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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:

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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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