For sometime, Richard Klauke, a good friend and a keen observer, has been
documenting and photographing birds in Alberta. He apparently has a large
collection of images which he is generously willing to share with other
birders here. He no doubt would wish that none of these be reproduced for
profit without seeking his permission.
Recently, he sent me a series of photo's of both an adult Parasitic Jaeger
and an immature Sabine's Gull. Previously, he forwarded a fine series of
juvenile Little Gull photo's illustrating a plumage which is often not
featured within many guides.
Sibley does illustrate this distinctive plumage of the birds seen recently
both at Condie Reservoir and Blackstrap Reservoir.
Perhaps many species are in juvenile plumage just for only a short interval
molting quickly into their first winter plumage and are not included in many
guides. Sometimes juvenile plumages may closely resemble that of the
immature or fall adult.
The timing of the molt apparently varies with many species and also within
individuals/populations of a species. This of course all requires extra
study and experience to learn to attempt to cope with these challenges.
Fortunately often these variations are subtle allowing the limited series of
illustrations/photo's in the better guides to provide enough detail to
identify many if not most individuals.
The Little Gull remains in its distinctive juvenile plumage until September
according to guides. The Adult Sabine's Gull on the other hand retains its
breeding plumage until September making it more readily apparent when
loafing with other 'black or dark' headed gulls which molt into winter/basic
plumage earlier. These are just two examples of the complex issues
associated with molt.
Many of the vagrant or rare migrant species are immatures some of which have
lost their way or are in reverse/mirror migration. Others may move though
the interior instead of their traditional routes at sea or along the edge of
the continent. Learning immature or basic/winter plumages can assist with
identifying these. And there is always much to learn about individual
plumage variations within both regular and vagrant species.
These images are all sent as jpegs or 'open attachments.'These ALL of course
are routinely scanned both upon receipt and sending. I now have the
recently released XP Firewall in addition to the high speed Sasktel filter
plus the latest updated 2005 edition of Norton Anti- Virus Software.
However, nothing in life is absolutely safe in 'computering' and life
If anyone wishes to look at these images please email me and I will send
them directly. I prefer to do this rather than post them on the Saskbirds