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Odd duck of the day


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13 minutes ago, millipede said:

I'm searching the internet some to see if I can find anything useful but, watching this post to see what someone might say. Fascinating bird to say the very least. Thanks for sharing.

I did some searching before I posted - lots of Pintail hybrid images but nothing close to this one!!

The Mallard/ABD hybrid with it was much easier to ID.

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11 hours ago, birdbrain22 said:

I think this is just a juvenile drake Northern Pintail molting into adult plumage.

Thanks birdbrain for the response.

Just to be clear are you saying you have seen a juvenile with the crescent behind the bill or that you think this is the most likely ID?

I have searched my guides and the internet for images of juvenile Pintails and Pintail hybrids and no luck.

Apparently GW Teal, Baikal Teal,  Gadwall, Wigeons (both), Mallards and ABDs are all recognized hybrids.

I am hoping it is a pure Pintail as they are very uncommon here at this time of year (actually any time of year).

Thanks again.

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13 hours ago, birdbrain22 said:

I think this is just a juvenile drake Northern Pintail molting into adult plumage.

Ignore my last question. I think you are correct (what do I know, I have only seen a handful) and the crescent shape is just a coincidence, random plumage transition.

So I am going with immature NP.

Thanks again.

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Like millipede said, interesting bird!

I too have been searching for some more detailed info on juvenile Pintails, and finding little. 

But what is really confusing me is the chestnut speculum.  All the info I find suggests that only the females have that color.  Males, even immature, have greenish speculums.  But the rest of this bird suggests male, no?

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Follow up, for anyone who may still be interested. A couple of photos taken the following day, did I say he is very approachable.

In just one day the change in plumage can be seen.

First image - they say these are one of the most elegant of the ducks, it should perhaps be qualified by "maybe not below the body line".

Second image - I am not sure what is going on with the red coloration towards the back of the head.

Hopefully he will hang around and I can track the progress.

Northern Pintail imm HVT-7209114.jpg

Northern Pintail imm HVT-7209126.jpg

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3 hours ago, RobinHood said:

Follow up, for anyone who may still be interested. A couple of photos taken the following day, did I say he is very approachable.

In just one day the change in plumage can be seen.

First image - they say these are one of the most elegant of the ducks, it should perhaps be qualified by "maybe not below the body line".

Second image - I am not sure what is going on with the red coloration towards the back of the head.

Hopefully he will hang around and I can track the progress.

Northern Pintail imm HVT-7209114.jpg

Northern Pintail imm HVT-7209126.jpg

Beautiful photos!!!!!!!

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1 hour ago, redcoot said:

I agree with Akiley. The pale on the face (surrounding the base of the bill) is just part of the molt.

Thanks redcoot for the response. I soon came around to Akiley's viewpoint but if you look at the original image - the apparent crescent next to the bill and the color of the speculum - you can hopefully see how a novice could easily head off in the wrong direction. All part of the learning experience.

Not sure why but your post shows an hour ago in the thread but fifteen hours ago in my notifications?

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16 minutes ago, RobinHood said:

Thanks redcoot for the response. I soon came around to Akiley's viewpoint but if you look at the original image - the apparent crescent next to the bill and the color of the speculum - you can hopefully see how a novice could easily head off in the wrong direction. All part of the learning experience.

 Not sure why but your post shows an hour ago in the thread but fifteen hours ago in my notifications?

Can you continue to document this duck? You take beautiful photos! I think it'll be interesting to watch it as it molts.

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On 1/24/2019 at 11:23 AM, The Bird Nuts said:

This young pintail has the light crescent in front of the eye:  https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/132479821

The speculum is iridescent, so it changes color depending on the lighting.  This pintail's speculum is showing the same purplish color:  https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/136095481

Little bit late to the party as I had activated a privacy setting and it had disabled random image displays, however great examples of what misled me (once again).

Coincidentally I took a photo of the specula of a female Mallard on the same day (I have struggled with the suggested purple for ABDs and blue for mallards). This one appeared purple on one and blue on the other in bright sunlight, much more pronounced in reality than the image shows.

Mallard f specula HVT-7209227.jpg

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6 minutes ago, redcoot said:

Can you continue to document this duck? You take beautiful photos! I think it'll be interesting to watch it as it molts.

I had the same thought and I am hoping it stays around for a while. We now have the Pintail, a Wigeon, two Wood Ducks and a Gadwall hanging around, none of which should be here at this time of year!! Attached an image of the Gadwall as he is such a beautiful bird.

Gadwall m HVT-7209051.jpg

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On 1/24/2019 at 7:46 AM, RobinHood said:

Thanks birdbrain for the response.

Just to be clear are you saying you have seen a juvenile with the crescent behind the bill or that you think this is the most likely ID?

I have searched my guides and the internet for images of juvenile Pintails and Pintail hybrids and no luck.

Apparently GW Teal, Baikal Teal,  Gadwall, Wigeons (both), Mallards and ABDs are all recognized hybrids.

I am hoping it is a pure Pintail as they are very uncommon here at this time of year (actually any time of year).

Thanks again.

Apologies for delayed response....Birds in molt, especially youngsters going into adult, can look very odd at the various stages until they are near completion.

Edited by birdbrain22
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