Dead bird quiz answers

20 06 2009

I didn’t want to lob too much of a softball your way, shrewd Seanetters, so I declined to provide the wing chord for Bird A in yesterday’s quiz. Though I am certain you all figured out its identity anyway, I suspect the diminutive size of the bird would have been a dead giveaway. Brilliant blue feathers with a flash of white, and the scaly black foot of a passerine give this one away as our adaptable and clever Blue Jay.

Yesterday's Bird A: the shrewd and beautiful Blue Jay.

Yesterday's Bird A: the shrewd and beautiful Blue Jay.

 I included this find partly to make a point; many Seanetters assume we are only interested in seabirds, but nay, nay! We want to hear about all the dead birds you find, seabird or not. 

Our Bird B represents one of the most common conundrums facing Seanetters worldwide: the juvenile gull. This one, with a wing chord of 45cm, is marginally in Herring Gull territory, though the smallest Great Black-Backed Gulls may also have a wing chord of 45cm. Our Bird B exhibits a rather drab gray color over the dorsal wing. Great Black-Backed Gulls, on the other hand, have a much more striking black and white pattern over the dorsal wing and back. Based on this, we concur with Dennis is his identification of the bird as a Herring Gull. But these juveniles certainly keep the conscientious Seanetter on his toes.

Until next week, Seanetters!

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