Tuesday, August 25, 2009

One More Dowitcher

I just realized I had a couple more photos of the bird that started the dowitcher discussion. Here is one that I think will help with the ID. For my two cents on this bird, I think this photo shows an overall rounded humpback shape (like it swallowed a grapefruit) that is more suggestive of a Long-billed Dowitcher than a Short-billed. This has been a good exercise for me in learning more about the confusion and contradiction in dowitcher ID as well as learning that others suffer from dowitcher ID depression.

And just to keep things interesting, here are three more photos from the day before that I think may be Short-billed Dowitchers, again based on the posture and shape (slimmer and no grapefruit in the gut). These were taken from a distance away and the light was horrible. I have lightened the photos considerably just to be able to see some color and detail on the bird. Comments on this one?

The bird just right of center.

Detail of the photo above

Another photo of the bird picture above.


Dan Casey said...

Given teh shape of the feeding bird in these photos, I will come full circle and agree with you. A good lesson to look for multiple field marks. I still like juvies better!


Caleb Putnam said...

Gonna have to agree with you both here- this is one of those LBDOs with the fewest lateral breast bars of the species, closely approaching hendersoni in this respect. That said, there is still a hint of barring visible in at least the top photo. So I guess I misjudged or misinterpreted the tone of the underparts and bill shape. Yet another reminder how difficult these birds can be!