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NJ Birder

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About NJ Birder

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    Advanced Member
  • Birthday November 13

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    New Jersey
  • Interests
    Birding, studying, and traveling are my primary interests.

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  1. Need help with a fall warbler - Milwaukee, WI

    A good note is the combination of yellow undertail coverts, a black base to the tail and a yellow outer half of the tail. This combination is diagnostic.
  2. Fall Warbler - Bay-breasted?

    Agreed, this is a first fall Blackpoll.
  3. Fall warbler help

    Another distinct field mark I use is the greenish secondaries and primaries visible on perched birds (like the one you captured in the photos). Bay-breasted in fall plumage typically have half or all white secondaries and primaries.
  4. Weirdo gull

    I don't believe this is a pure Thayer's Gull; there should be a noticeable black "bridge" mark on P5 and the black leading edge to P9 doesn't reach the greater primary coverts.
  5. Slaty-backed Gull or Thayer's Gull

    Looks like pretty typical 1st-cycle Thayer's Gull to me. The primaries project pretty far past the tail tip, there is no eye "arc" under the eye and the greater coverts are very mottled and don't contrast with the median and lesser coverts. The bird is also simply too dark for a typical Slaty-backed, although there can be dark birds. The bill is also very petite when compared to typical Slaty-backed Gulls. There is also no noticeable secondary skirt - another strike against Slaty-backed.
  6. Help with 3 please.

    The last one is not a swift. The pattern on the underside of the outer primaries are strongly barred black and white.
  7. California Loon

    Interesting bird. I see this as a partially leucistic Pacific Loon, but that's just me.
  8. Glaucous-winged or Thayer's gull?

    I do agree.
  9. Short or long billed?

    The tail is also exposed, revealing thin, equal-lengthed tail bands, another supporting factor of Short-billed. The white V's on the scapulars aren't cutoff halfway up the feathers like on a Ling-billed Dowitcher, as well.
  10. hummingbird help

    The only reliable way to distinguish Ruby-throated from Black-chinned (when talking about females and young birds), is through the shape of the outer primaries. On Ruby-throated, the outer primaries should be knife-shaped, while on a Black-chinned the outer primaries are usually club-shaped. In the third picture, I think I can see knife-shaped primaries, but I can't clearly see it.
  11. Glaucous-winged or Thayer's gull?

    This is a 1st-cycle Thayer's Gull (now another subspecies of Iceland). The primaries being simply too dark for a pure Glaucous-winged Gull, the relatively long primary projection and petitions bill all point toward Thayer's Gull. The primaries are too light for an Olympic Gull (Western x Glaucous-winged Gull), and the bill is too small and thin. Cook Inlet Gull (Herring x Glaucous-winged Gull) can be excluded by the relatively light checkered wing coverts and scapulars (whereas on a Cook Inlet they would be a bit darker and have a muddled look), and thinner bill.
  12. Two Gulls to ID

    My initial thought for the second bird was a juvenile Ring-billed.
  13. Stilt Sandpiper?

    Nice adult bird! It's still in alternate undergoing its prebasic molt!
  14. Gull Help!

    Agreed. 1. Adult Westerns. 2. Multiple 1st-cycle Laughing Gulls. 3. 2nd-cycle type Heermann's Gull with that broad white tertial crescent and paling face area. 4. Laughing Gull. Probably a 2nd-cycle with the grayish wash on the sides of the upperparts, but it's hard to assess this with the angle and clarity of the shot.
  15. Hawk

    I think this is a Swainson's going through a crazy molt.