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Everything posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. Spotted this (taiga) Merlin yesterday afternoon in NW Missouri. Despite the blue sky background, the sun had gone behind a cloud resulting in underexposed pics. Even after brightening up in post processing, I'm not certain if the upper wing and tail feathers are slate gray or dark brown. Are those the only distinguishing features between a male and female Taiga Merlin?
  2. Seen late this afternoon in NW Missouri. Is this an immature Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk?
  3. The Bald Eagle link you provided is the best I've seen so far. Thank you very much Meghann. As a follow-up question, has anyone ever referred to young Bald Eagles as sub-adults? I don't think it's an officially recognized term, but I've used it on occasion, to describe immature Bald Eagles that show most of the visible features of an adult. I reserve it's use to 3 1/2+ year old birds with mostly white head and tail feathers.
  4. Someone already explained this to me a while back, but unfortunately it didn't stick (I forgot). I would call this an immature Bald Eagle, but have seen it also called a juvenile. I'm guilty of this myself. Both terms seem to be used interchangeably, but I know one is technically correct. Can someone please explain, in simple terms, what the difference is, which one would be (more) correct for this young eagle, and why? Maybe provide a couple of examples, so maybe the info will stick this time. Although this is still kind of an ID question, moderators, please move this post to a different section, if appropriate.
  5. I believe when these guys migrate through Loess Bluffs NWR, they generally are immature and/or in non-breeding plumage. That makes identifying them with any certainty a challenge. To add to that challenge, they're rarely close enough to capture decent images (in my case anyway).
  6. Photo taken late yesterday afternoon in NW Missouri. I think this eagle believed the branch it broke off was much bigger than it actually was. The original pic was underexposed and needed brightening in post.
  7. Here's the same bird a week later. Dry as a bone this time. Do we still think it's molting?
  8. Seen late yesterday afternoon at Loess Bluffs NWR in NW Missouri. Are these White-faced or Glossy Ibis? Although White-faced are more common there, both kinds have been seen (and verified) there before. Pics are heavily cropped.
  9. This Northern Rough-legged Hawk was seen Monday and Tuesday at Loess Bluffs NWR near Mound City, MO. Can it be further identified beyond RLHA, by date/location if it is an adult or juvenile bird? Can it's gender and/or color morph be identified by plumage alone? I don't believe there are subspecies to Rough-legged Hawks, but I'd love to be able to further identify if it's an adult or a juvenile, male or female, and light or dark morph. Although many birders would be satisfied with just the basic ID, I obsess over trying to identify subspecies, etc., especially buteos. Based on eye color alone, I'd guess this is probably a juvenile. If it helps with identification, I have upper side shots as well, but they're much farther away and less detailed.
  10. Photographed through heavy fog this morning in NW Missouri. This immature Bald Eagle seems to have something wrong with it's head feathers. Mites? Mange? Something else? The 2nd pic is just an enlargement of the 1st one.
  11. Is the duck in front of the two American Coot a female/immature male Green-winged Teal? There were several seen today at Loess Bluffs NWR in N W Missouri. I didn't see any adult males, unless they all look like this in the Fall.
  12. Let me know if this one should be in a new thread. Taken today, about 5 miles away from yesterday's Harlan's. Is this one also a dark morph Harlan's? Taken under dark overcast skies, so original pic was severely underexposed, then brightened in post.
  13. This Harlan's was seen earlier the same day about 10 miles away. I would definitely call this one a dark morph. But let me see if I understand the differences--It's how dark those markings are, not how much of the bird is covered in those markings? Am I oversimplifying?
  14. FYI, the images were taken in mid afternoon and were slightly under-exposed. They were "brightened" in post production, particularly to show detail lost in the dark shadows.
  15. Seen this afternoon in NW Missouri. Is this a light morph Harlan's Red-tailed Hawk?
  16. This small raptor flew past as I was photographing an eagle perched in a tree. Heavily cropped and underexposed -- camera settings were for a large perched bird, not an unexpected small bird flypast. Pics were taken today in NW Missouri.
  17. Seen last Monday in NW Missouri. There were lots of White-crowned and Song Sparrows, but these were the only two pics I captured of this particular Sparrow. Any idea what kind it is?
  18. Thank you. This one was actually correctly identified in my archives--but I did remove a bunch of Nashville Warbler pics that were incorrectly grouped in with it. Thanks for helping me clean up my act (I mean files).
  19. Going through my archives and weeding out misidentified birds and ran across this one. It was seen in Rapids City, Illinois back in May 2017. What kind of Vireo was this?
  20. Because of the Nashville Warbler ID I got here earlier today, I went back though my archives to pull these pics. I believe I probably misidentified them as well (I'm too embarrassed to say what I though they were). Pics were taken at DeSoto NWR, western Iowa, back in September 2020. Were these Nashville Warblers?
  21. Thank you. That explains why they don't show up when I play Cornell Labs recordings of (Sooty) Fox Sparrows).
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