Those of you thinking of coming down to San Diego to look for Great Knot should know that there is some discussion about the bird's identity. Several experts familiar with Great Knot have raised the possibility of a hybrid Surfbird X Red Knot.
Most of the concerns seem to center around the size and shape of the bill, pattern of the tail and rump and the extent of white in the wing.
I'm sure that there will be additonal postings on this topic as people further look at the bird, and it is worth seeing regardless of it's parentage.
I don't know that this hybrid combination has ever been reported previously, and in any event it is proabably much rarer than a Great Knot, should this be the case.
With any rarity, there is always the possibility of a strange
hybrid combination, especially in species that few North American birders see regularly. I am grateful to the finders of this bird for getting the word out quickly, and look forward to the educational discussion that I am sure will begin on this list in earnest over the next hours and days.
- Just to follow up on Todd McGrath's posting from yesterday. There is still raging controversy over the true ID of this bird. Travel at your own risk.