No. 183 BATON ROUGE, LANovember 1998

LOS News, Page 2

Table of Contents

"Why Are All These People Picking On Me?" 1999 Yard List Competition
History of the LA List (Part 2, D. Muth) 1998-99 Xmas Bird Counts
Bird Records Committees (Part 3, D. Muth) LOS Fall Meeting Report
Mastering of the Process (Part 4, D. Muth) New Members/Changes
Id of Carpodacus Finches Jaeger ID Solution
Carpodacus Finch Figure 1999 LOS Winter Meeting
Swallow Roosts Winter Meeting Field Trips
All I Want for the Holidays . . . Birdwatching in NW LA
Project Feeder Watch LOS Officers
BREC Bluebonnet Swamp LOS Sales
The Botanical Birder Winter Meeting Registration
Wildlife Plant Sale Membership Form

Swallow Roosts
[Editor: Tom Sylvest's wonderful accounts of swallow tornadoes on LABIRD were partly inspired by this inspirational note from a birder in Tennessee....]
I have been lucky in witnessing three enormous swallow roosts, one in Mexico (Chiapas) and 2 on the Mississippi Coast. It is time well spent if you can track one down.
The roosts in Mississippi were almost exclusively composed of Tree Swallows while the one in Mexico was mixed species. The roosts in Mississippi were in coastal marsh grass and the one in Mexico was located in a grassy field, high in a mountain valley. This one was shown regularly on Mexican National TV because it was so spectacular.
Gene Knight, Shannon Knight and I tracked down long strings of swallows late one evening on the Mississippi coast. I had told them about the tornado effect when the birds finally decide to go to roost all at once and what we witnessed that evening was really more than they expected. The birds came from every point of the compass and milled around above us. The numbers grew and grew until the sky finally appeared to be uncannily possessed by a large gray ameba with far reaching arms that expanded and contracted continuously. It looked like something out of a bad Japanese Sci- Fi flick. Shock waves radiated through the flock once, like those seen pushed before a supersonic jet plane. As we watched a Merlin emerged at the center of these waves and calmly flew out the other side; the large mass of swallows quickly coalesced back into its original nebulas shape.
As dusk drew near, the feeder lines waned and the birds drew up into a large tightly packed ball. A mass so dense that you could barely see through it with your fieldglasses. I told Gene and Shannon to watch the bottom of the flock and almost at once a mere wisp of birds fell toward earth and others spun into the forming vortex until a writhing snake like funnel formed. The sound of rushing wings was overpowering and we stood transfixed by the wonder of it all. It took an amazingly short time for all the birds to descend and you could follow the last bird hurrying down into the grass. We were left standing in the fading light completely silent, looking where the once huge mass of birds had hung. The sudden and complete silence released our overloaded senses and we stood exhausted and exhilarated in the same instant. Slowly we looked at each other and just shook our heads. It took a while before we could muster up any verbal responses to the event.
Needless to say I liked the feeling and will carry the memories of these experiences in a special place in my heart. Hope you have the same luck with your quest to view this birding spectacle.........
Good Birding!!!
Jeff R. Wilson
Bartlett, Tenn.
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All I Want for the Holidays Is a State Bird
Bob Russell
New Orleans, LA
The ducks are streaming down the Red River, the gull flocks around the mouths of the Mississippi get larger by the day, plans for Christmas counts are sounding serious. What's the prognosis from up north about which species might be invading this winter? What are the chances for a new state bird from the north or northwest? Here's a bird by bird breakdown—place your bets.
Yellow-billed Loon — not as outlandish as it might seem with records as close as Oklahoma. A very late migrant moving just before lake freeze up. It's very stocky, large-billed, and likes to hold its bill at an angle. Those northwestern Louisiana reservoirs may be the spot but don't expect to see it unless it's a cold winter on the prairies.
Pacific Loon — better to get this one on the state list first! Overdue here, David Muth thinks the muddy waters of our coastline do not favor this species' presence but I think a one-day wonder might appear. They are already south to Nebraska and Iowa. Keep coming! Better photograph this one or show it to a horde of experienced birders.
Great Cormorant — a possible candidate but who boats the Gulf in the winter? They favor pilings and channel markers. Accessible Grand Isle and mouth of the Calcasieu River seem like potential sites. You say it was larger than the cormorant next to it. OK so why wasn't the other one a Neotropical Cormorant and this one is just a Double-crested? Key to finding state birds—know your common birds inside and out!
Tufted Duck — recent Birding article showed how regular these have become on both coasts and the Great Lakes. They frequently associate with Lesser Scaup, one of our truly common winter ducks. Someone will find one of these in Louisiana but they may have to scope out a few hundred thousand Lessers first.
Harlequin Duck — another clear water-favoring bird, often a one-day wonder in the Midwest, recorded as near as Pensacola, and once reported by Audubon from the mouth of Southwest Pass. November and December usually best, sometimes appearing after strong western snowstorms/fronts.
Northern Goshawk — not a major flight year but a fair number of birds passing the Great Lakes hawk lookouts this fall. Woodlots in agricultural areas and the edges of cities and vast bottomland forests are potential sites.
Rough-legged Hawk — not a good flight year, but a report from LOS weekend in Cameron. Any coastal marsh or agricultural area is potential habitat.
Golden Eagle — probably an annual member of our avifauna but slips by unnoticed. Check the vicinity of waterfowl concentrations from November to February. Good numbers reported at many Great Lakes and Appalachian hawk lookouts this fall. One Red River record already this November.
Gyrfalcon — although occasionally reported from the central Great Plains and Midwest, anyone reporting this species from Louisiana should have their thermos checked.
Purple Sandpiper — there are now so many rock jetties in Louisiana that one could hide the entire Hudson Bay population here and still not see one! The mouth of the Mississippi River-Gulf Outlet looks like the promised land but the new Grand Isle jetties or even the Cameron Parish ones would do.
Black-headed Gull — even West Virginia has recorded this species! In late October one was in northern Iowa, the same longitude as Louisiana, birds mostly move north and south so this one becomes almost a foregone conclusion, now just find it. Try sewage ponds, beaches, fast food parking lots in the East. Very urban bird at times.
Snowy Owl — no sign of an invasion year yet but sometimes they start late. Coastal or inland waterfowl concentrations can produce this exciting rarity but a record this far south would be exceptional.
Great Gray Owl, Northern Hawk-owl, Boreal Owl — no chance with global warming!
Northern Saw-whet Owl — can easily be overlooked. Prefers dense young conifer plantings or copses of vines in bottomland hardwood forests. Ought to occur occasionally in northern third of state.
Red-breasted Nuthatch — last year was our year and the echo flight to date is almost non-existent.
Golden-crowned Kinglet and Brown Creeper — hardly rare birds in the northern half of the state but look for a decent flight of both species this year based on early indications.
Townsend's Solitaire — quite a few records popping up in the Plains and Midwest this fall. This bird winters in portions of neighboring Oklahoma and Texas so why not here? Maybe too many mockingbirds and catbirds to stand out. Try Red Cedar stands in the country or Pyracanthus bushes in the city.
Purple Finch — a few headed south this fall, but this bird's invasions seem a thing of yesteryear for no obvious reasons.
Pine Grosbeak and Hoary Redpoll — a tossup over which species would be more likely but both virtually unknown south of northern Missouri and central Illinois.
Common Redpoll — once reported from a Slidell feeder but unverified, this seems a likely candidate during an invasion year. Debatable whether this year is such a year as birds have come south early but in light numbers and south so far is about Chicago which is way north of the I-10, cher. Occasionally hangs out in Pine Siskin flocks where it can be difficult to pick out. Alas, even siskins seem in short supply this winter.
Evening Grosbeak — something has happened to this species in the past three decades. The big invasions of my youth don't seem to repeat themselves anymore and fewer birds head south. Some blame short-stopping by North Woods feeders; others blame forestry practices. Too bad, great bird, obvious call note. No invasion this year.
Red Crossbill and White-winged Crossbill — some movements of these two species have been noted for several straight years in the Midwest with recent movements of Reds in the past week in the Great Lakes but nothing seems headed our way. East Texas and Arkansas reports of Reds in recent years, but who birds the Kisatchie National Forest on a regular basis to catch the vagrant flock?
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Help Scientists Study Backyard Birds
Put bird feeder to work for science! If you can afford $15 (for supporting the program and analysis of the data), have a feeder, and can count birds at your feeder on 2 days @ two week intervals for 10 weeks, you can help a worthy program. Van Remsen has just reported on LABIRD that only 45 people from LA participated last year (out of 13,200 in USA & Canada), which is amongst the bottom 7 states in participation. It's not too late to participate this year! For information about signing up for 1998/99, call 1-800-843-BIRD or check out the website:
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BREC Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
Surrounded by the sprawling suburbia of the city of Baton Rouge lies the sparkling "jewel in the crown" of the award-winning Baton Rouge Recreation and Parks Commission (BREC). Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center is a 101-acre natural history park and interpretive center, and the first of its kind in the 600,000 person Baton Rouge metropolitan area.
A long time coming, this nature center was first conceived by several local individuals and conservation groups back in the early l980's. C.C.Lockwood, Charlie Fryling, Doris Falkenheiner, Esther Boykin, Martha and B.Small, and others were involved in the earliest efforts. LSU Department of Landscape Architecture faculty and students, Baton Rouge Audubon Society, and the Sierra Club were active in planning the new park. Hey all you old-time Baton Rouge birders---remember Gayle Strickland's Saturday morning birding?
We birded the archery trails backward at Highland Road Park, much to the chagrin of the archers. All two of them. Remember how we grumbled about not having a better place to bird, and THEN the archers banned us from the trails! Something about Our Safety and being mistaken for a deer I believe... oops, don't let me squash the toes of any of you who might be archers. Well. Back to the topic. The Nature Conservancy located offices in Louisiana a few years later, and by the late l980's had entered negotiations with property owners. The acreage was then given by the Nature Conservancy to BREC to operate as a public nature center. In the spring of l997 the center opened to the public.
Located on the Highland Road escarpment, about two miles from the Mississippi River, the park consists of beech/magnolia forest in various stages of regrowth, 65 acres of cypress/tupelo/maple swamp, and open meadow. Nearly two miles of walking trail have been completed, with more trails planned. This year nesting birds included Wood Duck, Barred Owl, Pileated Woodpecker, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, Wood Thrush, Acadian Flycatcher, Prothonotary Warbler, and Northern Parula. Last fall a small flock of White Ibis frequented the swamp, as did at least two Belted Kingfishers. Also seen fairly regularly last fall and into winter were Winter Wren, Hermit Thrush, and Golden-crowned Kinglet.
The park is open Tuesday-Saturday, 9a.m.-5p.m, and Sunday 12-5p.m. Trails close to new visitors at 4:30 p.m. First Saturday of each month the park opens at 6:45 a.m. for a morning birdwalk, led by the B.R. Audubon Society. Fees vary depending on discounts for age and other factors, but are kept very low. Yearly memberships are available. Volunteers are welcome, and we sure could use some of you to lead thirty- minute natural history tours. Special programs and workshops are scheduled Sept-May. Natural history day camps for children are held in summer. For more information, please phone the center at: 225-757-8905, or fax us at 225-757-9390.
Miriam L. Davey, Staff Naturalist
Bluebonnet Swamp Nature Center
10305 N. Oak Hills Pkwy
Baton Rouge, LA 70809
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The Botanical Birder
by Bill Fontenot
While most folks in eastern North America are well acquainted with the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), relatively few people are aware of the plethora of smaller dogwood species that occupy a diverse array of habitats within the same range as their larger more celebrated cousin. Of these, the rough-leaved dogwood (C. drummondii) is probably the most ubiquitously distributed, ranging all the way from southern Ontario, westward to South Dakota, and southward into the west-central Gulf Coast. Throughout most of its range, rough-leaved dogwood is a plant of drier prairie and other grassland edges; but here in Louisiana it seems most closely associated (along with other notable species such as deciduous holly, elderberry, and giant ragweed) with disturbed areas such as along the edges of roadsides and agricultural fields. At the southern terminus of its range, in coastal Louisiana, it is particularly abundant within the alluvial floodplains of our rivers and larger bayous. Another closely related species, the swamp dogwood (C. foemina), enjoys a similarly wide distribution in our state. Dale Thomas and Charles Allen's Atlas of the Vascular Flora of Louisiana(Vol. II 1996; La. Dept. of Wildlife & Fisheries, Natural Heritage Program) reports herbaria specimens of C. drummondii and C. foemina from 58 and 52 (respectively) of our 64 parishes.
Rough-leaved dogwood most often establishes itself in extensive, early-successional, stoloniferous (spreading via root sprouts) colonies. Spreading through stolons from a single "mother tree," a typical single-clone colony may involve dozens of 2-3" diameter stems, and measure 12'X20'. In cases where a single mother tree is left to stand in an area that is mowed beneath it - thus, precluding the formation of a stoloniferous colony - an individual may attain exceptionally large dimensions. The largest rough-leaved dogwood that I've ever seen in Louisiana was a product of just such a situation. It exists along the edge of a large tract of bottomland hardwood forest at Dave and JoAnn Coignet's "Bird & Breakfast" just south of Houma. It is approximately 25'tall, by about as wide.
Unlike the out-sized, white-bracted "blooms" of flowering dogwood, rough-leaved dogwood produces numerous flat-topped clusters of tiny white flowers in mid-spring - superficially similar to those of the well-known exotic, tree ligustrum (Ligustrum lucidum). Rough-leaved dogwood foliage is quite similar to that of flowering dogwood, being oppositely arranged and possessing curving veins that approach, but never quite touch, its margins. The difference is that rough-leaved dogwood leaves are slightly narrower, with a duller finish, and more olive-green in color. Too, as the common name implies, the upper surfaces of the leaves have the feel of fine-grained sandpaper. While the foliage of flowering dogwood turns nice shades of ruby-red during fall & winter, late season rough-leaf dogwood foliage is less reliably colored, particularly at the extreme southern end of its range. Occasional specimens may exhibit deep-burgundy winter foliage; but most individuals will show, at best, a mottling of wine-colored hues mixed in with army-green before falling.
Rough-leaved dogwood fruit production begins as early as mid-summer, with the formation of attractive clusters of small, spherical, ivory-colored berries which hang off of red-purple peduncles. By early August, these carbohydrate/fat-rich offerings are greedily plucked by fall-migrating flycatchers, vireos, and others. Data from a recently completed Louisiana avian frugivory survey indicate that C. drummondii fruits are utilized by at least 13 bird species. Generally, by the end of October, all available fruit has vanished. I should also mention that, according to Guy Sternberg in his Landscaping with Native Trees (1995, Chapters Publishing), rough-leaved dogwood hosts several moths, themselves food for small owls, goat suckers, and a substantial number of Passerine birds as well. Among these moths, he intriguingly singles out the "friendly probole moth, one of the most inquisitive and sociable of garden insects."
When planning to garden with rough-leaved dogwood, or with its handsome blue-fruited relative, swamp dogwood, its propensity to produce stoloniferous colonies must be carefully considered. Owners of larger properties may opt to allow a 12-15' diameter space, possibly in front of larger shade-tree plantings or at the edges of their properties, to accommodate an entire colony. Owners of smaller properties, on the other hand, would do better to utilize it as a small, single-specimen lawn tree (keep it out of prepared beds!), keeping colony formation in check by mowing around it. In either case, select a site that receives as much sunlight as possible, since most early-successional species such as these will not thrive in shade. Rough-leaved and swamp dogwoods should grow happily in all but the poorest, most acidic soils.
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Bill Fontenot is announcing an upcoming songbird/hummingbird plant sale at his place on Saturday 05 December of this year. the sale is for LABIRD/LOS members. He says, "Ya'll get 15% off of any purchase."
"Presently, we've got a fine crop of catalpa, prickly ash (aka "toothache tree"), red bay, spicebush, many oaks, black cherry, and other songbird attracting trees & shrubs. we've also got a good number of Salvias, Cupheas, giant Turk's cap, & other hummingbird plants.
Olga Clifton will serve as marketing chief. I'll be wandering around wearing my usual smirk or whatever. contact me for directions. come one come all. bring your binoculars and as much money as possible. also, the 10mph speed limit on the road to my place will be strictly enforced. the disturbed Vietnam vet with the 15 dogs running loose will see to that. & if he misses you, Lydia (my lovely spouse) is sure to pick up his slack.
Here's how to reach Bill if you have any questions:, 318/291-8448 (day), 318/896-9187 (nite).
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1999 Louisiana Yard List Competition
Remember Ron Stein's 1991 see-how-many-species-you-can-record-in-your-backyard Competition? From my isolated outpost amidst thick secondary woodlands/scrublands adjacent to a permanently flooded field, and planted to the hilt with bird attracting species, I smugly predicted that I'd blow everybody out of the water. Trouble was, 1) I had no idea of the backyard settings of folks like Remsen, Cardiff/Dittmann, Bedford Brown, Stein, and Melvin Weber, 2) Like a captive-raised squirrel, I had not learned to LOOK WAY UP for flyovers (it was wife Lydia who got Am. swallow-tailed kite for us, by simply looking up to just above treetop level one fine Sat. morning in April -- with me standing right next to her!), and 3) I severely underestimated the resolve of inner-city folks like David Muth and Nancy Newfield (to say nothing of their innate propensity to LOOK WAY UP for flyovers). Ahh yes. Thanks to my pride- cometh-before-a-fall attitude, me & Lydia placed a weak 8th.
For those of you who don't remember or who weren't around at that time, then LOS News editor John Sevenair did a fine job of analyzing the backyard year lists submitted by 27 LA. members. Cumulative results: 223 total LA bird species reported, including 7 herons/egrets, 35(!) warblers, 7 hummingbirds (with a Calliope observed, but for some whacky reason, not > reported!), 7 vireos (including Bell's), 5 doves, and 15 raptors. 5 yards reported wood stork, 5 with bald eagle, 12 w/cooper's hawk, 8 w/merlin, and 4 w/peregrine falcon! considering all of the increased bird skill/knowledge, wildlife landscaping, and birders in la. today, I wonder what kind of results we could muster in 1999? – Bill Fontenot
Plan for this and send me your yard lists at the end of 1999, then I'll compile it and try for a repeat of Sevenair's previous News article. It should be an interesting comparison and a fun competition! – Carol Foil.
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For those of you who didn't make it to Cameron for the Fall LOS Meeting, you missed a good one. The weather was great, the birding was good and the programs were excellent. Our appreciation goes to Karen Fay and Dennis Demcheck for putting on an excellent slide show on Friday night, featuring "Hummerquest" Ecuador slides. Registration was 112 (very good for a fall meeting) and we had 202 species on the checklist (also very good for a fall meeting).
Here are the minutes from the business meeting on Saturday October 24, 1998:
President David L'Hoste called the meeting to order at 8 p.m. He expressed "Thank you's" to Marianna Tanner, Judy Frug้, the entire crew of the Knights of Columbus, Joseph Vallee, Eloise Mullen, George and Nettie Broussard.
Introduction of LOS Board Members, Vice President Marty Guidry, Secretary/Treasurer Judith O'Neale, Board Members Kermit Cummings and Melvin Weber. Board Member Robby Bacon had attended the Friday night session but was unable to attend Saturday night. David also introduced Jim Ingold, JLO Editor. Carol Foil, LOS News Editor was unable to attend the meeting, but David thanked both Editors for the excellent jobs they were doing with the journal and newsletter.
Judith read the minutes of the last meeting, October 25, 1997. Nancy Newfield moved to accept the minutes as read, Joseph Vallee seconded. Motion approved.
Judith gave the Financial Report as of October 23, 1998.
Cash, Postal & Checking Accounts:$ 5,246.24
Youth Fund:$ 3,380.55
Certificates of Deposit:$ 28,916.98
(Includes Dedicated Life Members Funds of $10,000)
Total Assets:$ 37,543.77
Marty Guidry moved to accept the Financial Report, Charles Fryling seconded. Motion approved.
Roger Breedlove, Chairman of the Nominating Committee listed the slate of officer for 1999.
President: David L'Hoste, New Orleans
Vice President: Marty Guidry, Baton Rouge
Secretary/Treasurer: Judith O'Neale, Lafayette
Board Member 1999-2001: Kermit Cummings, Pineville
The nomination were open to the floor. Nancy Newfield moved to accept the slate of officers as read. Rosemary Seidler seconded. Motion approved.
Laurie London, Cameron Parish Economic Development Director, gave us information regarding the renovations for the Sabine Pass Lighthouse, which was built in 1856. The Lighthouse Committee which includes Marianna Tanner, will be looking for support from individuals, as well as groups, to help financially. They will also be requesting assistance with suggestions for saving the birding habitat and for inventorying the area to produce a birding checklist.
Marty Guidry showed the 1999 patch for the Baton Rouge Audubon Society Peveto Woods Sanctuaries. The patch is $15 and entitles entry to the areas for 1999.
Marty also announced that the Sabine Christmas Bird Count will be held December 19th and would like to encourage birders to volunteer to assist with the count.
Marty Guidry read the Checklist for Cameron Parish, which includes birds seen from midnight Saturday morning. The total count was 202.
David introduced Cecilia Riley, Director of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory who gave an interesting and informative program on the GCBO. The mission of the Gulf Coast Bird Observatory is the conservation of birds and their habitat in and around the Gulf of Mexico. The purpose is to be a catalyst for bird conservation through individual and community partnerships and the sharing of expertise and knowledge. Slides of many of the site partners along the Gulf, including many excellent bird slides were presented.
The meeting was adjourned at 9:40 p.m.
Respectfully submitted, Judith O'Neale, LOS Secretary/Treasurer
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answer to the jaeger id quiz:
The jaeger illustrated in the ABCs of Jaeger ID is identified by the following characters:
First, let's get some general impressions about what "morph" we are dealing with – light/barred or dark. This is important with respect to determining the bird's AGE. Juvenile/immature dark morph individuals lack prominently barred underwing coverts indicative of young jaegers, and therefore, are difficult to distinguish from adults lacking diagnostic central tail feathers.
Although the bird appears essentially all dark, close inspection reveals:
light belly area.
(A dark morph bird is essentially all dark, except for barring on upper and under tail coverts and primary flash. Only Pomarine and Parasitic jaegers are known to possess a dark morph plumage.)
Now let's see if we can figure out an approximate age. We know that the bird is not a dark morph, therefore, we can concentrate on the following:
The under-wing linings appear mostly dark. This indicates a bird that is likely to be in its second (possibly third) year. A first year jaeger should have well-patterned (spotted or barred with white) wing-linings. The exception is, that apparently some "dark type" juvenile Long-tailed Jaegers may possess all dark-appearing underwing linings; these birds are like dark morphs of Pomarine and Parasitic jaegers in that they are essentially all dark (except tail coverts and wing flash.)
Leg/foot color depicted as bi-colored. All juvenile jaegers possess bi-colored legs/feet; these darken (to all black) with age in Parasitic and Pomarine jaegers. If this individual has mostly dark wing-linings, then leg color should be more or less all dark if the bird is a two year old Parasitic or Pomarine jaeger. Only Long-tailed Jaeger possesses bi-colored legs as an adult.
Finally, we need to study the following plumage features:
Primary shafts. On a good resolution drawing or photograph (and in the field if you can get excellent views), it is possible to count the actual number of primaries that possess pale shafts. On our illustration, the primaries are in molt, as indicated by the worn outer primary and gap between the outer and the next primary of similar length. The outermost (counted as number 10) is extremely worn and bleached. Counting inwards from number 10, it appears that primaries 8-9 are growing in. Number 7 does not have a pale shaft. The illustrated bird, then, could only have a maximum of three pale shafts (8-10). This is because you can't really see the shafts on primaries 8 and 9; all jaegers have a pale shaft on primary number 10. Three shafts eliminates Pomarine and most Parasitic jaegers.
There is essentially no primary flash from below. Again, you have to take into account that the primaries are in molt. The general effect is "no flash" a feature suggestive of Long-tailed Jaeger.
Undertail coverts are boldly patterned white and dark in the line drawing – rather than more muted (which would suggest buffy or rusty tones) or composed of more wavy-looking lines. Undertail coverts of Parasitic Jaeger tend to be both "less white," and less cleanly barred-looking. The undertail coverts suggests either a Pomarine or Long-tailed jaeger.
Central (T1s) rectrices are sharply pointed with wispy-thin ends. This feature eliminates Pomarine Jaeger. Close examination of the illustration's tail feathers suggest three different generations of feathers. New and dark, less dark, and very bleached and worn. This is not uncommon for sub-adult jaegers. Although more a feature of Long-tailed, Parasitics may show it with extreme wear.
Bill appears relatively short and stubby. Although this is a subjective feature, it is more suggestive of Long-tailed Jaeger, less so for Pomarine or Parasitic.
Bird lacks pale forehead patch. This mark is frequently observed on Parasitic Jaegers.
When all characters are summed together, we have identified this bird as a Long-tailed Jaeger. The drawing was made from a specimen collected off Louisiana on May 28, 1990. This individual presents a very difficult identification, but nonetheless is representative of the process involved in the identification of less-than- obvious (or tail-less) individuals in non-definitive plumage.
Donna Dittmann & Steve Cardiff
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If you would like to join LOS, or perhaps send a gift membership to a friend on the verge, here is a printable membership form.
Dues are payable in January of each year; please check your mailing label for your dues status and renew promptly if you are in arrears.
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posted 20November1998