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Scoter ID?Capitol Lake?


Jay V Huner
 

There was some discussion of the bird’s identity. When i viewed it yesterday, I concentrated on the facial pattern and never payed attention to the wings. I took a number of distant photos and after looking at them on my camera viewer, don’t see white wing patches with one exception where I might be seeing facial patches as the bird is preening.

So maybe the bird is a Surf Scoter after all?

Jay Huner


Matt Brady
 

Many photos on eBird (eg https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/280938991;
https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/280426461;
https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/279601681;
https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/279592351;
https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/279283571) show that the bird clearly has
white secondaries, a key character for White-winged Scoter and one not
present in Surf Scoter. Additionally, the shape and structure of the bill
and head, distribution of the white on the face, and other features all
point towards White-winged Scoter.

Matt Brady
Baton Rouge


James V Remsen
 

Jay — in case you’re not familiar with the online resource “eBird", you can check these things for yourself by several ways, e.g. Explore > Hotspots > Capitol Lake/Arsenal, and then look at all photos from Recent Visits. Many show the white wing patch, and several of them show the head-bill pattern sufficiently to distinguish the two species without having to worry about oft-occluded wing patch. The head-bill difference are illustrated in all field guides, including even the oldest ones — you can pick up a used Peterson on Amazon for under $10.

===================

Dr. J. V. Remsen
Emeritus Prof. of Natural Science and Curator of Birds
Museum of Natural Science/Dept. Biological Sciences
LSU, Baton Rouge, LA 70803
najames<at>LSU.edu

On Nov 21, 2020, at 6:44 AM, Jay V Huner via groups.io <jay.huner1=louisiana.edu@groups.io> wrote:

There was some discussion of the bird’s identity. When i viewed it yesterday, I concentrated on the facial pattern and never payed attention to the wings. I took a number of distant photos and after looking at them on my camera viewer, don’t see white wing patches with one exception where I might be seeing facial patches as the bird is preening.

So maybe the bird is a Surf Scoter after all?

Jay Huner