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Everything posted by psweet

  1. That's a Western Gull - note how dark the secondaries and primaries are. The word Glaucous means a pale blue-gray (ice colored, I guess you'd say). Expecting common names to be useful descriptors is a bit hazardous, but in this case it works -- Glaucous-winged never develop any really dark plumage. At any age, they're basically all the same, fairly pale color with very little contrast.
  2. That looks about as good as you're going to get out there. I don't see the darker tones in the primaries that would indicate Western ancestry, although I also don't see the fine horizontal barring that is so characteristic of young Glaucous-winged.
  3. Yes, looks like a Ruby-throated. Rufous show a lot of rufous color, even the youngsters and females.
  4. Taking another look at that first one, I think I was wrong -- the tail pattern fits Forster's. I think they're all Forsters.
  5. Fair enough -- my point here is that I don't think the photo by itself is sufficient to ID a rare species. (Things have clearly changed since I was out there - Least would have been just about unheard of back then.) Again, if there's a known Least in the area and nothing else, then this is sufficient -- it's clearly not any of the locally common terns.
  6. #5 looks like either a Yellow or a Wilson's, and with just this shot I don't know that we're going to be able to say for sure.
  7. Just a note -- Least Tern is very, very rare in Hawaii. Knowing that there is one hanging around changes things a bit, but I'd definitely keep an eye on what's being seen there. If something else shows up, then you'll want to reconsider this shot, because I don't think there's really enough here to establish Least. (For one thing, we should probably consider Little Tern as a possibility... there are current records for Midway, which I know is a long ways away. So is anywhere you expect to see Least.)
  8. First, I'll say this quickly -- if you can, spend a few books on a field guide. On-line photos are a useful resource, but you're limited to whatever angles and lighting that the photographers saw fit to publish, and you're dependent upon them to get the ID right. (Many of them don't....) For this guy -- ignore the clear separation between the wing and back. That's entirely dependent upon the moment that the camera caught the bird. Similarly, symmetry is something that all birds show under normal circumstances, so if you don't see it, that's not an ID mark. The overall soft brown color fading to gray, the dark spots on the tertials, and the shape and pattern of the tail are all distinctive. The bright white markings that seem to be missing here appears to be a combination of which feathers you're seeing (some of the outer ones appear to still be folded underneath), the age of the feathers (this is just about the time that old feathers are starting to be replaced, so some birds are going to look dingy or faded), and the lighting in the photo.
  9. This looks like a Common to me. There's a fair bit of dark on the trailing edge of the primaries, and the undersides do look gray.
  10. Ruby-throated and Black-chinned look very similar in this plumage -- the Ruby-throats that people are so familiar with in the east are the adult males. Females and youngsters look like this. You're in an area where the expected species is Ruby-throated, but Black-chinned could certainly occur.
  11. I think the proportions of #2 are better for Wilson's, but it's not easy. They're actually very common up there right now.
  12. It's a Manx -- Audubon's have dark undertail coverts and a bit of white in front of the eye. They're almost unheard of in cold water.
  13. This looks like either a Ruby-throated or Black-chinned to me. Magnificent would be an awfully nice bird in Oklahoma, so you're going to need very clear photos to convince people if you do get one.
  14. #3 is a juvenile Laughing Gull -- #4 is an adult in non-breeding plumage, or maybe a 2nd-summer bird just starting his molt into adult non-breeding.
  15. Agreed, but I'll point out that Western Sandpipers also have partially webbed feet.
  16. I agree with Common Yellowthroat -- a Yellow Warbler would have bright yellow in the tail feathers, while any of our orioles should show wing bars and either yellow undertail coverts or some sort of face pattern (or both).
  17. I'm thinking the second one is an Indigo -- the lower mandible is considerably smaller than in the first bird, and the overall shape of the bill is longer and more pointed. The white throat that contrasts with the face is also a better fit for Indigo.
  18. The "sheathed legs" are a bit of an illusion here, I think. On Rough-legs (and Ferruginous Hawks and Golden Eagles) the feathering extends all the way to the toes, but on the tarsi (the lower parts of the legs) the feathers are short and pressed close to the skin. Here, it looks like you may have feathering partway down the tarsus, but it ends well above the toes. Look for the point where the legs get abruptly narrower and change color a bit.
  19. Rather small bill, dark wings and tail, looks like a Scarlet.
  20. This is a Brown-headed Cowbird, I believe a young one.
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