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okaugust

One good tern deserves to be IDd

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I hear tell that I get a better response to these requests if I just keep each post to one bird or type of bird, so here goes. I feel a little spammy but I hope you forgive some good lord it's still snowing in Wyoming and I haven't left the house in days bird ID clean up.

Taken August 18th, 2019 at Hutton Lake NWR south of Laramie WY. I IDd in the field as Forster's Tern due in part to the fact that during the summer they nest there in profusion along with White-faced Ibis. After some consideration, the eBird reviewer (who was with me at the time) got to contemplating that it was a Common Tern. Common Terns are, uh, uncommon in WY but in August it could be a possible migrant.

I realize these are not great shots, but I thought I would throw them out for further opinions.

Much obliged!

We agreed these two are Forster's:

022%20(2)-L.jpg

 

 

043%20(2)-L.jpg

 

064%20(2)-L.jpg

 

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The light orange bill/legs, light-colored wingtips and long tail all make these terns Forster's.

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1. Forsters 
2. common tern
3.common tern

To me 2 and 3 look like a common terns seeing as they have grayish belly but it can be very hard to tell I would wait for more experts.

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Posted (edited)

I agree with @Jefferson Shank that we need to take the gray coloration of the belly and breast into account on the last too birds

Edited by Nivalis

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18 minutes ago, Jefferson Shank said:

Anybody else have ideas?

Only to say that it looks to me like the undergray on the last bird might be shadow or due to the darkness of the oysters the bird is perched on.

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Only to say that it looks to me like the undergray on the last bird might be shadow or due to the darkness of the oysters the bird is perched on.

Maybe a shadow for the last one but not the second one.

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1 minute ago, Jefferson Shank said:

Maybe a shadow for the last one but not the second one.

Oh, I agree completely regarding the second bird.  That's definitely part of the bird.

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I'm with Akandula -- the second bird is in side lighting, and fairly harsh side lighting at that, creating an artifact of gray underparts... as in

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/219996991#_ga=2.246822274.785834017.1585270112-1184313056.1549327880

https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/213654441#_ga=2.256384397.785834017.1585270112-1184313056.1549327880

FOTEs can seem to be gray-bellied even in flat lighting -- https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/173082651#_ga=2.252648719.785834017.1585270112-1184313056.1549327880

I think that the thick-billed and long-legged appearance is more reliable than horribly lit plumage features.

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, okaugust said:

Thanks for the discussion! Sounds like we are still in the Common/Forster's ID group. 😄

No they are definitely all Forster's

Edited by AlexHenry
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