[mou] Shorebird Help
Pastor Al Schirmacher
pastoral at princetonfreechurch.net
Wed Sep 3 09:46:56 CDT 2008
Many thanks to all of those who commented on the "mystery shorebird"
pictures yesterday and this morning
The following potential identifications were suggested: juvenile Stilt,
juvenile Dunlin, Willet, Curlew Sandpiper (don't we wish!), Pectoral,
Dowitcher species, LB Dowitcher, Godwit species.
Nathan and I have pretty well honed it down to juvy Stilt and Dunlin - with
Curlew Sandpiper as a longshot due to extreme rarity in Minnesota. In
answer to questions, the bill was significantly downturned, there was a
slight reddish cast to the plumage, Nathan remembers a white rump patch
during movement, and there is the suggestion of a white V on the back when
the photo is blown up and cropped. The bird would not associate with the
other Stilts present, if this is significant.
The following thoughts come to mind personally:
1) Shorebird ID is somewhat subjective - no matter how doctrinaire some
people's opinions are
2) Photos, while helpful and even entertaining, often don't give us enough
data for a solid ID
3) Lighting impacts shorebird ID endeavors significantly (field & photo)
4) Websites can be very helpful with particular ID issues (sometimes even
more than field guides)
5) Birders are human and can dispute about anything.
We would appreciate any further opinions or follow up thoughts that people
Good birding to all!
Mille Lacs & Sherburne Counties
PS For those who were concerned during one listserv's tussle - Nathan is 16,
has been birding 8+ years, and can handle most commentary. He did raise his
eyebrows at one or two statements :)
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