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      Whatbird Forums Rules   01/08/17

      'Help Me Identify a Bird' rules: When posting a new thread, please: 1. Read the FAQ and forum rules before posting 2. Include the location in your Post when seeking ID 3. Include the date of the sighting 4. Provide a photo or detailed description of the bird Forum rules: By posting in the WhatBird forums you agree to the following board rules: 1. You will be tolerant and respectful of your fellow members 2. You will not spam 3. You will not post sexually explicit, vulgar or racist material 4. You will not advertise or sell products 5. You will not discuss illegal activities 6. You will keep topics of religion and politics to a bare minimum 7. You will not take advantage of chat to break any of the above rules. 8. Members will not discuss homosexuality nor make any comments about others' sexuality. Breaking any of these rules may result in a suspension or a permanent ban from the forums!! Furthermore, anyone who causes continuous dissent and disarray in the forums will be banned as seen fit by the forum moderators under the pretense of "trolling." Gallery photos: Regarding photos in the Whatbird gallery, please keep in mind that the copyright belongs to the person who took the photo. So please do not use any of the Gallery photos without requesting permission from the photographer. Forum Photos: If you use photos other than your own, please place a link to the referenced photo and do not post other photographer's work directly.
    • Aveschapines

      Found a baby bird or a sick or injured bird?   07/11/17

      Here is a short article with advice for what to do if you find a baby bird or one that appears to be sick or injured. Bird rescue article Please feel free to post here if you have questions or need more help.

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These were taken at Ashbridges Bay in Toronto yesterday.

I'm 98% sure they are all long-tail ducks. Wondering more about sex, age, plumage. 

1. male or female in breeding plumage?

2. The one with the very white head looks too white compared to other females that I've seen, it is actually a juvenile male???

3. female in breeding plumage?


Thank you in advance.

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Working through Pyle, I think they're all females. The middle one is an adult, the other two are youngsters. Adult males look quite different this time of year, and young males should be showing a mix of white feathers on the crown and breast right now. The plumage shown in guides of males with the dark head and white cheek is a spring and summer plumage, and they shouldn't be there yet.

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@psweet Thank you. Yes they do usually look quite different this time of the year which is why the coloration is throwing me off. This is what I usually see:


But in the recent photos the dark ones look too dark to be females but the color doesn't look look right for the males, and the light colored one looks too white to be a female and the definition too well defined.

I thought maybe juveniles or maybe morphing to the different coloration. We did have a minor warm spell -- I hope that didn't mess up the birds.

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Warm spells don't bother the birds, unless it's warm enough to mess with their food source, etc. I don't know of any birds that use local weather conditions to trigger molt -- that's typically daylight length (and physiological condition to an extent). The weather doesn't even trigger migration except in half-hardy birds that are trying to winter fairly far north, and that's mostly southbound.

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