Jump to content
Whatbird Community

von Humboldt

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by von Humboldt

  1. I believe you can see enough red on the on the forehead to say it's a male red-bellied.
  2. Agree they're mallards. They're going through eclipse plumage and that's probably what's making them look odd to you. Definitely males with that bill color. The bills not as bright now as it will be in the winter and especially spring breeding. The one on the left may be a first year duck as his bill does look pretty drab.
  3. Charlie, I see orange legs and I believe a hint of a speculum, so I'll have to respectfully disagree.
  4. I let them live in my chimneys since I moved out into the country 30 years ago. Watching a large flock of swifts circle and circle a chimney for 10 – 15 minutes then enter the chimney is one of the great sights in birding.
  5. I can't hear your file but those are almost surely just hatched Chimney Swifts. I don't know of any other bird that hangs out in chimneys and this is the time of year for the young to be crying for food. The adults have been in the chimney longer than a couple of weeks but they don't make near as much noise. Go outside and watch the top of the chimney about 30 minutes before sunset until near dark and you should see adult Chimney Swifts entering.
  6. I agree these are juvenile mallards just coming into adult plumage and bill color. Probably all from the same brood due to behavior and apparently being the same age.
  7. Nice gape spot + short eyeline. Very thin white bars on speculum. I agree it's pure mottled duck. The light coloration on the tail is due to wear this time of year and is not a true white like a female mallard would have. Also, in Florida the female can have a bill that is anything from dull olive to indistinguishable from a female mallard.
  8. I used to fish on a large reservoir where there were several eagles and ospreys. You can always tell them apart when carrying a fish even at a distance. An Osprey carries the fish parallel to the body, an eagle carries their fish perpendicular.
  9. I believe it is only immature sharp-shinned that has the white spots, so that would be my guess.
  10. I just reread Tony's article. I'm going to number the photographs attached to your last post 1-4 from top to bottom. One and two are the same bird. The shadows make colors difficult to discern, but clearly picture 2 identifies it as a male based on Bill color. The eye line is longer than most pure mottled ducks but may be within the spectrum of length for a mottled duck. The gape spot is small but according to Tony that doesn't eliminate pure. What I'm saying is both of these markers indicate hybrid but do not positively confirm it. The tail appears to be black on the upper tail coverts with the butt being white on the side and the bottom. These are the colors of a male mallard, so assuming I'm seeing the correct colors that eliminates any chance of a pure mottled duck. However, it's unusual to not see any curl in the tail. Picture 4- I still say the duck on the right is probably a pure mottled duck, but need a good picture of the head to confirm.
  11. Are you saying the duck in the first picture on the right, facing almost directly away (I'll call Duck A) from the camera is the same duck that's in the other three pictures? They appear to me to have different colored tails than duck A. The last three pictures appear to show a black top of the butt that would be indicative of a male mallard. Also, the last three pictures appear to show slight variations in bill color and gape spot, is that just the lighting?
  12. You are asking about the duck that is facing away from the camera I assume. The other one (which is also the duck in the second picture I believe) is clearly a male hybrid. I use the following traits in trying to decide if I duck like this is hybrid. Sex determined by Bill color – male of both species should be bright yellow. That bill looks yellow but with angle and lighting I don't know. This time of year (mating season) you expect it to be at its brightest. Eyeline – a mottled duck has a very short one and the mallard's almost touches the the darker feathers at the back of the head. A short eyeline is a good indicator of pure as for some reason any hybridization seems to lengthen it. The duck in the second picture is a good example of an eyeline that is just too long to be pure mottled duck. I can't see any eyeline on the duck in question which I assume must be the result of lighting. Gape spot – A mallard has none. You see any gape spot you know it must have some mottled duck genes. A hybrid, especially with a majority of mottled duck genes, can have a good gape spot also. However, if the gape spot is very small or deformed shape it's not a pure mottled. This duck appears to have a good gape spot but you really can't tell from this angle. White in the tail – if there's any white in the tail feathers it has some mallard. However, feathers wear during the year on the edges. Fortunately in this case we have a very good picture of tail and is my opinion that is not a true white color but rather worn feathers. By June 1, they will show a lot more very light colored edges due to wear. I don't see anything that eliminates it from being a pure mottled duck and that would be my opinion. Better photos of the front are probably necessary. What happened to Tony Leukering, did he retire or just get tired of messing with us amateurs? Maybe you can make a determination by googling "Tony Leukering muddled ducks" and going through all of the markers he lists in that article.
  13. The male looks good for a pure mottled. Short eyeline, gape spot and overall coloring. As for Bill color in pure female mottled ducks - The Louisiana Texas subspecies have bills completely indistinguishable from female mallards. The Florida subspecies have bills that can range from a solid dull drab olive color to completely indistinguishable from a female Mallard. Bill color is never of any help in distinguishing pure from hybrid in mottled. However, the female has no gape spot which means it is for sure not a pure mottled. Also, the eyeline is too long and there appears to be white in the tail.
  14. It would be HIGHLY UNUSUAL to see an Osprey eating anything other than a fish.
  15. That is an adult blue morph snow goose. The solid White head is a sign of maturity. Juveniles have a dark head. The amount of white in the body plumage appears to me to fall within the normal range for an adult. The coloring on the front of the face is from iron- staining.
  16. Were those two ducks the same color "in person" ? Assuming they were and the duck on the right is way overexposed in direct sunlight and the one on the left is underexposed in shadow, then yes those are Black Ducks. The individual feather pattern of dark in the middle fringed with a lighter color, the bill, and the relative coloring is consistent with Black Ducks.
  17. I still say the bluegray bill and the brown cheeks and neck could not have come from a mallard x wood duck.
  18. I believe that Duck has to have some American widgeon in it based on that bill and the pattern of green on the head (plus other plumage looks. I don't see any wood duck or mallard in the bill. I do see wood duck features in the color of the chest and definitely the eye ring. I believe that bit of speculum could come from a wood duck and the shape of the tail is very square like a wood duck. Also, the legs are wood duck colored. I believe it has to be an American widgeon X Wood duck. I don't see any coloring on the duck that can't be explained by wood duck or widgeon genes, but, hey, I'm scheduled to have cataract surgery shortly.
  19. Slightly upturned tail, green cap. gape spot, general fading of Mallard colors- looks like a classic hybrid.
  20. After further review, I'm going to retract my statement on the bottom bird that it is "most likely a hybrid." If that picture wasn't taken in Florida I wouldn't hesitate to say I later eclipsed Mallard. Since I now believe it is most likely later eclipse, I guess my proper response is "I don't know."
  21. I believe both birds are males. top bird – I believe this is a pure mottled duck based on the shortness of the eyeline and the lack of white on the tail. Some of those tail feathers are rather light but I believe that is due to overexposure and no true whiteness. Also, it's a nice gape spot although hybrids often show some type of gape spot. However, I believe it is also a male and therefore it shows absolutely no indication of mallard genes. Being from south Louisiana originally, I have extensive experience with the Texas – Louisiana subspecies (whose bills are essentially indistinguishable from a female mallard) and my experience with the Florida subspecies is limited. I know the Florida subspecies female can have a mallard- like Bill or a drab olive greenish yellow bill. To my knowledge, I've never seen a mottled (or a black duck) with that yellow of a bill identified as a female. Nobody could convince me it's a female other than Tony Luekering. Bottom bird – although it would be unusual for a mallard to show any eclipse plumage this time of year , if it were a juvenile in a late brood it's possible. Also, the pattern on the head is a little splotchy which is more like the transition from eclipse to breeding plumage. I agree that is most likely a hybrid with three quarters or more mallard ancestry but I wouldn't rule out later eclipse juvenile.
  22. The markers I mentioned in my post are two that are easily seen and generally indicative. One for mallard is white tail feathers. However I suggest you check the Tony Leukering article to identify specific birds. https://s3.amazonaws.com/is-ebird-wordpress-prod-s3/wp-content/uploads/sites/55/eBird_Muddled_Ducks.pdf
  23. Both of those ducks have clear gape spots so they are not pure mallard. Also, the eyeline doesn't extend as far back as you would expect on pure mallard. The duck on the right appears to be a male because the yellow bill color and I would expect this time of year to see some green or gray starting to show as he phases into normal plumage. I don't much that looks like a mallard.
  • Create New...