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Posts posted by Hasan

  1. The difficulty here is not between Eastern and Western Bluebird (the gray/dusky cheek easily eliminates that), but Western and Mountain. It's actually pretty easy to find contentious cases of ID- here's a 'Western' that I would probably call Mountain, and it only took ten seconds of scrolling on ebird: https://ebird.org/checklist/S42994893

    IMO after refreshing my memory (I last had Mountain a couple months ago but I don't live in the west anymore so I don't see it often) I think structural clues (short tail, short wings, general giss) combined (weakly and skeptically) with the apparent shade of blue color would suggest Western over Mountain on this bird. It may be best left a slash bird, however.

    Edit: For greater context,  a small percentage of Mountain Bluebirds are rather rufous below, and this bird definitely falls within that range, purely based on that coloration

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  2. This is indeed a Caspian Tern. Notice the red (as opposed to orange) bill, the dark primaries, as Jim noted, and also the black in front of the eye. Though I suppose it is possible towards the end of February, generally the only large NA tern to retain a black cap to this extent in the winter is Caspian.

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