Dead Bird Quiz: I’m flummoxed edition

31 08 2012

For today’s quiz, I have selected one specimen with which I am quite familiar, and a second which I find very puzzling. Both are from our active new North Carolina contingent, who are doing a bang-up job Seanetting in the tar and turpentine state.

The first bird was found just yesterday by Gilbert Grant on North Topsail Beach. It’s one of a handful of this species we’ve had reported on NC beaches in the past week or so, which is not uncommon this time of year. Gil reports that the bird was “heavily scavenged by ghost crabs, fire ants, and probably birds.” The ghost crabs were fascinating to me when I visited Becky Bartel on her SEANET beach in NC. You can watch them dragging the severed wings of birds over their burrows and stripping every last bit of flesh from the bone. Hard workers, those ghost crabs. Apparently, they are found as far north as Rhode Island. But living up here by the cold waters of the Gulf of Maine ┬ásystem, ghost crabs are generally outside my ┬áken. Just another reason I love traveling for SEANET!

The second bird was found by Al and Suzie Buzzard on their beach near the mouth of the Cape Fear River on Bald Head Island. This one is a new one in our database, and while I have my suspicions as to an i.d., they are shaky at best. So please, please, help me out! And do share this quiz far and wide too–the more the merrier, after all!

Bird A: Found by Gilbert Grant on North Topsail Beach, NC.

Bird B (underside): Found in NC by Al and Suzie Buzzard back in May.

Bird B (upperside).

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5 responses

31 08 2012
David

Bird B: Ruffed grouse?

31 08 2012
Wouter van Gestel

Great, another challenge so soon, thanks!
I think bird A is a Great Shearwater (Puffinus gravis)
bird B looks like a King rail (Rallus elegans) to me. The underwings and sides are strongly barred, that’s why I go for King Rail in stead of Clapper Rail

Greetings,

Wouter from Holland

1 09 2012
Kristin Cattrano

Bird B looks like a Clapper Rail to me. Good luck!

1 09 2012
Kristin Cattrano

Clapper over King due to lack of chestnut wing patch and gray legs.

1 09 2012
Wouter van Gestel

I agree with Kristin, Clapper Rail is more likely than Kin rail

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