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Ft Myers Beach/Little Estero Lagoon, 8-12-01

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  • Anhinga42@earthlink.net
    All, Sorry for cross-posting this to other lists, but we are looking for as many replies as we can muster! I went out to Fort Myers Beach/Little Estero Lagoon
    Message 1 of 2 , Aug 12, 2001
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      All,

      Sorry for cross-posting this to other lists, but we are looking for
      as many replies as we can muster!

      I went out to Fort Myers Beach/Little Estero Lagoon with ornithologist
      Jon Greenlaw this AM (8-12-01) to do some shorebirding, and low and
      behold we became more interested in the terns present. Which isn't
      really all that surprising given the attention lately to Black,
      Common, and even Sooty up in the panhandle. Any way, there were
      easily close to 500 terns of six species (royal, sandwich, common,
      Forster's, black, least) roosting along the beach and lagoon. Jon
      first noticed one, then we found two more juvenile Sandwich Terns with
      varying amounts of orange color to their legs. One had close to 100
      percent orange, with a small amount of black. The two others were
      maybe 50 percent orange and 50 percent black. The coloring on these
      legs were patchy, as if changing over from orange to black. Their
      bills also had a varying amount of yellow/orange coloring, much like
      the illustration of a juvenile on p. 231 of Sibley. We checked Sibley
      and Natl Geographic back at the car out of curiosity, but found no
      mention of leg color in juveniles. Both pictures show black legs.
      Jon has not had any initial luck finding leg color descriptions in
      some books at home, but will look further.

      Our question is basically this: Is this coloring common in hatchlings
      and fledglings, and most have changed over to black legs by this
      point, with a few late individuals, or is it just a color variation
      that occurs in a few individuals and has escaped mention in research
      publications and field guides?

      Has anyone noticed this orange color in the legs of juvenile Sandwich
      Terns? We have never visited a breeding colony, so are interested to
      hear what some of you may have noticed in the field.

      Some numbers were estimated:
      Snowy Plover: 10
      Piping Plover: 4
      Wilson's Plover: 40
      Semipalmated Plover: 25
      Black-bellied Plover: 6
      SB Dowitcher: 30
      Ruddy Turnstone: 40
      Red Knot: 227
      Sanderling: 60
      Whimbrel: 2
      Marbled Godwit: 4
      Willet: 30
      Amer. Oystercatcher: 7
      Peeps (some were Western, but many were basic plumage): 30
      Black Tern: 30
      Common Tern (all sub-adults with strong carpal bars): 50
      Forster's Tern: 100
      Least Tern: 50+
      Royal Tern: 45
      Sandwich Tern: 300+


      Regards,

      Charlie

      Charlie Ewell
      Cape Coral, FL
      Anhinga42@...
    • marie gonsalo
      Hi Charlie and list,Regarding juvenile Sandwich Tern leg color: Sibley comments on P. 230 (bottom of page), Leg color is variable in the crested terns:
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 13, 2001
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        Hi Charlie and list,

        Regarding juvenile Sandwich Tern leg color: Sibley comments on P. 230 (bottom of page), "Leg color is variable in the crested terns: always black in Sandwich, often yellow in juveniles of the other three species. Only Elegant regularly shows yellow legs as an adult." I take this to mean that yellow is possible in the juvenile Caspian, Royal, or Elegant, but NOT the Sandwich. Another note, vocalization of the juvenile Sandwich would be a "high see see see like Royal; also a high ringing kreep." (Sibley, page 231).

        There is a good book about terns only (forgot the name), but I don't have a copy. Perhaps, one of the list has this book and could enlighten us about the reference for juv. Sandwich.

        Excellent report, Charlie, I was out last week (Tuesday) and enjoyed many of the same shorebirds. Loved to see the Red Knots in both basic and alternate plumage (mostly, 90% or more, in alternate plumage).

        My favorite view of the evening was an adult Common Tern dangling a triangular (upside down) fish that looed like an ironed pieced of tinfoil in front of a barred back begging juvenile. Zing went the strings of my heart!


        Happy birding.

        Marie Gonsalo
        Fort Myers
        BSeaside@...
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Anhinga42@...
        Date: Mon, 13 Aug 2001 02:35:14 -0000
        To: SWFLBirdline@yahoogroups.com
        Subject: [SWFLBirdline] Ft Myers Beach/Little Estero Lagoon, 8-12-01


        > All,
        >
        > Sorry for cross-posting this to other lists, but we are looking for
        > as many replies as we can muster!
        >
        > I went out to Fort Myers Beach/Little Estero Lagoon with ornithologist
        > Jon Greenlaw this AM (8-12-01) to do some shorebirding, and low and
        > behold we became more interested in the terns present. Which isn't
        > really all that surprising given the attention lately to Black,
        > Common, and even Sooty up in the panhandle. Any way, there were
        > easily close to 500 terns of six species (royal, sandwich, common,
        > Forster's, black, least) roosting along the beach and lagoon. Jon
        > first noticed one, then we found two more juvenile Sandwich Terns with
        > varying amounts of orange color to their legs. One had close to 100
        > percent orange, with a small amount of black. The two others were
        > maybe 50 percent orange and 50 percent black. The coloring on these
        > legs were patchy, as if changing over from orange to black. Their
        > bills also had a varying amount of yellow/orange coloring, much like
        > the illustration of a juvenile on p. 231 of Sibley. We checked Sibley
        > and Natl Geographic back at the car out of curiosity, but found no
        > mention of leg color in juveniles. Both pictures show black legs.
        > Jon has not had any initial luck finding leg color descriptions in
        > some books at home, but will look further.
        >
        > Our question is basically this: Is this coloring common in hatchlings
        > and fledglings, and most have changed over to black legs by this
        > point, with a few late individuals, or is it just a color variation
        > that occurs in a few individuals and has escaped mention in research
        > publications and field guides?
        >
        > Has anyone noticed this orange color in the legs of juvenile Sandwich
        > Terns? We have never visited a breeding colony, so are interested to
        > hear what some of you may have noticed in the field.
        >
        > Some numbers were estimated:
        > Snowy Plover: 10
        > Piping Plover: 4
        > Wilson's Plover: 40
        > Semipalmated Plover: 25
        > Black-bellied Plover: 6
        > SB Dowitcher: 30
        > Ruddy Turnstone: 40
        > Red Knot: 227
        > Sanderling: 60
        > Whimbrel: 2
        > Marbled Godwit: 4
        > Willet: 30
        > Amer. Oystercatcher: 7
        > Peeps (some were Western, but many were basic plumage): 30
        > Black Tern: 30
        > Common Tern (all sub-adults with strong carpal bars): 50
        > Forster's Tern: 100
        > Least Tern: 50+
        > Royal Tern: 45
        > Sandwich Tern: 300+
        >
        >
        > Regards,
        >
        > Charlie
        >
        > Charlie Ewell
        > Cape Coral, FL
        > Anhinga42@...
        >
        >
        >
        > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
        > SWFLBirdline-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
        >
        >
        >
        > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/
        >
        >
        >

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