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Everything posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. Thanks Kevin. That seemed to work. Now my Website is visible. BTW, my SmugMug site doesn't allow you to comment without first signing in with either a SmugMug or Facebook account. Everyone complains, but they won't fix it.
  2. I don't see a site specific forum where I can post this question. Where some folks have their life list, favorite quote, weblink, etc. below each posting--how do I do that? I looked under profile and account settings. I must've missed it.
  3. Avery, my fascination with sub-species is partly out of curiosity, and partly my need to be as accurate as possible. That probably stems from my years in military intelligence, where even the tiniest of details mattered greatly. When I started out birding and posting my finds to social media, particularly FB, many times my inaccurate IDs were met with less than tactful responses. It's just one of the reasons I'm no longer on FB. I do still post to social media, as well as populate my own website. Every image I post has an accompanying photo caption. I try to keep those captions as accurate as possible. Once an ID is arrived at here, I then caption my own photos accordingly. I often refer back to those correctly identified bird photos, and use them to help identify subsequent shots of similar birds. Having learned so much here, I now identify nearly every bird I photograph. I post here only those birds I'm uncertain of. Usually those in non-breeding colors, or subspecies, or color morph, beyond just the basic bird. Using the word report was probably a poor choice of words. Likely also going back to my intelligence days, when you stated something based on evidence, you recorded (or reported) it. end of rant/confession
  4. I'm aware borealis only have one morph. I'm calling it a rufous only as a descriptive term, to differentiate it from say, the lighter "Plains" version. Perhaps the FB Red-tailed Hawk gods could provide some input? Besides, I'm curious how they report the various "tones" of borealis. I know they're darker in boreal areas vs. down here in the lowlands. With such a variable plumage, why aren't there more color morphs we could call them? I rarely report to eBird unless I discover something unusual or out of it's "normal" range. Nor am I confident enough (usually) in my IDs to post there either. This particular sighting is over 2 years old.
  5. A boreal borealis? Or northern borealis, as opposed to the "plains" version more common in my area? I'm aware there are darker versions of borealis that tend to hang out in the northern and northwestern parts of their stomping grounds. I think that's what you're saying this is, and I tend to agree. I just don't know how to "report" it. I'm thinking of calling it a rufous adult Eastern Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis borealis)
  6. A boreal borealis? Or northern borealis, as opposed to the "plains" version more common in my area? I'm aware there are darker versions of borealis that tend to hang out in the northern and northwestern parts of their stomping grounds. I think that's what you're saying this is, and I tend to agree. I just don't know how to "report" it.
  7. Saw this guy in December 2021 at Loess Bluffs NWR, in NW Missouri. Despite the fairly light eyes, I'm leaning toward adult on this guy. I know eye color and tail color don't always change at the same rate. Despite the very light belly banding, the creamy/buff undersides make me lean toward Western (Buteo jamaicensis calurus)
  8. Seen in December 2021 at Loess Bluffs NWR in NW Missouri. I'm calling this Rough-legged Hawk a light-morph immature female. Immature because of lighter eye color, light-morph because there are only two color morphs for RLHA and this is definitely not a dark morph, and last female (not 100% sure on this one) no additional banding like a male on the tail besides the dark subterminal band, white primary patches on upper wings, which the male lacks...
  9. See? and you guys didn't think I was retaining any of this Red-tailed Hawk info, huh.
  10. Seen this afternoon in western Iowa. Is this adult Red-tailed Hawk an Eastern (Buteo jamaicensis borealis) ?
  11. Seen this afternoon in western Iowa. Is this adult Red-tailed Hawk a light-morph Northern (Buteo jamaicensis abieticola) ?
  12. Last excerpt. This one is from Birds of the World (yes, I bought a subscription). In regards to other, non-plumage ID features of Hooded Merganser; IRIS In hatchlings moderately yellowish brown (Nelson 1992a). In females iris brownish buff or brownish olive. In males iris similar to females in first cycle, becoming bright yellow in adults. Color can be used to sex Definitive Alternate birds in the field. BILL and GAPE In hatchlings upper mandible brownish slate; lower mandible, lamellae, tomia, and base of bill at commisure yellowish pink to light orange; nail reddish brown, pinker at tip; upper egg tooth pale dull yellow, yellowish or pinkish white; lower egg tooth yellowish white, translucent and scale-like. First-cycle and older female with upper mandible blackish green with orange edge; lower mandible muted orange or yellowish. First-cycle male with bill brownish green with orange edge, becoming darker in spring; Adult male with bill black, duskier and paling to yellowish at base in Jun-Sep. Based on this info, I believe both birds are immature males, with one a little farther along in it's molt. The yellow eyes also verify them both as males--darkish eyes in males turn yellow early on, whereas female eyes are always dark. Regarding the bill, male bills turn dark early on, while female bills never turn dark for both upper and lower mandibles. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Birds of the World is supposed to be pretty much THE definitive source. The downside to this resource is how many words I had to look up! Thanks everyone for your input on this.
  13. I think these excerpts from different sources should add some (helpful?) information. From Animal Diversity Web; The males iris is bright yellow, while the iris of females and immature males is duller brown. (Dugger, et al., 1994) From Wikipedia (not my favorite source). At least the 2nd part provides a source; During the nonbreeding season the male looks similar to the female, except that his eyes are yellow and the female's eyes are brown. First winter birds differ from adult females in appearance in that they have a grey-brown neck and upper parts; the upper parts of adult females are much darker — nearly black. Furthermore, the young birds have narrower white edges to their tertial feathers than adults do. Females of all ages are dark-eyed, whereas in males the eyes become pale during their first winter. (Vinicombe, Keith (2002). "Time for a rethink." Birdwatch 119:16-7) Smithsonian National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute does describe the bill colors between males and females, but doesn't distinguish if this is throughout life, or just in adults.
  14. Follow-up question. Will males always have a black bill and females always have a two-tone bill regardless of age, respectively?
  15. I was not aware of the eye color thing. And didn't notice the bill was black on both birds. I learned something, beside to pay better attention. That being said, since these both seem to be immature males (I've never seen immature Hooded Mergansers before), why is one so much different than the other?
  16. Seen this afternoon in NW Missouri. This pair of Hooded Merganser stayed together. One clearly looks like an adult female. The other one sortof looks like a male. But I've only seen adult males. Is this one an immature male, or an eclipse male?
  17. There reportedly some Ross's Geese mixed among the thousands of Snow Geese last week at Loess Bluffs NWR, in NW Missouri. Is this one of them?
  18. You're right. I found it, and this time added added it to yet another list of bird ID documents. Thanks for reminding me.
  19. There's gotta be someone out there that knows where to look these Snow Goose morphs up.
  20. This Snow Goose was seen yesterday in NW Missouri. Is it an adult intermediate-morph, or an immature bird? More importantly, is there an online (not FB) guide showing the numerous morphs, color stages of Snow Goose? I can identify adult white and adult blue morphs, but beyond those, I'm lost.
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