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Everything posted by smittyone@cox.net

  1. I've already stated I'm a photographer first. But I have to admit, through that hobby, I'm becoming a birder. When my backyard feeders no longer inspired me, I began to expand my search area, actively looking for something different besides "feeder birds" Once I photographed my first Bald Eagle, I was hooked. Now I actively seek out birds (particularly any raptor), and always try to get better photos of birds I've already photographed. Then I made a list... I think if you keep a bird list, you're automatically a birder.
  2. Photographer first. Here's a different kind of bird. Apologies if this isn't allowed.
  3. Remarkable photo. Not just because of the sharpness and detail. But because I rarely encounter Grey Ghosts, and when I do, they're never close enough to even think of getting a shot like this. I'm super envious.
  4. Too late to edit my typo. "...showed it sinking..."
  5. I understand adult female Northern Harriers have darker and more heavily streaked undersides, while immature NOHAs have buffy underside with little to no streaking. In the photo taken yesterday in NW Missouri, would this be one of those cases where it'd be categorized as an immature/adult female NOHA?
  6. Perhaps this is an over-simplification, but I think the distinction here is that I'm a photographer who likes birds. My main goal is to photograph birds, then identify them later. In doing so, I'm learning what the birds are, and maybe turning into a quasi-birder? I mean, I've started a list, so... As opposed to a birder who takes photos. They're main goal (correct me if I'm wrong) is to find birds and identify them, perhaps taking photos along the way. If I unintentionally insulted any birders out there, I apologize.
  7. Shot yesterday in bad light and too far away. But I love this pose. The eagle just landed on the levee. There were 2 more photos after this that shoed it sinking even deeper into the soft grass. But I liked the "sitting down on it's tail" vibe.
  8. Wait...there's a Lesser Snow Goose? Dammit. Plus you made me look up what alula feathers are. Thank you very much for the info. I cut and pasted it into a document so I can forget about it later. I think without pictures with circles and arrows, I'm just gonna stick with the basic 3 morphs. But seriously, you went all out and it's very much appreciated.
  9. As a side note, if I don't capture a photo of it, it doesn't get added to my "life list". Kind of like the fish that got away story.
  10. When I post photos of birds to my website, their photo captions always includes a description of the subject. I try to classify the species, sub-species (if any), scientific name, 4 letter alpha code, color morph (if any), sex (if it can be determined visually), age, etc. I also do this, but to a lesser extent, when I post bird photos to social media. That being said, how would you classify this bird? Immature (molting)? First winter? I know this applies to some birds (like some gulls) but not to others. I also presume you couldn't determine it's color morph this early. Also, I'm much to cheap to subscribe to Birds of the World, so if anyone posted the 7 Snow Goose color morphs (if that's allowed here), I (and probably others as well?) would appreciate it.
  11. I'll photograph any Red-tailed Hawk that will allow it. So I've got lots of fodder to supply here. If it helps other folks, that's great. For me, most of it is way over my head. I'll keep posting them up and let the experts haggle over them.
  12. Thanks. These are new for me. As I said, these unusual January temps are throwing everything out of whack, including bird migrations. I even saw an American Robin today!
  13. Seven color morphs?! Seriously? Grabs the aspirin...
  14. Seen this afternoon in NW Missouri. Blue-morph and intermediate-morph Snow Geese leading. What is trailing? I presume it's a Snow Goose. But what's with those markings?
  15. Seen this afternoon in NW Missouri. Are the two light gray and white geese about to get landed on, are they young Snow Geese? If so, would they be goslings? Or do they lose that name when they grow flight feathers? Snow Geese returning to Loess Bluffs NWR in mid January is unusual--I assume due to the unusually warm weather. It would explain why I've never seen young ones there before.
  16. Seen this afternoon in NW Missouri. I know the Snow Goose following is a blue-morph. Is the lead one an intermediate-morph?
  17. Seen today in NW Missouri. Is this a Red-shouldered Hawk?
  18. Sorry to dredge up an old post, but I was wondering if this bird can be narrowed down even further. We've established it's not a Harlan's, and Eastern RTHAs don't have a dark morph. That leaves only dark-morph Western RTHA and dark-morph Northern RTHA. or...dark-morph immature calurus / abieticola. I'm leaning towards the latter.
  19. Sorry, no true topside views. This was as close to that as I could get.
  20. Thanks for the ID folks. And thanks for the compliments too.
  21. I'd like to try and determine the sexes of this pair of adult Bald Eagles seen yesterday in Western Iowa. I know generally speaking, female Bald Eagles are typically larger than males. Females also tend to have a larger bill. The one farther from the viewer measures longer. However, the one closer to the viewer appears "bulkier". It could also be how they are perched, with one seemingly more erect and the other slouching. Based on bill size alone, I'm going with the one perched on the thicker part of the branch as the female. Too tough to call, or just a waste of time?
  22. With the recent spat of RTHA identification help I've been receiving here, I'm inspired to resume digging into my vast archives for other unidentified RTHAs. This pic was taken in Western Iowa back in March 2021. Is it a light-morph adult Western Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis calurus) ?
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