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Short-billed (?) Dowitcher still at Blacks Creek (Ada Co)

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  • Jay Carlisle
    Amy Silver found an oiled-looking dowitcher at Blacks Creek Reservoir (Ada Co) a few days ago and the extent of white in the tail seemed promising for a
    Message 1 of 3 , Jun 9, 2017
    Amy Silver found an oiled-looking dowitcher at Blacks Creek Reservoir (Ada Co) a few days ago and the extent of white in the tail seemed promising for a Short-billed.  She saw it again & heard it call yesterday.  Early evening today Bryce, Heidi, & I re-located it near the mouth of Blacks Creek as it enters the reservoir on the E end and were able to grab a few pics that seem to support Short-billed: among other features, (1) tail ~50% white, (2) small spots on sides of chest that transition to barring on the flanks, and (3) gold edges on the back feathers.  Any input welcome.

    Also, lots of other diversity there & RL was out there looking earlier in the afternoon and found a Red-necked Grebe on the deeper water - a great find for this spot and time of year!

    Jay

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    On Jun 6, 2017, at 6:42 PM, amysilver819@... [ible] <ible-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

     

    Hi Everybody. This poor bird was at Blacks Creek Reservoir yesterday. Looks like some sort of dowitcher, but both short and long-billed are considered rare right now (by ebird). He seems thin, but that's maybe just because he's unwell?


    The bird was pretty messed up, so I gave him plenty of space...  


    I've never really tried to differentiate between the dowitchers, but this one struck me as different (maybe just acting strangely because he was sick?) In most of the photos (not many), his tail is covered by his wings, but in this one, you can really see the white bands. The bill and face seem right, but he's in bad shape and it's hard to see color patterns in the sad mess of feathers. Any thoughts before I try to submit the report to ebird? There doesn't seem to be a "short-billed/long-billed dowitcher" option :)


    Thanks!

    Amy Silver (Boise)



  • Larry Arnold
    Will forgo my ego and vote. ;-) From the photos, Amy’s note to me about flight calls that she heard (favoring SB), considering the many factors discussed
    Message 2 of 3 , Jun 10, 2017

       

      Will forgo my ego and vote.   ;-)

       

      From the photos, Amy’s note to me about flight calls that she heard (favoring SB), considering the many factors discussed by Kaufman in his Advanced Birding (1990), and based on discussions of brightness and extent of the supercilium (not discussed in any of my field guides), discussions I recall having with birders on the Gulf Coast (leading TOS Conference field trips) who had much experience with both sp, my vote is for SB. 

       

      Problem areas for me are the neck (stripped of feathers?), flanks (spotting as opposed to barring), and the belly (can’t see well enough to determine extent, if any, of white).  Wish Sibley would include ssp names, not just ranges, so I could cross-examine the bird  ;-)  because it strikes me most as L. g. hendersoni (ssp of SB) per Kaufman, based on the appearance of flanks and belly in the first photo below.  But is this a stretch, since the range of hendersoni is more Prairie than Pacific (where L. g. caurinus lurks), even tho Kaufman drops a little hint on pg 69 that hendersoni is not impossible hereabouts?

       

      Anyway, I vote for SB, for what it’s worth.  Excellent find, Amy!  Great discussion, Amy and Jay!   =)

       

      Larry

       

       

      From: ible@yahoogroups.com [mailto:ible@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Jay Carlisle carlislejay@... [ible]
      Sent: Friday, June 9, 2017 10:29 PM
      To:
      amysilver819@...
      Cc:
      ible@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: [IBLE] Short-billed (?) Dowitcher still at Blacks Creek (Ada Co) [3 Attachments]

       

       

      [Attachment(s) from Jay Carlisle included below]

      Amy Silver found an oiled-looking dowitcher at Blacks Creek Reservoir (Ada Co) a few days ago and the extent of white in the tail seemed promising for a Short-billed.  She saw it again & heard it call yesterday.  Early evening today Bryce, Heidi, & I re-located it near the mouth of Blacks Creek as it enters the reservoir on the E end and were able to grab a few pics that seem to support Short-billed: among other features, (1) tail ~50% white, (2) small spots on sides of chest that transition to barring on the flanks, and (3) gold edges on the back feathers.  Any input welcome.

       

      Also, lots of other diversity there & RL was out there looking earlier in the afternoon and found a Red-necked Grebe on the deeper water - a great find for this spot and time of year!

       

      Jay

       

      image3.JPG

       

      image2.JPG

       

      image1.JPG


      On Jun 6, 2017, at 6:42 PM, amysilver819@... [ible] <ible-noreply@yahoogroups.com> wrote:

       

      Hi Everybody. This poor bird was at Blacks Creek Reservoir yesterday. Looks like some sort of dowitcher, but both short and long-billed are considered rare right now (by ebird). He seems thin, but that's maybe just because he's unwell?

       

      The bird was pretty messed up, so I gave him plenty of space...  

       

      I've never really tried to differentiate between the dowitchers, but this one struck me as different (maybe just acting strangely because he was sick?) In most of the photos (not many), his tail is covered by his wings, but in this one, you can really see the white bands. The bill and face seem right, but he's in bad shape and it's hard to see color patterns in the sad mess of feathers. Any thoughts before I try to submit the report to ebird? There doesn't seem to be a "short-billed/long-billed dowitcher" option :)

       

      Thanks!

      Amy Silver (Boise)

       

       

    • Cliff and Lisa Weisse
      FWIW, I ve thought some of the SB Dowitchers we see in Island Park are of the Prairie/hendersoni ssp because of the limited black markings on the flanks. I ve
      Message 3 of 3 , Jun 11, 2017
        FWIW, I've thought some of the SB Dowitchers we see in Island Park are
        of the Prairie/hendersoni ssp because of the limited black markings on
        the flanks. I've sent photos around to west coast shorebirders and
        received no support for hendersoni. Apparently many birds of the west
        coast/caurinus ssp look very much like these birds and can be
        confidently assigned to that taxon. If memory serves the entirely orange
        underparts of hendersoni was a key point of distinction and our birds
        all had at least some white below. Not sure about some of the brighter
        juveniles we see in fall but that's what I learned about our spring SBDOs.

        Cliff


        On 06/10/2017 10:10 AM, 'Larry Arnold' larnold47@... [ible] wrote:
        > Wish Sibley would include ssp names, not just ranges, so I could
        > cross-examine the bird ;-) because it strikes me most as L. g.
        > hendersoni (ssp of SB) per Kaufman, based on the appearance of flanks
        > and belly in the first photo below. But is this a stretch, since the
        > range of hendersoni is more Prairie than Pacific (where L. g. caurinus
        > lurks), even tho Kaufman drops a little hint on pg 69 that hendersoni
        > is not impossible hereabouts?

        --
        Cliff and Lisa Weisse
        Island Park, Idaho
        cliffandlisa@...
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