DBQ: drama at 3,000 feet

3 12 2015

I had not intended to post a DBQ this week, but this one practically fell in my lap and I couldn’t resist it. This week, I met with Susannah Corona who conveyed to me the carcass of a shearwater with a remarkable history (but more on that in a coming post). The next day, she sent me an email with images of a dead bird that had originally been sent by a man named Bob Thomason, and then forwarded from biologist to biologist, looking for an i.d. Here is the partial text of Bob’s email:

“On Saturday November 14th, I was climbing out in my 6-seat twin engine Cessna northwest out of the Anson County (Wadesboro), NC airport when I struck a bird at about 3,200 feet above ground level.”

The bird was struck, and then the carcass apparently became lodged in the sizeable crater in the wing that the body made on impact and was still there upon landing, albeit without a head. Debate ensued as to the identity of the bird. I am certain you will know right away what it is, as the i.d. is not particularly tricky, but I felt good about this particular case since the shorebird biologists who looked at the image didn’t know. I am horrible at identifying shorebirds myself, so it was nice to know the feeling is often mutual, across the shorebird/seabird divide. Here are the remarkable images:

IMG_0662unnamedunnamed (3)

In addition to the plane bird, I also got a note from Dennis Minsky out on Cape Cod about a wing he’d found, and whether or not I agreed with his i.d. So of course, I am crowd sourcing that in order to see if you all concur with me. Here are the two shots of that wing. Please note how nicely Dennis arranaged the wing on the ruler so you can actually get an accurate wing chord too!





2 responses

3 12 2015

It Looks like Red-throated Loon.

9 12 2015
Mary Wright

Okay, here are my guesses:
Plane bird: Razorbill
Wing: Red-throated Loon

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