[mou] Intriguing Bird & Cluelessness
Pastor Al Schirmacher
pastoral at princetonfreechurch.net
Wed Oct 24 12:33:49 EDT 2007
This morning I had an intriguing bird fly over which I am still puzzling
* Location: Milaca Hiking Trails (central Minnesota), generally wooded but
this particular location is between a pond and a meadow, relatively open
* Weather & time: 8:25 AM, well lit but sun still moving over the tops of
* Observation time: approximately 30 seconds, bird initially viewed half
way across the sky, flew to treed horizon in the direction of sewage ponds,
bird was 25-30 feet in the air, initially ~40 yards away
* Description: Very dark, initially appeared black until sun hit it, then
more chocolate brown on the back half as it flew away. Gull-like appearance
and flight (impression), larger overall than a Ring-billed, seemed less
stocky and bit smaller than a Herring in flight. Head, bill, body, tail all
appeared very dark - no white or lighter brown visible. Tail fanned, not
elongated or sharp in appearance. Color similar to a jaeger, but larger &
more stocky that any jaeger I've observed. Color also similar to Heerman's,
but common sense/location screams "no" - not to mention that it appeared
larger than Sibley's size/description. Consistently darker overall than any
hawk I've viewed overhead, but only experience is with Midwestern species.
Only flapped once or twice during observation time, generally glided lower
as it moved away (similar to raven glide - however, impression was that it
was going to land in the ponds beyond the trees, not accessible legally).
So, must admit cluelessness. Perhaps I was deceived by sun angle (generally
behind me), perhaps by initial gull shape impression despite color, perhaps
there are darker overall morphs of gulls/hawks than I'm aware of.
Open to everything from expertise to speculation. Hard to describe a bird
that was simply chocolate brown to black all over.
Mille Lacs & Sherburne Counties
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