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Everything posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. 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...
  2. See? and you guys didn't think I was retaining any of this Red-tailed Hawk info, huh.
  3. Seen this afternoon in western Iowa. Is this adult Red-tailed Hawk an Eastern (Buteo jamaicensis borealis) ?
  4. Seen this afternoon in western Iowa. Is this adult Red-tailed Hawk a light-morph Northern (Buteo jamaicensis abieticola) ?
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Follow-up question. Will males always have a black bill and females always have a two-tone bill regardless of age, respectively?
  8. 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?
  9. 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?
  10. 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?
  11. You're right. I found it, and this time added added it to yet another list of bird ID documents. Thanks for reminding me.
  12. There's gotta be someone out there that knows where to look these Snow Goose morphs up.
  13. 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.
  14. Photographed yesterday in NW Missouri. The adult male is easy to spot, but I'm not certain about the rest of them. I'm pretty sure the brown-headed one on the (viewer's) far right is an immature male (based on the white spot behind it's bill). The bird immediately to the adult male's right is an adult female, yes? The remaining generic brown birds (a pair leading), one immediately to the adult male's left, and the far one trailing, would all be immatures, correct? And who knows about the one diving/bathing. In the 2nd pic, I have 3 adult males leading, and 3 adult females trailing, right?
  15. Yet another one from Loess Bluffs NWR in NW Missouri from January 2022. This young 'un has the features of a light morph Northern, abieticola. But for some inexplicable reason, I can't be certain. I accumulated over 1,000+ pics of this bird, from every possible angle, over several visits there. I am absolutely positive it's always the same individual. It looked the same, it was always found in the same area, and most importantly, was it's behavior. Very un-Red-tail-like, it was completely oblivious to humans being nearby. It hunted right in front of me on several occasions. Because of that, I can provide clear images from whatever angle is necessary, to make an informed ID decision. First 3 pics are from the 10th. The next three are from the 13th. The last pic is from the 17th.
  16. This adult was also seen January 2022 in NW Missouri. It was in the same location (give or take a mile or two) as the immature Northern abieticola identified here yesterday. For the same reasons as the immature bird, I'm calling this one a Northern as well. The last pic is the best view I could get of the upper tail.
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