Dead Bird Quiz: Carolinas edition

2 01 2014

We’re hunkered down in a Nor’Easter up here in New Hampshire, but I’ve been verifying all your walk reports, Seanetters, and right now, it’s North and South Carolina churning out the birds. So here you are, the first DBQ of the new year, featuring entirely southern beaches. Birds A and B were found on December 24th by Stan Rule who walks a beach by the appropriately named Bird Shoal in North Carolina. Bird C was found by Linda Rowe who walks on Folly Beach in South Carolina. These birds are in various stages of decomposition and decay, so they present variable challenges. Enjoy!

Bird A

Bird A

Bird B

Bird B

Bird C

Bird C



4 responses

3 01 2014
Wouter van Gestel

The first two are still in good shape and recognizable:
Bird A: American Oystercatcher (Haematopus palliatus)
Bird B: Ruddy Turnstone (Arenaria interpres)
Bird C is far gone, but the shape of the sternum and tail is distinctive. Its a Cormorant, and judging by the size and area, it’s either a greater or a double-crested cormarant. Based on these remains I cannot say which one it is unfortunately.

happy newyear,


26 10 2014

I was going through these old dead bird quizzes and was a bit puzzled by Wouter’s answer and what I see. I don’t agree with him on his identification. This is not a cormorant but a booby, presumably a juvenile Brown Booby which is a rare but regular visitor off SC. Sternum is too narrow for a cormorant and show deeper notches at front and rear congruent with the breastbone of boobies. It is too small for a Gannet. Unfortunately I have only one unidentified booby breastbone in my collection, that one is a bit smaller than the bird on the picture. The tail feathers don’t show the stiffness as in cormorants. I don’t think it is a juvenile Gannet since it lacks the spotting on the plumage.

28 10 2014

I will post that on today’s blog–I think you may well be right! Brown booby is so uncommon in our reports that it’s not even on my radar!

28 10 2014
Dead Bird Quiz answers | SEANET Blog

[…] an old quiz. Edward wrote in to say that our conclusion on a bird we featured a while back in this DBQ may have been erroneous. He writes that the bird more closely resembles a Brown Booby than the […]

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