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Posts posted by akiley

  1. 35 minutes ago, Charlie Spencer said:

    I hadn't heard of a Gray-headed Swamphen before this thread.  They don't show in AAB; I had to go to Birds of NA to find a description.

    "Teacher, I learned something today!  Can I go home now?"

    You may know the name Purple Swamphen. A few years ago it was split into 5 or 6 species, and Gray-headed was determined to be the one that is introduced in FL for the most part.

    • Like 3

  2. 4 hours ago, Tony Leukering said:

    I flagged this photo in eBird as being possibly mis-identified. First off, I think that we can all agree that it is an immature, as if the bird were any older, the ID would be obvious to all. The head shape looks reasonable for an immature Hooded, though the somewhat bifurcated appearance of the crest suggests Red-breasted. The bill does seem a tad long for Hooded, but I cannot rule out a photographic artifact. If I stare at the photo long enough, I see what seems like a yellowish eye, perhaps surrounded by dark feathering. Unfortunately, that's not helpful, as Red-breasted's start out with yellow eyes and male Hoodeds get yellow eyes. However, just the fact that the eye color is not obvious leads me to be cautious about any interpretation of that eye color.

    I would prefer to see more photos of this individual, as single photos can be SO misleading. Until then, I'm happy with "merganser sp."

    Interesting thoughts. If you take about an inch and a half off the bill (as it appears here) everything else seems at least decent for Hooded, no? Tough photo.

  3. 3 hours ago, Tony Leukering said:

    Jack -- I validated that report in 2017, primarily on the strength of the bird depicted in the 2nd photo. That bird is classic Tav, with its almost roman-nose look and rounded crown shape. Unfortunately, not all Tavs present that appearance. I am suspicious of reported Tavs that show too concave of a bill profile, as it has been suggested that Tavs and Richies are mixing in Alaska (?). The bird in the last photo (with the Lesser Canada) is, in my mind, questionable as to parentage. The crown shape seems intermediate between Tav and Richy, and the bill shape is a bit better for Richy. Otherwise, I'm fairly comfortable with the rest being Tavs, with the caveat that subspecies ID is fraught with peril, particularly in Cackling Goose, and even more particularly in the interstices in the Tav-Richy duo.

    Thanks for the info, Tony. On this topic, what do you think of this bird? The observer is a very good birder, but it doesn't stand out to me as much for Tav as much as the 2nd and 3rd pic in Jack's checklist. 


  4. I was literally just looking at this exact checklist yesterday or the day before. Agree with Tav, especially for the two pix of the one full bird in the photo. The head, bill, neck and body shape look classic. It's hard to rule out Richy intergrades, as apparently there's a good amount of overlap on the breeding grounds. Not sure about the other birds, particularly the headshot that seems to show a small bill.

    • Like 1

  5. 2 hours ago, akandula said:

    Adult Glaucous Gull confirmed. With those pure white wingtips, it's either a Glaucous or an Iceland Gull, but it's far too large/bulky for an Iceland.

    Agreed. Also note that Kumlien's Iceland almost always has at least a small amount of gray in the primaries. An adult Iceland with zero gray should make you consider nominate glaucoides.

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