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Old May 14, 2004, 11:06 PM   #1
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Please help me identify this bird. I believe that it is a Yellowlegs, either a "Greater" or "Lesser."It comes from the same pond as the Willet I photographed earlier, but I don't believe it's a Willet because the legs are yellow. Am I mistaken about this identification? I've also posted a few more shots from the pond today, some geese perched on a grassy knoll who eventually flew, and a few Ring Necked ducks,IMHO.

Yellowlegs?



Ring Necked ducks?



Canada Geese making noise, indicating that they are going to move (one sticking out his tongue)



A crude capture of the move...




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Old May 15, 2004, 6:26 AM   #2
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Normcar,

I would guess the Yellowlegs is the Lesser variety. Hereare 2 pages with the details and differences.

http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/i2540id.html

http://www.mbr-pwrc.usgs.gov/id/framlst/i2550id.html

The beak on yours seems to be uniform in color, and doesn't appear to curve upward. But,,,,, I could be wrong!!! Notice the size difference, and the sound difference. That would be the easiest to tell.

Anyway you cut it, still very good shots.........

Jody




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Old May 15, 2004, 3:56 PM   #3
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My guess is lesser because of the eye-stripe. The greater doesn't have that in the book I've got.

Is it me, or is there a color cast to that picture? Maybe it was overcast? Either way, I like the shot. I'm a fan of shore birds, even if I don't get to see them that often.

My guess (and that is all it is) is that those are not ring-necked ducks, but its really hard to tell. That white mark just before the bill seems to be very prominant (stands out a lots even in these action slightly blury shots. The white on the ring neck in my book is very slender (but in that location.) It should be said that I don't have a better guess, so maybe I'm wrong.

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Old May 15, 2004, 6:51 PM   #4
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Norm and all,

Lesser Yellowlegs is correct. If you ever see the Lesser and the Greater together, the Greater is considerably larger. Note first the relatively short, straight bill on the Lesser, compared with the upturned bill of the Greater. Also, the streaking in the neck and breast of the Lesser is much finer, lending a overall lighter appearance.

The duckies are Blue-winged Teal. The males show the prominent white crescent in the face at the base of the bill. Even on my LCD screen, the blue of the covert wing feathers is evident, in spite of the difficult lighting in the photo. Teal are very fast flyers so catching in flight as Norm did is a feat worthy of congratulations!

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Old May 15, 2004, 9:18 PM   #5
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Damn, I was going to guess Blue Wing Teal, I should have been more confident. It was only a wild guess, though, as I've never seen them. But that white spot seemed to match what the picture had when I skimmed my Sibley's guide.

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Old May 15, 2004, 10:31 PM   #6
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I have confirmation from other forums on the Teal, Hummer, thanks, you are good at this. Eric, thanks for your input on the Yellowlegs. I'm not exactlysure what "color cast" means but if it means the white balance wasn't set properly, then you are right on the money. I was on auto and it was a very overcast day, early evening, and quite cold. I was dressed to the hilt.

I must thank you, Hummer, for your comment on capturing the Teals and the information that they are quick flyers. I didn't know this and one of my goals in photography is to effectively capture motion. I appreciate the comment immensely and it drives me to carry on further in this area.

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Old May 17, 2004, 6:28 PM   #7
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Like most birders, I enjoy bird quizzes when the subject presents some challenge. Show me a photo of a robin, a starling or a Killdeer and I'll probably refer you to a field guide and let you look it up yourself. To become a really good bird photographer one would do well to learn the bird's characteristics and behavior through good old hard work. I see many good photos on this forum, and some real talent, wish I had time to comment on all the best of it.

For what it's worth, I am a field ornithologist and actually get paid to identify birds all day long (a dream job). I work for a regional bird observatory and do contract work for the USFS, BLM and Colorado Division of Wildlife. I'm also a master bird bander, specially certified and authorized to band hummingbirds. My private research involves hummers, dippers, predation, and small owls. I love bird photography and have been playing with it for a long time. My "lucky" photos have graced the covers of numerous magazines and ornithology journals. Last month I bought my first digital camera, a Panasonic FZ-10, and I sense a revolution happening....

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