Dead Bird Quiz: MA_23 edition

10 09 2013

Fellow Seanetter Dan Tracey and I share responsibility for MA_23, a stretch of beach along the northern bank of the Merrimack River right where it enters the Atlantic between Salisbury Beach and Plum Island. The birding is good here, and this past month, the dead birding has also been good. Dan was the lucky one who actually found an intact carcass in August. On my walk at the end of the month, I found only a mostly defleshed wing. But the pair makes for a nice Dead Bird Quiz, to my mind. So here it is. What do you think, dear readers?

Bird A: wing chord 25.5 cm; culmen 37 mm; tarsus 25 mm.

Bird A: wing chord 25.5 cm; culmen 37 mm; tarsus 25 mm.

Bird B: upper surface of wing. Wing chord 21 cm.

Bird B: upper surface of wing. Wing chord 21 cm.

Bird B: underside of wing.

Bird B: underside of wing.

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4 responses

15 09 2013
Wouter van Gestel

All right, let’s try:

Bird A seems a juvenile common tern (Sterna hirundo) to me.
Bird B is a lot more difficult, a medium-sized, plain dark-brown wing with bright white underwing does not fit many species. My guess is arctic loon (Gavia arctica)

Wouter

16 09 2013
scourc01

I know. It’s that bright white wing that bothered me too. What I wonder is if maybe the missing portions of the wing–secondaries, secondary coverts and so on, might not actually have been all dark.

16 09 2013
Reno Hates Me

Nag, nag, nag. I never get these right. Bird A: I hear a Beatles song “to every day, tern, tern, tern…” Bird B: I hear a sonorous voice going “you’ve GOT to be kidding me…”

16 09 2013
scourc01

You’re a good sport, Reno Hates Me.

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