March 19, 2009

Tucker's Bird Photo Quiz 1

I posted a different shot of the bird (which is a gull) to make the identification a bit more straightforward. The picture was taken in Iowa at a large reservoir in late fall. I will try to put the location and time of the year and an easier to identify shot next time. Post a comment to answer. All birds are on the ABA checklist which can be accessed by going to:


Chris W said...

Tucker, I think the reason you've had no takers is that this bird doesn't really fit anything. The combination of white and black with a dark black neckband rules out pretty much everything. So it's either a really weird angle on some type of Duck or Alcid or it's a weird hybrid that we have yet to see.

My first thought was Long-tailed Duck or Smew, but the dark neckband rules those out. My next thought was an Alcid, but the white head rules all those out. There are no Gulls with a neckband like that, and the body shape rules out everything else.

When and where was the photo taken?

The only group I can think of that comes even close, are the dark-headed Gulls. Wing pattern rules out Sabine's.
Bonaprte's, Black-headed and Laughing are ruleed out because they never have a dark band on the back of the neck. Wing pattern rules out Franklin's Gull and Little Gull always displays a dark crown.

Therefore, we arrive at Black-legged Kittiwake as the most likely possibility. However, there are problems with this too.

So given all that, I would say that the bird is unidentifiable from this photo. If you have another photo of this bird, I would suggest you post it.

In future photo quizzes, I would always state both date and location. Especially if the quiz is as hard as this one is.

Tucker L said...

Thanks for the advice Chris. I changed the photo and put a date and location as well. Hopefully that helps.