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Jerry Friedman

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Everything posted by Jerry Friedman

  1. Does anyone like Clay-colored for the second one? Strong face pattern, weak eye-ring, looks like an unstreaked gray nape, buffy tinge to body. The third one is Zauschneria sp. Oh, you meant the bird.
  2. Aha. I'm getting the feeling the black on Thick-billed's tails can look a lot more triangular when the tails are folded and notched. http://www.azfo.org/gallery/2012/html3/MCLO_Willcox_Johnson_29_February_2012.html
  3. The tail in the last two pictures sure looks like Chestnut-collared, though.
  4. I'm told that 99% of accipiters on light poles are Cooper's. I'd say the gray (not orangish as in female Coops and all Sharpies, if I remember correctly) cheek is under the eye and the nape is farther back, especially visible in the first and third pictures. But I too have trouble with what people say about the napes of accipiters.
  5. Coop with the graduated tail (more important than whether it's rounded), barrel-shaped rather than broad-shouldered body (I might go so far as to call this one roly-poly), big bill with the culmen continuing the curve of the crown, and yes, murder in its eye, as @meghannsays.
  6. I'm not the biggest expert either, but I contribute when I can. I think mentioning what in the photo led to an ID is always useful, as @meghannsaid, even if other people have already made the ID. Some people like to be the first to answer, and sometimes even seem a little competitive about it 🙂, but that doesn't mean you have to join the competition if you don't feel like it or it's not convenient.
  7. Welcome to Whatbird! That's a Red-shouldered, with rows of pale icicles on the wings (the lower part of the visible wing, in this position).
  8. Brant are rare in Florida, but eBird does have a record from Boca Raton and several from near Port St. Lucie. They do occur inland--there's a group of three here in New Mexico as I write--but the Florida records seem to be from the outer beaches. If they were native birds, @Colton V's suggesting of Red-breasted Merganser seems a lot more likely than Brant.
  9. Welcome to Whatbird, both of you! I agree that it's a loon and that I can't tell which one. Everything about your question is fine except that with pictures like those, it's helpful to crop them so people can see them full size at a glance. Also, you can upload them directly to the forum instead of linking to them. But those aren't big deals.
  10. They're rare here in northern New Mexico, but with three subspecies and the odd Cassiar, we probably don't need many Slate-colored. (On the other hand, I wouldn't mind a White-winged.)
  11. Bill size (compared to the head) and head shape look like Barrow's to me, despite the colors.
  12. There's only a short time window when you can edit your post.
  13. It means that mark makes the identification certain, or practically certain. It's the same meaning as in "An A1C value of greater than 6.5 percent on two separate occasions is diagnostic for diabetes" (from here).
  14. A Ferruginous's gape would be slightly longer, going past the center of the eye. (I agree with everyone who agreed with Red-tailed.)
  15. Also the long tail and the rows of pale icicles on the secondaries. But I can't help with the V on the back. I don't suppose, @floraphile, that you got shots from any other angle?
  16. The answer to your question is yes. Harlan's is officially considered a subspecies, and like you, I can't argue with that. It's certainly not a color morph, because there are light, intermediate, and dark Harlan's. So let me put it this way: Eastern is a subspecies of RTHA. All Eastern birds are light. Western is a subspecies of RTHA (or it consists of two subspecies, but let's not get into that). It has light, intermediate, and dark morphs. Light are the most common. Harlan's is a subspecies of RTHA. It has light, intermediate, and dark morphs. Light are fairly rare (around 10%). This bird is obviously a dark morph, so the question is Western or Harlan's? For the reasons given above, it's a Harlan's. So it's a dark-morph Harlan's. That's what I was trying to say above. (A Northern subspecies is also recognized, and apparently it has a rare dark morph. I don't know whether you could tell a dark Northern from a dark Western in the field off the breeding grounds.)
  17. I'll just add that it is a dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk--a dark morph of the Harlan's subspecies, not a dark morph of the Western (or Northern) subspecies.
  18. Here's an article on hunting success suggesting that for Reddish Egret, white plumage improves success in hunting for prey in deep water. https://www.jstor.org/stable/4132635 On temperature regulation, now that you mention it, it is interesting that the species that stick around in winter tend to have dark plumage (at least here in New Mexico).
  19. Not a biologist, but... if the polymorphism is stable, I think neither morph could cause a significant disadvantage on the whole. You might be interested in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymorphism_(biology) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_polymorphisms. The latter discusses what's known about what keeps each polymorphism going. Usually in polymorphic species, the morphs mate with each other freely. (The White-throated Sparrow is an exception; the polymorphism is stable because birds prefer to mate with the other morph.) Western Reef Herons and Little Egrets have a dark morph as well as a white one. (In Little Egrets the dark morph is rare.) Great Blue Herons have a white(ish) subspecies, and Snow Geese have a mostly white and a mostly dark morph. In Ross's Geese the dark morph is rare. In addition to White Ibises, Little Blue Herons are dark as juveniles and white as adults.
  20. Or that's a common one of the many, many variations of Harlan's tails, which can include red. Also, something like 10% of Harlan's are light morphs, and a lot of the dark morphs have considerable white on them (and might be called intermediate).
  21. How about the translucent crescents near the wingtips--is that a reliable mark? And five emarginated primaries instead of the Broad-wing's four?
  22. What's serious bird photography? Being able to see the eye color of a gull in the middle of a lake? Getting an identifiable shot of a Merlin racing into the distance? Getting a calendar picture of a sparrow 10 feet away, or 20? All of the above? On my old Canon bridge camera (SX50 HS), I've been able to get some autofocused pictures that I enjoy, but I'll admit that the autofocus has frustrated some good opportunities too. (What it's really great for is dragonflies, but I don't think @blackburnianis interested in them.)
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