up there where they breed with
little to no birder activity, and there is so much to learn. It's just that
we don't have really hard evidence that they exist yet, and if they do, we
don't know how to identify them. The traits of the Ontario birds overlap
completely with traits of typical dark/rufous *calurus*.

Thanks

Brian


On Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 8:32 PM, Jean Iron  wrote:

> Given the regular occurrence of dark morph Red-tailed Hawks in the East,
> we speculate that some originate from the Northern Red-tailed Hawk
> (subspecies abieticola) population breeding across the vast boreal forest
> of Canada where there are very few observers to see them. This is supported
> by the breeding record of a melanistic Red-tailed Hawk at a nest in
> Labrador reported in the Birds of the Labrador Peninsula (Todd 1963). For
> more information, see article published in the Toronto Ornithological Club
> Newsletter which discusses the possible origins of dark morph Red-tailed
> Hawks seen during migration and winter in Eastern North America. Scroll
> down to read all three pages of discussion with photos.
>
> http://www.jeaniron.ca/2012/darkredtailsTOCNews.pdf
>
>
>
> Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway
>
> Toronto, Ontario
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:
> BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] *On Behalf Of *Brian Sullivan
> *Sent:* Thursday, March 06, 2014 7:57 PM
> *To:* BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>
> *Subject:* Re: [BIRDWG01] Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA
>
>
>
> Hi Blake
>
>
> As of yet, dark/rufous morphs have not been proven to occur in Eastern (*B.
> j. borealis*) or Northern (*B. j. abieticola*) Red-tailed Hawks. There
> are no records of breeding dark/rufous morph RTHA from the East, or from
> the eastern half of northern Canada--at least not that I know of. There is
> speculation that the northern breeding *B. j. abieticola* could have a
> dark/rufous morph, but we're just beginning to get comfortable with the
> criteria for distinguishing light morph *abieticola* from *borealis* and
> *calurus*, and as of yet there are no identification criteria that would
> distinguish a putative *abieticola* dark/rufous morph from a similar
> morph of *calurus*. That said, with more study of breeding birds across
> boreal Canada, and more focused research on these subspecies, perhaps some
> information will come to light about dark/rufous morph occurring in
> *abieticola*. Given the large number of *B. j. borealis* seen and
> photographed each breeding season, I think we're pretty confident that
> dark/rufous morphs don't occur in that subspecies.
>
> The Ohio bird shows characters that are consistent with what we know of
> rufous/dark calurus, with this individual leaning more toward the darker
> end of the spectrum, but not black as in some rare *calurus*. The really
> broad subterminal band is neat, but this is highly variable by sex and
> subspecies in RTHA. The other option here is Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk (*B.
> j. harlani*), which occurs is a wide array of morphs from very white to
> wholly black, but this bird doesn't show any characters consistent with
> that subspecies.
>
> My sense is that these rare wintering dark/rufous birds around the Great
> Lakes, and rarely farther East and South, are migrant *calurus*, a taxon
> that makes its way at least as far east as the Mississippi River Valley
> with regularity. At least based on what we know now, that's about as far as
> you can go with this.
>
> Thanks
>
> Brian
>
>
>
> On Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 3:22 PM, Blake Mathys 
> wrote:
>
> I was recently fooled by a dark morph Red-tailed Hawk in Union County,
> Ohio, USA; I was convinced it was a Rough-legged Hawk until another birder
> was able to see and photograph its obviously red tail in flight the
> following day. The question now is whether this is a western (*calurus*)
> or a dark morph *borealis* (I was under the impression that these are
> rather rare, but one Ohio birder has suggested this possibility). Based on
> reports cited in Wheeler (Raptors of Eastern North America), *calurus*isn't 
impossible in Ohio, and this bird seems to fit his criteria, but I 

> was hoping to get more expert opinion. The two photographs are available
> here:
> http://blakemathys.com/darkRTHA.html
> Larger versions are available, but I think the relevant characteristics
> are visible (especially in the flight photo by Irina Shulgina).
>
> Thank you,
>
> Blake Mathys
> http://blakemathys.com/
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>
>
>
>
> --
>
> ===========
>
>
> *Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader *
> www.ebird.org
>
> *Photo Editor*
> Birds of North America Online
> http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
> -------------------------------
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
>



-- 
===========


*Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader *
www.ebird.org

*Photo Editor*
Birds of North America Online
http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
-------------------------------

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA
From: Jean Iron <jeaniron AT SYMPATICO.CA>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 23:32:03 -0500
Given the regular occurrence of dark morph Red-tailed Hawks in the East, we
speculate that some originate from the Northern Red-tailed Hawk (subspecies
abieticola) population breeding across the vast boreal forest of Canada
where there are very few observers to see them. This is supported by the
breeding record of a melanistic Red-tailed Hawk at a nest in Labrador
reported in the Birds of the Labrador Peninsula (Todd 1963). For more
information, see article published in the Toronto Ornithological Club
Newsletter which discusses the possible origins of dark morph Red-tailed
Hawks seen during migration and winter in Eastern North America. Scroll down
to read all three pages of discussion with photos.

http://www.jeaniron.ca/2012/darkredtailsTOCNews.pdf

 

Jean Iron and Ron Pittaway

Toronto, Ontario

 

 

 

From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Brian Sullivan
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2014 7:57 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA

 

Hi Blake

As of yet, dark/rufous morphs have not been proven to occur in Eastern (B.
j. borealis) or Northern (B. j. abieticola) Red-tailed Hawks. There are no
records of breeding dark/rufous morph RTHA from the East, or from the
eastern half of northern Canada--at least not that I know of. There is
speculation that the northern breeding B. j. abieticola could have a
dark/rufous morph, but we're just beginning to get comfortable with the
criteria for distinguishing light morph abieticola from borealis and
calurus, and as of yet there are no identification criteria that would
distinguish a putative abieticola dark/rufous morph from a similar morph of
calurus. That said, with more study of breeding birds across boreal Canada,
and more focused research on these subspecies, perhaps some information will
come to light about dark/rufous morph occurring in abieticola. Given the
large number of B. j. borealis seen and photographed each breeding season, I
think we're pretty confident that dark/rufous morphs don't occur in that
subspecies.

The Ohio bird shows characters that are consistent with what we know of
rufous/dark calurus, with this individual leaning more toward the darker end
of the spectrum, but not black as in some rare calurus. The really broad
subterminal band is neat, but this is highly variable by sex and subspecies
in RTHA. The other option here is Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk (B. j. harlani),
which occurs is a wide array of morphs from very white to wholly black, but
this bird doesn't show any characters consistent with that subspecies.

My sense is that these rare wintering dark/rufous birds around the Great
Lakes, and rarely farther East and South, are migrant calurus, a taxon that
makes its way at least as far east as the Mississippi River Valley with
regularity. At least based on what we know now, that's about as far as you
can go with this.

Thanks

Brian

 

On Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 3:22 PM, Blake Mathys 
wrote:

I was recently fooled by a dark morph Red-tailed Hawk in Union County, Ohio,
USA; I was convinced it was a Rough-legged Hawk until another birder was
able to see and photograph its obviously red tail in flight the following
day. The question now is whether this is a western (calurus) or a dark morph
borealis (I was under the impression that these are rather rare, but one
Ohio birder has suggested this possibility). Based on reports cited in
Wheeler (Raptors of Eastern North America), calurus isn't impossible in
Ohio, and this bird seems to fit his criteria, but I was hoping to get more
expert opinion. The two photographs are available here:
http://blakemathys.com/darkRTHA.html
Larger versions are available, but I think the relevant characteristics are
visible (especially in the flight photo by Irina Shulgina).

Thank you,

Blake Mathys
http://blakemathys.com/



Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 




-- 

===========
Brian L. Sullivan

eBird Project Leader 
www.ebird.org

Photo Editor
Birds of North America Online
http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
-------------------------------

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA
From: Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 20:09:24 -0800
Angus et al.

If there's one thing I've learned in birding over the years, it's that
there is an exception to every rule! We don't have evidence for dark/rufous
*borealis* or *abieticola*, but more study is needed. The breeding range of
the latter is so vast and poorly covered, anything is possible. To make
matters worse, even where it breeds it is very scarce. All specimens and
photos of breeding *abieticola* have been light morphs, even west into
Alberta, Yukon, and Alaska. But there is so much to learn about how the
various RTHA subspecies mix in western Canada, where five subspecies come
into contact, and blurred lines define their ranges.

Our only chance of seeing lots of *abieticola* comes during spring and fall
migration, particularly around the Great Lakes, when many *abieticola* mix
with borealis on migration. Most of these are likely from the eastern
portion of that subspecies' range though. At places like Hawk Ridge and
Pembina Valley, a more western component can be seen. In any case, there's
a reason Red-tailed Hawk is my favorite bird--there's always something new
to learn!

One of the biggest misconceptions in the birding community is that Western
Red-tailed Hawks (*B. j. calurus*) have banded tails as adults, and when
these dark/rufous birds turn up in the East with unbanded tails,
speculation begins about them being dark Easterns. In reality, the tails of
adult Western can show a range of banding, from zero (as on many Eastern)
to heavily banded. The latter trait seems to be more prominent the farther
north and west you go in the breeding range of *calurus*, but banded tails
can appear anywhere within the range. Where I live in California, banded
tails are an exception, but when local populations are augmented with
northern migrants, I see many with banded tails.

For people interested in contributing photos of Red-taileds, and adding a
piece to this puzzle, you can contribute to the RTHA photo pool on Flickr:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/rtha/

Thanks

Brian



On Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 4:47 PM, Angus Wilson wrote:

> Photos of a similar bird from western New York State, together with some
> discussion of the uncertainties are included in the 2011 Annual Report of
> the New York State Avian Records Committee (NYSARC). Your can read the
> report here:
>
> http://nybirds.org/NYSARC/Reports/NYSARC2011.html
>
> There have been other sightings of such birds, most often from hawkwatch
> sites along the Lake Ontario shore. Like Blake, I am keen to know if these
> birds can be firmly identified as calurus and whether there is any new
> information on the occurrence of dark morph individuals within Eastern
> Red-tailed Hawk populations.
>
> Cheers, Angus Wilson
> New York City, USA
>
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html




-- 
===========


*Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader *
www.ebird.org

*Photo Editor*
Birds of North America Online
http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
-------------------------------

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Hybrid Swallow
From: Alvaro Jaramillo <chucao AT COASTSIDE.NET>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 19:39:16 -0800
I agree completely with Dan. Barn Swallows are very unlike what North
Americans may expect Barn Swallows to look like when you see them in South
America during the non-breeding season. Even the adults are a mess. 

 

Two cents on the Argentine birds (Also Cliff Swallows have been breeding in
Argentina recently, and one pair tried to nest in Chile!). If they do
migrate to North America to "winter" there during our summer, I would expect
they will be doing this in the East, not the West Coast. I bet most West
Coast Barns winter in Central America and Mexico, while eastern birds are
the ones in South America. This is based on patterns in other species, but
these are pretty strong patterns. So my assumption is that in reverse that
would be true as well, lots of assumptions though :) 

 

Regards, 

 

Alvaro

 

Alvaro Jaramillo

alvaro AT alvarosadventures.com

www.alvarosadventures.com

 

From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification
[mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Daniel Lane
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2014 7:14 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Hybrid Swallow

 

Hello again all,

 

In response to a few of the day's comments, I should clarify that I (or
Alvaro, I suspect) was not suggesting that the bird in question was the
offspring of South American-breeding Barn Swallow. I don't discount the
possibility, although I think it is rather unlikely. Instead, I simply was
stating that this particular bird agrees very much with Barn Swallows (North
American breeders) I see while on their travels in South America in their
non-breeding season (the plate I painted for Birds of Peru show three juvs,
two mostly fresh, and one fairly worn, in an effort to show the differences
at the different wear stages one is likely to see there). Young birds in
South America (and even here in North America by November and December) have
very bleached foreheads and throats as is the bird in question. The lack of
a dark collar does not bother me in the least, as North American birds tend
to have a weak collar, if any at all. The photos linked to by Jeff Bleam in
his latest post showing juvenile Barn Swallows with broad dark collars are
all from the Old World (Europe and Africa, if you see the locality
information on the right side of the webpages). The Old World subspecies of
Barn Swallows (rustica, for example) *do* have broad, obvious collars, but
this feature is all but lacking in American birds (erythrogaster). Any
comparison of European and North American field guides (or simply looking in
Sibley or National Geographic) should instantly show this distinction.

 

 

I have seen a probable Cliff X Barn hybrid while coleading a tour with Jon
Dunn in California in October 1999 (I'll have to dig up my field sketches of
that bird to remind myself of the markings that led us to that
identification, but I clearly remember the deeply notched tail and buff
rump, as noticeable as on Cliff, as two outstanding characters). There is
also a specimen of what is probably this hybrid combination (or perhaps Cave
X Barn?) in the LSU Museum, a bird found emaciated on a road in S Louisiana
in December (!). Again, the Cliff-like buff rump is one of the outstanding
characters. 

 

 

In Mr. Bleam's photo of the bird in question in flight: 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/byjcb/12868411693/

I don't see any such buff rump band, I *do* see a long tail, and dark neck
sides suggesting even the edges of a "semi-collar" (not completed across the
meeting of throat and breast feathers). Furthermore, the bird has no
darkness on the throat at all, which I could expect of Cliff parentage,
rather the throat and forehead are concolor (as they are in juv Barn). What
I see is a white patch on a rectrix (either a bit of poop or an out-of-place
outer rectrix showing the white typical of Barn, absent in Cliff), and buff
on the very sides of the rump where the flanks and undertail coverts should
be (which should be buff in a Barn, mostly whitish in a Cliff). The white
stripes in the back, to me, suggest exposed whitish down along the
mantle/scapular edge that I would mark down as being related to the odd
stage of molt of this individual. So, again, I see no evidence of any Cliff
Swallow in this bird at all. 

 

Here is a juv Barn showing the white borders to the scaps/mantle and
relative lack of a breastband:

http://mvgazette.com/sites/default/files/article-assets/main-photos/2008/lm_
young_barn_swallow.jpg

This is a juv. Barn Swallow by Greg Lasley in Texas, September:

http://www.greglasley.net/images/BA/Barn-Swallow-0035.jpg

And some photos of Barn Swallows in heavy molt in Argentina: 

http://www.avespampa.com.ar/Hirundinidae.htm

 

I would add that the wonderful series of photos by Suzanne Sullivan also
show Barns in comparable stages of molt. Many thanks to Suzanne for her
link!

http://www.pbase.com/suzsull/breeding_ground_molt_barn_swallows_plum_island

 

Relatively few North American birders are likely to see young Barn Swallows
in this molt stage, since such molt is usually conducted entirely on the
wintering grounds. Thus, it's understandable that the plumage is one rather
unfamiliar to most North American birders, but quite familiar with those who
have had the chance to see the species in Latin America, hence my (and
Alvaro's) comments.

 

Good birding,

Dan Lane

 

Daniel F. Lane

 

Research Associate
LSU Museum of Natural Science
119 Foster Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-3216 USA

 

 

Guide
Field Guides Inc.:
http://fieldguides.com/guides/dan-lane

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html 


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Hybrid Swallow
From: Daniel Lane <barbetboy AT YAHOO.COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 19:14:03 -0800
Hello again all,

In response to a few of the day's comments, I should clarify that I (or Alvaro, 
I suspect) was not suggesting that the bird in question was the offspring of 
South American-breeding Barn Swallow. I don't discount the possibility, 
although I think it is rather unlikely. Instead, I simply was stating that this 
particular bird agrees very much with Barn Swallows (North American breeders) I 
see while on their travels in South America in their non-breeding season (the 
plate I painted for Birds of Peru show three juvs, two mostly fresh, and one 
fairly worn, in an effort to show the differences at the different wear stages 
one is likely to see there). Young birds in South America (and even here in 
North America by November and December) have very bleached foreheads and 
throats as is the bird in question. The lack of a dark collar does not bother 
me in the least, as North American birds tend to have a weak collar, if any at 
all. The photos linked to by Jeff Bleam 

 in his latest post showing juvenile Barn Swallows with broad dark collars are 
all from the Old World (Europe and Africa, if you see the locality information 
on the right side of the webpages). The Old World subspecies of Barn Swallows 
(rustica, for example) *do* have broad, obvious collars, but this feature is 
all but lacking in American birds (erythrogaster). Any comparison of European 
and North American field guides (or simply looking in Sibley or National 
Geographic) should instantly show this distinction. 




I have seen a probable Cliff X Barn hybrid while coleading a tour with Jon Dunn 
in California in October 1999 (I'll have to dig up my field sketches of that 
bird to remind myself of the markings that led us to that identification, but I 
clearly remember the deeply notched tail and buff rump, as noticeable as on 
Cliff, as two outstanding characters). There is also a specimen of what is 
probably this hybrid combination (or perhaps Cave X Barn?) in the LSU Museum, a 
bird found emaciated on a road in S Louisiana in December (!). Again, the 
Cliff-like buff rump is one of the outstanding characters.† 



In Mr. Bleam's photo of the bird in question in flight: 

http://www.flickr.com/photos/byjcb/12868411693/

I don't see any such buff rump band, I *do* see a long tail, and dark neck 
sides suggesting even the edges of a "semi-collar" (not completed across the 
meeting of throat and breast feathers). Furthermore, the bird has no darkness 
on the throat at all, which I could expect of Cliff parentage, rather the 
throat and forehead are concolor (as they are in juv Barn). What I see is a 
white patch on a rectrix (either a bit of poop or an out-of-place outer rectrix 
showing the white typical of Barn, absent in Cliff), and buff on the very sides 
of the rump where the flanks and undertail coverts should be (which should be 
buff in a Barn, mostly whitish in a Cliff). The white stripes in the back, to 
me, suggest exposed whitish down along the mantle/scapular edge that I would 
mark down as being related to the odd stage of molt of this individual. So, 
again, I see no evidence of any Cliff Swallow in this bird at all. 


Here is a juv Barn showing the white borders to the scaps/mantle and relative 
lack of a breastband: 


http://mvgazette.com/sites/default/files/article-assets/main-photos/2008/lm_young_barn_swallow.jpg 

This is a juv. Barn Swallow by Greg Lasley in Texas, September:
http://www.greglasley.net/images/BA/Barn-Swallow-0035.jpg
And some photos of Barn Swallows in heavy molt in Argentina: 

http://www.avespampa.com.ar/Hirundinidae.htm

I would add that the wonderful series of photos by Suzanne Sullivan also show 
Barns in comparable stages of molt. Many thanks to Suzanne for her link! 

http://www.pbase.com/suzsull/breeding_ground_molt_barn_swallows_plum_island


Relatively few North American birders are likely to see young Barn Swallows in 
this molt stage, since such molt is usually conducted entirely on the wintering 
grounds. Thus, it's understandable that the plumage is one rather unfamiliar to 
most North American birders, but quite familiar with those who have had the 
chance to see the species in Latin America, hence my (and Alvaro's) comments. 


Good birding,
Dan Lane

†
Daniel F. Lane


Research Associate
LSU Museum of Natural Science
119 Foster Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803-3216 USA


Guide
Field Guides Inc.:
http://fieldguides.com/guides/dan-lane
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA
From: Brian Sullivan <heraldpetrel AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 16:57:16 -0800
Hi Blake

As of yet, dark/rufous morphs have not been proven to occur in Eastern (*B.
j. borealis*) or Northern (*B. j. abieticola*) Red-tailed Hawks. There are
no records of breeding dark/rufous morph RTHA from the East, or from the
eastern half of northern Canada--at least not that I know of. There is
speculation that the northern breeding *B. j. abieticola* could have a
dark/rufous morph, but we're just beginning to get comfortable with the
criteria for distinguishing light morph *abieticola* from *borealis* and
*calurus*, and as of yet there are no identification criteria that would
distinguish a putative *abieticola* dark/rufous morph from a similar morph
of *calurus*. That said, with more study of breeding birds across boreal
Canada, and more focused research on these subspecies, perhaps some
information will come to light about dark/rufous morph occurring in
*abieticola*. Given the large number of *B. j. borealis* seen and
photographed each breeding season, I think we're pretty confident that
dark/rufous morphs don't occur in that subspecies.

The Ohio bird shows characters that are consistent with what we know of
rufous/dark calurus, with this individual leaning more toward the darker
end of the spectrum, but not black as in some rare *calurus*. The really
broad subterminal band is neat, but this is highly variable by sex and
subspecies in RTHA. The other option here is Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk (*B.
j. harlani*), which occurs is a wide array of morphs from very white to
wholly black, but this bird doesn't show any characters consistent with
that subspecies.

My sense is that these rare wintering dark/rufous birds around the Great
Lakes, and rarely farther East and South, are migrant *calurus*, a taxon
that makes its way at least as far east as the Mississippi River Valley
with regularity. At least based on what we know now, that's about as far as
you can go with this.

Thanks

Brian


On Thu, Mar 6, 2014 at 3:22 PM, Blake Mathys wrote:

> I was recently fooled by a dark morph Red-tailed Hawk in Union County,
> Ohio, USA; I was convinced it was a Rough-legged Hawk until another birder
> was able to see and photograph its obviously red tail in flight the
> following day. The question now is whether this is a western (*calurus*)
> or a dark morph *borealis* (I was under the impression that these are
> rather rare, but one Ohio birder has suggested this possibility). Based on
> reports cited in Wheeler (Raptors of Eastern North America), *calurus*isn't 
impossible in Ohio, and this bird seems to fit his criteria, but I 

> was hoping to get more expert opinion. The two photographs are available
> here:
> http://blakemathys.com/darkRTHA.html
> Larger versions are available, but I think the relevant characteristics
> are visible (especially in the flight photo by Irina Shulgina).
>
> Thank you,
>
> Blake Mathys
> http://blakemathys.com/
>
>
>  Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html




-- 
===========


*Brian L. SullivaneBird Project Leader *
www.ebird.org

*Photo Editor*
Birds of North America Online
http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/BNA
-------------------------------

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Re: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA
From: Angus Wilson <oceanwanderers AT GMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 19:47:40 -0500
Photos of a similar bird from western New York State, together with some
discussion of the uncertainties are included in the 2011 Annual Report of
the New York State Avian Records Committee (NYSARC). Your can read the
report here:

http://nybirds.org/NYSARC/Reports/NYSARC2011.html

There have been other sightings of such birds, most often from hawkwatch
sites along the Lake Ontario shore. Like Blake, I am keen to know if these
birds can be firmly identified as calurus and whether there is any new
information on the occurrence of dark morph individuals within Eastern
Red-tailed Hawk populations.

Cheers, Angus Wilson
New York City, USA

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html
Subject: Dark Red-tailed Hawk Subspecies - Ohio, USA
From: Blake Mathys <blakemathys AT HOTMAIL.COM>
Date: Thu, 6 Mar 2014 18:22:20 -0500
I was recently fooled by a dark morph Red-tailed Hawk in Union County, Ohio, 
USA; I was convinced it was a Rough-legged Hawk until another birder was able 
to see and photograph its obviously red tail in flight the following day. The 
question now is whether this is a western (calurus) or a dark morph borealis (I 
was under the impression that these are rather rare, but one Ohio birder has 
suggested this possibility). Based on reports cited in Wheeler (Raptors of 
Eastern North America), calurus isn't impossible in Ohio, and this bird seems 
to fit his criteria, but I was hoping to get more expert opinion. The two 
photographs are available here: 

http://blakemathys.com/darkRTHA.html
Larger versions are available, but I think the relevant characteristics are 
visible (especially in the flight photo by Irina Shulgina). 


Thank you,

Blake Mathys
http://blakemathys.com/


 		 	   		  
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