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#1 Jerry Friedman

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:22 PM

I went to the local longspur hangout today, south of Stanley, NM, and finally got my life longspurs. McCown's is the common species there, next is Chestnut-collared, and Lapland has been seen a few times. I got decent looks and ugly but diagnostic pictures of male Chestnut-collareds in breeding plumage, so I'm not worried about them.

Male Lapland?
Attached File  mysterylongspur43cropunsharp.jpg   35.25KB   89 downloads
Male Chestnut-collared (left) and female Lapland? Or is that a female Chestnut-collared?
Attached File  mysterylongspur79rotcropunsharp.jpg   204.28KB   117 downloads
Blur challenge. If people tell me there's a McCown's or two in this picture, I promise not to put it on my life list.
Attached File  mccownsq64cropunsharp.jpg   98.71KB   90 downloads

#2 Isabeliever

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Posted 09 February 2013 - 11:41 PM

Why do you promise not to put it on ur life list. If its a new bird, then you should absolutely put it on ur life list. And wow, if you got all three species thatd be amazing! 3 New lifers in one day... I hope to see a Lapland Longspur soon (sometimne before winter is over)

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#3 Jerry Friedman

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:02 AM

I only put birds on my life list if I've identified them myself, and I can't identify the birds in that picture. (And I didn't see any definite McCown's.) I'll still be very happy with two lifers. And good luck with the Lapland Longspurs in Toronto!

#4 darknight

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:05 AM

I can confirm all of your ID's (I think both the birds in the third photo are McCown's).

There are 976 species on the ABA list. Looks like I've got a lot of birding to do....

Life List (World): 1094 species
ABA area: 634
Latest ABA lifers: Least Storm-Petrel, Ashy Storm-Petrel, Black Storm-Petrel, Craveri's Murrelet, White-eared Hummingbird, Ruff, Black-vented Shearwater, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Sinaloa Wren, Rufous-capped Warbler, Greater Sage-Grouse, Harris Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Red-throated Pipit, 
California: 348
Riverside County, CA: 256
2014 ABA: 409

2014 World: 669


#5 darknight

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:08 AM

In the third picture, the combination of black breast band plus the rufous median coverts should be enough to clinch the ID.

There are 976 species on the ABA list. Looks like I've got a lot of birding to do....

Life List (World): 1094 species
ABA area: 634
Latest ABA lifers: Least Storm-Petrel, Ashy Storm-Petrel, Black Storm-Petrel, Craveri's Murrelet, White-eared Hummingbird, Ruff, Black-vented Shearwater, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Sinaloa Wren, Rufous-capped Warbler, Greater Sage-Grouse, Harris Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Red-throated Pipit, 
California: 348
Riverside County, CA: 256
2014 ABA: 409

2014 World: 669


#6 cestma

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 12:58 AM

Man, must be nice to have a "longspur hotspot!"

Congrats!
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Trip report: Oregon Jaunt http://www.whatbird....4-oregon-jaunt/
Trip report: Birding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula http://www.whatbird....pper-peninsula/

#7 Jerry Friedman

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:28 PM

Thanks, darknight! Your comment about the rufous median coverts (which I can't see in the picture I posted) caused me to reexamine this other picture:

Attached File  mccownsflyq65cropunsharp.jpg   302.01KB   13 downloads

I think I can safely call that a McCown's, especially considering that it's almost certainly the same bird that's in the air in the first picture I posted. (The two pictures were taken within a minute of each other, probably less.)

My old Sibley seems to have a misleading picture of McCown's in flight with the greater rather than the median coverts rusty.

By the way, I'm leaning toward female Chestnut-collared for the other "blurd" in this picture. And I cropped it out, but the black spot at the lower left of the previous picture looks somewhat like a male Chestnut-collared in this one.

And yes, cestma, it's good to have this longspur spot around! (It's about an hour and a half from my house.) There's something to be said for irrigated farming in the desert. I was very lucky to get a trifecta, though.

#8 cestma

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 09:48 PM

"Blurd."

I am so stealing that!
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt II http://www.whatbird....ii/#entry551308
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt http://www.whatbird....4-oregon-jaunt/
Trip report: Birding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula http://www.whatbird....pper-peninsula/

#9 darknight

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Posted 10 February 2013 - 10:04 PM

I'm using an old version of Sibley too (published 2000, the big one), and from what I can tell, he shows the Lapland Longspur as having rufous edged greater coverts, and the McCown's had rufous median coverts. The greater coverts are the ones that touch the flight feathers, the median coverts are above the great coverts.

There are 976 species on the ABA list. Looks like I've got a lot of birding to do....

Life List (World): 1094 species
ABA area: 634
Latest ABA lifers: Least Storm-Petrel, Ashy Storm-Petrel, Black Storm-Petrel, Craveri's Murrelet, White-eared Hummingbird, Ruff, Black-vented Shearwater, Rosy-faced Lovebird, Sinaloa Wren, Rufous-capped Warbler, Greater Sage-Grouse, Harris Sparrow, Tufted Duck, Red-throated Pipit, 
California: 348
Riverside County, CA: 256
2014 ABA: 409

2014 World: 669


#10 Jerry Friedman

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 12:51 AM

I've got that same Sibley. Maybe it's my color-blindness, but it looks to me like the dorsal view of the breeding male McCown's in flight has an entirely gray wing except for rufous feathers that touch the flight feathers, just like the Chestnut-collared in the same position. (The picture of a breeding male McCown's on the ground, however, has only the median coverts rufous.)

#11 cestma

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Posted 11 February 2013 - 03:23 AM

Don't know if you still want to pursue this, but FWIW the Stokes guide has a fairly detailed discussion of differences in winter McCown's vs. Chestnut-collareds.

If you don't have Stokes...I just went to Amazon. There is a "Look Inside" feature for the Stokes guide, and if you type "longspur" into the search box you will get links to both species, which are available online.
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt II http://www.whatbird....ii/#entry551308
Trip report: Oregon Jaunt http://www.whatbird....4-oregon-jaunt/
Trip report: Birding in Michigan's Upper Peninsula http://www.whatbird....pper-peninsula/




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