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Everything posted by psweet

  1. Distinctly gray-headed, streaky below, looks like an Orange-crowned.
  2. It wasn't e-bird that was convinced. They follow Clements. The odd thing about that is that they themselves state that Clements normally follows the AOU for western hemisphere species, with exceptions usually for those species for which the N. American and S. American committees disagree. But neither Mallard nor Mexican Duck is on the S. American list, so there's no disagreement, and in fact Mexican Duck isn't found in any other part of the world but N. America. (I'm using the inclusive version of the term, that the N. American Checklist Committee uses, including most of Central America.) So I still fail to see the rationale. (Incidentally, I've read the proposal -- I think I'm in favor of e-bird's treatment, but there are valid reasons for standardizing taxonomic treatments, and this seems to fly in the face of those reasons.) Ah, well, it's not our call....
  3. The field mark I was referring to was published just a few years ago, by a group in California that looked at a lot of specimens around the country. They found one "Yellow-bellied" in the Field Museum collection, found dead in Chicago a few years ago, that turned out to be a Western-type (most likely Pac-slope, I believe, based on DNA). That's a specimen lying in a museum drawer -- Empids often are that hard to ID!
  4. All of the teal look like Blue-winged to me. The pale female Mallard -- I honestly have no idea how to distinguish distant domestic ancestry from odd "wild-type" plumages. The others -- I have no idea -- I'm actually surprised e-bird's treating them separately, given that the AOU rejected that proposal.
  5. Pine looks right Bay-breasted, I think, although the flank streaks are odd -- Pine lack the streaking on the back. Yes, Wilson's American Redstart -- that orange base to the tail is unique.
  6. No birds have multiple claws at the end of their toes -- insects do, but they're based on an entirely different underlying anatomy. What you're seeing is the result of toes stacked on top of each other. Hawks have stronger, more distinctly curved claws (termed talons) but still only one per toe.
  7. I never realized that phalaropes have lobed toes -- neat! But their lobes aren't divided by the bones the way we see here, rather they're continuous from base of the toes to the tips, so we can rule that out here.
  8. Looks like a Common Tern. The bill's too large for Arctic and there's too much black on the crown for a September Forster's.
  9. Very short dark area between the greater secondary coverts and the pale secondary edging suggests one of the Western Flycatcher complex.
  10. Welcome to Whatbird! This looks like a Chipping Sparrow.
  11. Yes, it's definitely an American Goldfinch.
  12. Looks like a juvenile in beautiful, fresh plumage.
  13. That's a Western Palm. It's worth remembering with these guys that "Western" means west of the eastern seaboard! The two forms appear to meet as breeders in western Quebec. Apparently in New England, coastal birds are mostly western, and the same thing applies farther south.
  14. Either a coot or a grebe, with those lobed toes.
  15. You're looking at the bill from below, so if it were a flycatcher it would look distinctly broader than this.
  16. Okay -- I'll settle for that. (Incidentally, Amar's a friend of mine and one of the main voices on that facebook page...)
  17. Okay, I was looking at that page -- no-one seems interested in doing anything there. Here's the other one -- you'll probably have to join. https://www.facebook.com/groups/nagulls/ If it's okay, I can go ahead and download these shots and post them myself (with your name, obviously) to simplify things.
  18. Try this: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2070396249913801/ There's another one, it's closed -- I'm a member, so if need be we can get it there. I have an idea what I think this might be, but it's a species I have no actual experience with.
  19. To be clear, if this isn't a Lesser, it's better - so we need to do this one right.
  20. Do you have any other shots of this bird? There are a couple of odd things here -- it's a bit late in the season, I think, for such a white head in a Lesser, and the "drooping skirt" isn't typically seen in Lessers. The very dark back also isn't right. I would suggest posting this to several other places -- the Facebook gull page would be a good idea, for instance.
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