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Tony Leukering

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Posts posted by Tony Leukering

  1. The yellow under-tail coverts on bird #1 rule out Pine. The lack of obvious white tail spots also do that job. However, they do it for Palm, too; but even more so. I'd go with Yellow, as I believe that I see yellow tail spots. I'm a bit worried in that the legs look dark, but that could be an artifact.

    I don't like Tennessee for the second bird, but primarily because it's really unlikely in the southeast in spring, as it's a circum-Gulf migrant. However, I cannot come up with a solution to that one. I considered Yellow-throated Vireo, but I think that we can see enough of the wings to see wing bars if they were present. I like "passerine sp."

  2. The first bird, with its red eye and pink facial skin, is probably a White-faced, though it would be impossible to rule out a back-crossed hybrid, particularly given that it has little suggestion of red in the legs.

    In the second photo, the right bird, which is in its first plumage cycle (so hatched last year; discerned because it has no chestnut plumage) has no suggestion of red on the legs or in the eye that we can see. This may very well be a Glossy, but I'd want a better-focused view to be certain that I'm not seeing red in the eye.

  3. Yellow-crowned Night-Heron

    Great Blue Heron

    A gigantic Mountain Bluebird

    The problem with eyewitness testimony is that eyewitnesses are generally really poor at it. There is an extensive -- and I mean EXTENSIVE -- literature on the fallibility of eyewitness reports. Our brains are incredibly good at MIS-interpreting information. There are no bird species that occur regularly in New Jersey that are entirely blue. Mountain Bluebird has occurred, but it eats mice even more infrequently than does Merlin. New or inexperienced birders are regularly stumped in situations of seeing common species in poor or odd lighting, situations that experienced birders have learned to account for by making weird mistakes earlier in their birding lives.


    • Like 9

  4. 2 hours ago, Phalarope713 said:

    Yep, Great-horned.

    Actually, it's "Great Horned." There is only one bird species that is of regular occurrence in Canada and/or the continental US that has a hyphen after "Great." The "Great" birds are:

    Great Black-backed Gull

    Great Blue Heron

    Great Cormorant

    Great Crested Flycatcher

    Great Egret

    Great Gray Owl

    Great Kiskadee

    Great Shearwater

    Great Skua

    Great-tailed Grackle

    • Like 3

  5. It might just be a very old female that has lost so much female hormone that it's expressing male plumage. The peach colored throat is a feature of adult female Red-wingeds. In birds, unlike in mammals such as ourselves, male is the default sex. That is, male is the homozygous sex, rather than female, which is heterozygous. That means that female hormones override the expression of male plumage characters in female birds. When those hormone levels drop below some threshold, male plumage features can begin being expressed -- that is, not overridden. However, I believe that soft-parts coloration, if they differ between the sexes (such as in Bushtit and most ducks), is not affected, as the soft parts are not replaced.

    Whatever the cause, that bird is COOL!

    • Like 5

  6. Actually, dark legs does not work with an ID of White-faced, at least older White-faceds. The definite White-faced in the first photo (right edge) apparently has no legs. There are three first-cycle dark ibis in that photo, which are unidentifiable, and another adult, but the bird's head is missing. The second pic has no full adult dark ibis (possibly a second-cycle trailing, but I wouldn't bet on it). And good luck with the dark ibis in the 3rd pic.

    • Like 1
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