Mystery Bird #8 - The answer

Monthly challenge to test and improve your bird identification skills.
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sav
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Mystery Bird #8 - The answer

Postby sav » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:20 pm

Yeah, I thought it was quite hard too, but 11 of 15 answers were correct - so it can't have been all that difficult.

It is a Shearwater of some sort because of that long bill. It somehow gives the impression of being fairly big. It has quite a long tail - maybe like a Wedge-tailed, or a Cory's, Streaked, or even an leucistic Sooty - or even a pale Buller's.......

In fact, if only it had a dark cap it would look just like a Buller's Shearwater (!!) and that is exactly what it is - a pigmentally challenged one at that. If you colour in the cap it is an almost ideal match over the rest of the bird.

Good effort from all concerned. Tony Wilson is leading the competition with 8/8 correct but there are several others hot on his heels and if he makes any mistakes it will make things interesting.

More next month......
Sav Saville
Wrybill Birding Tours, NZ
Great Birds, Real Birders
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philbattley
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Re: Mystery Bird #8 - The answer

Postby philbattley » Wed Feb 16, 2011 2:07 pm

So can we figure out why it looks the way it does? Where and when was it photographed? It looks (and we all know that looks can be deceiving...) that it has done a partial primary moult, with p1-5 being new, and P6-10 being old, frayed, and proportionately shorter than the inner ones. Is this true? And if so, does this suggest it is a 1 or 2 year old that did a partial moult during its first non-breeding season? Maybe a seabird biologist can chime in. Is this simply what a normal year-old Buller's looks like?

Cheers, Phil
Byrd
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Re: Mystery Bird #8 - The answer

Postby Byrd » Wed Feb 16, 2011 5:01 pm

I'm just amazed I even got it right!
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Mystery Bird #8 - The answer

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Wed Feb 16, 2011 8:28 pm

Photographed on the Hauraki Gulf on 16 October 2009.
It's not normal.
For comparison, below is another Buller's in much the same position and light. Taken four minutes earlier.

12439.jpg
12439.jpg (75.46 KiB) Viewed 8144 times
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philbattley
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Re: Mystery Bird #8 - The answer

Postby philbattley » Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:53 am

Can we have a close-up of the mystery bird?
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philbattley
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Re: Mystery Bird #8 - The answer

Postby philbattley » Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:47 pm

I got Graeme Taylor from DOC to take a look at the mystery bird. He concluded it was an aberrant Buller's rather than being an age thing, and I am in no position to dispute his credentials or conclusion!

Phil ;)
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Neil Fitzgerald
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Re: Mystery Bird #8 - The answer

Postby Neil Fitzgerald » Mon Feb 28, 2011 8:45 pm

Whew! :D
Sorry I missed your earlier post. I can try to show closer bits if you like, but it's not the sharpest shot I've ever taken...

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