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Gordon Sick

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Everything posted by Gordon Sick

  1. Thanks. Thanks, also, for the identifying features of the bird.
  2. I took this photo on August 10 at Frank Lake, Alberta. It is a wetland that is south of Calgary, Alberta. My initial thought was that it was some sort of Loon, but the various bird ID software comes up with Eared Grebe, Horned Grebe and, occasionally, Red-necked Grebe. The pointed bill, white belly, white under wings with a dark leading edge , coupled with the white feathers on wing are distinctive, but don't leave me with a clear identification. If you can identify the bird, please let me know what characteristics lead you to the ID, distinguishing it from the alternatives.
  3. This brown bird seems to have a cone-shaped bill and the trailing edge of some of the wing feathers show white. I saw some Born-headed Cowbirds in the area, but they don't seem to have this pattern on the feathers. The photograph was taken in Red Rock Canyon of Waterton National Park in SE Alberta, Canada
  4. Thanks. Can you tell me what are the characteristics that distinguish it from other sparrows or even finches, that are female or juvenile? Chipping Sparrows seem to have a sharp angle where the forehead meets the bill, but this bird seems to almost have a flat line going from the forehead to the bill.
  5. This bird was in SE Alberta on August 13, at Lower St Mary's Reservoir, near Cardston Alberta. My apps suggest Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Cassin's Finch, (Female) Red-winged Blackbird. I suspect it is a juvenile or female. Any help would be appreciated. –Gordon
  6. Thanks Tony. This is very helpful. Often, we get a more definitive view of feather shading than we get of bill colours or body shapes, so I think I'll be using this information a lot in the future.
  7. Alex Henry has given some useful observational details and I appreciate them. His discussion goes beyond what I normally find on websites. Thanks.
  8. Arctic Terns have been observed in Ottawa, which is more landlocked than Point Pelee. Point Pelee is along the Saint Lawrence and Great Lakes waterway. I am hoping that someone with expertise in observing Arctic Terns and their characteristics will shed some light on the differences.
  9. Here are two pictures (of one Tern) that I took 2 minutes after the previous sequence. The first and second sets of Terns are likely different birds, but of the same species. iBird calls the first picture a Common or Roseate, but gives a 93% confidence to the second of being an Arctic. These photos show a dark outer edge to the tail feathers and a greater ability to estimate the length of the V of the tail. We also see a dark leading and trailing edge of the underside of the whole wing, which means this bird is probably different from the first. –Gordon
  10. I always struggle to distinguish a Common Tern from an Arctic Tern. I realize that a Common Tern is much more likely, but Point Pelee is at a major migration point for birds to cross Lake Erie. Here are some pictures I took of a Tern at the southern tip of Point Pelee on May 10, 2019. iBird PRO gives me identifications (sometimes with very high confidence) of Common Tern, Arctic Tern and Roseate Tern. I think I'm really out of range for a Roseate. The first two pictures are declared as Arctic Terns by iBird Pro. The third gets ratings of Common and Arctic Tern, the fourth gets Roseate and Arctic Tern and the fifth is rated as Roseate Tern. The pictures are all of the same bird. All show a red bill with a black tip and black upper and lower trailing edges on the primary feathers. The last three photos show the feet, which are red. Suggestions are welcome. –Gordon
  11. Jerry, Thanks. You are right that this Mexican Duck thing should have been moved to a different thread. I'm new to this forum, so I'm not sure how to do it. –Gordon
  12. Here is one final picture to see if I've got this right. This time, the birds are swimming, but it is the same pond as before. The front left is a pure Mallard Male. To the right of him is a Mexican Duck Female, and other Mexican Ducks behind and to the right. Behind and to the left is a hybrid Male Mallard and Mexican Duck. Does that seem right?
  13. Thanks to everyone for a very informative discussion of my Mexican ducks and the likelihood that they are hybridized with Mallards. My delay in posting was because I was off-line during my drive home. –Gordon
  14. Here are two more photos of the ducks. They are the same photo, but I cropped it into two groups of three to get a better view. Does it seem that there are three Mexican ducks in the first photo? I assume the bird in back of the second photo is a Male Mallard (out of breeding season or juvenile). The two ducks in front might be different species. There is a hint of blue in the wing on the one at right. The one on left has a more orange bill. Suggestions are welcome, of course.
  15. Thanks for the domestic Goose and Mallard. I hadn't considered the possibility of Mexican duck and I've been looking for one. I'll look at my other pictures of the Mallard-like birds and see if I can confirm the Mexican duck. I was at a Bosque del Apache one or two weeks earlier, and the experts said that they weren't seeing Mexican ducks yet. But, this is later and a slightly different place – much higher.
  16. I was at a campground in Silver City, New Mexico. That is SW New Mexico. The campground had a pond with a fence around it, so it could be a domesticated bird. Here are an adult and a juvenile. I originally assumed it was a Mute Swan, but the adult knob isn't black. iBird Pro wants to identify the small bird as a Ross's Goose or Snow Goose, but the bill colour and leg colours don't seem right and that description doesn't fit the adult. Are they domesticated hybrids?
  17. Thanks for the ID. What makes it clear that it is a Red-tailed hawk, as suggested by two posters? I didn't see what the hawk was doing before this started, but the hawk was thrashing in the water. It may have been trying to steal the Heron's fish, but I doubt it would try while the fish is in the Heron's mouth. OTOH, I have seen a Little Blue Heron eating a crab and it thrashed the crab, holding one leg at a time to rip the legs off. With this behaviour, the crab kept falling into the water. I can see a hawk jumping at an invitation like that if it wasn't too experienced about herons.
  18. I saw a Great Blue Heron fighting an unidentified hawk in the San Bernard National Wildlife Refuge on the Texas Gulf Coast between Galveston and Freeport on Nov 16. The Heron is pretty intense. But, I can't ID the hawk. There is a light white line above the eyes, but the winter plumage isn't very distinct. Opinions are welcome. Here are various views of the two birds.
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