Dead Bird Quiz to boost my spirits

17 05 2012

My weekend trip to Cape May, NJ for a SEANET training has now been canceled. Unable to drum up sufficient interest, the good folks down there at the Wetlands Institute will give it another try later this year. So, to distract myself from my sadness, I’m posting one of my favorite things: a Dead Bird Quiz. And one of these specimens is one I found myself! Bird A was nothing but a skeletal head attached to a strand of vertebrae. Bird B was mostly intact, though its head was crushed. Measurements for Bird B are provided in the photo, partly in the bizarre scrawl of my five year old son. It was his birthday yesterday, and this dead bird was my gift to him.

Guesses please!

Bird A: Found by Janet Kurz in North Carolina last week.

Bird B: Found by yours truly, Sarah Courchesne, yesterday in Massachusetts.

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2 responses

18 05 2012
Alicia Lenci

a: common eider
b: immature black scoter

19 05 2012
Wouter van Gestel

Bird A looks like a Shoveler (Anas clypaeta) to me, but it’s hard to see from the side how wide the bill is
I think bird B is a Long-tailed Duck (Clangula hyemalis), male in Summer plumage. I didn’t know you could find these birds during Summer at that place, but maybe my guess is not right.

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