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Tony Leukering

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Everything posted by Tony Leukering

  1. Just letting folks know that the checklist committee of the American Ornithological Society has published this year's supplement to the "Check-list" and has elevated Mexican Duck to species status. Interestingly, the genetic work that finally got this change accepted by AOS strongly suggests that there are two species of Mottled Ducks. Unfortunately for South Carolinians and Georgians, the introduced birds are a hybrid swarm, so if the Mottled Ducks get split -- and that split was the deepest among Mallard, Am. Black Duck, the Mottleds, and Mexican, those two states may not be able to count either. Unfortunately, they've been invading northeast Florida and could come into contact with Florida Mottled Ducks in the very near future. Since that species/subspecies is already doing so poorly....
  2. The other two are older birds, possibly from farther south, perhaps MUCH farther south -- like Argentina, that have overshot their northern South American "winter" range. North American-produced Barn Swallows are not in plumages like this until after reaching their winter grounds in South America. I've written an essay on this problem, but it's not yet available online.
  3. Note that the outer primaries are contrastingly darker than the one (or two?) inner primary visible in your pic. See crop of pic, below. Common Tern typically shows the outer five primaries contrastingly darker than the inner five primaries due to its odd molt strategy, replacing those blocks of five feathers at different times. The feathers start out pale, due to a pale bloom on them. As the bloom wears off, the underlying darkness of the actual feather shows. The inner primaries are typically molted one more time in a given year than the outer primaries, thus are typically paler. At least, I think that's most of the reason.
  4. The bill looks too short for, particularly, Mountain Bluebird. Additionally, there seems to be strong color contrast between the auriculars and the whitish throat, ruling out all bluebird species.
  5. Yes, the tail is too long for any Melospiza other than Song.
  6. The front bird is a Swan Goose (Domestic type). The back-left bird is a Graylag x Swan Goose (Domestic type)(hybrid). The back-right bird is difficult to be certain of ID, but it is mostly Graylag Goose (Domestic type). The dark hindneck (as is the bill knob) of Swan Goose is often expressed in Graylag x Swan hybrids, as in the back-left bird, which, otherwise, might be considered to be a Graylag.
  7. Probably a recently fledged juvenile, considering the dullness of the tail-feather shafts.
  8. It lacks scapular patches, so is not a Red-tailed. Swainson's is probably right, but it's not a juvenile. It's a one-year-old. Juvs have all the upperparts and wing feathers with pale fringes: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/216904871#_ga=2.138095472.1727884512.1593483325-334541348.1399337695
  9. Juvenile birds are so-named because they are wearing juvenile plumage. Juvenile Song Sparrows have "softer" plumage and thinner, shorter streaking below, like this: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/246500771#_ga=2.171116256.1727884512.1593483325-334541348.1399337695
  10. Take note of the under-tail coverts discussion here (https://cobirds.org/Publications/ColoradoBirds/InTheScope/19.pdf). Also note that the outermost tail feathers are obviously longer than the others thus making for, at least, a notched tail, if not a forked tail. The under-tail coverts pattern and tail shape both rule out Cliff, as does the streaking on the upper belly/lower chest.
  11. The angle of light determines what color shows on iridescent feathers. That's why male Ruby-throated Hummers look black-throated so often.
  12. That was my first impression, but the tail looks too narrow and long for Vesper. I don't rule it out, though.
  13. The sexes are different colors above: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/246737221#_ga=2.233466462.1727884512.1593483325-334541348.1399337695
  14. It lacks tail spots and the tail is short and notched, ruling out Palm. It lacks underparts streaking and the tail is narrow and notched, ruling out both waterthrushes.
  15. Additionally, females have the plumage more heavily marked: https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/246289141#_ga=2.134424113.1727884512.1593483325-334541348.1399337695
  16. There are no plumage differences between the sexes in Northern Mockingbird.
  17. There is no orange on the tail, even on the underside view, ruling out Ash-throated (and Great Crested, Brown-crested, etc.).
  18. How did you determine that the Blue Jay was a male? There is no plumage differences in the sexes of Blue Jay.
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