Is it possible to have some explanation as to how the Jaegers in the photos
in the following links were identified?

Looking at them from here, the bird in the Eades photo, identified as a
Parasitic,  has the light head one usually associates with a light juvenile
Long-tailed Jaeger. The head looks rounded, like a Long-tailed Jaeger. From
the angle it was taken, it lacks the peaked crown Sibley attributes to a
Parasitic. I am assuming that the ID was made from the bill, which does
appear to be a bit long for a LTJA. The nail, the really important mark, is
hard to see, but I can believe it is less than half the length of the
bill -- i.e. right for a Parasitic. The pale tips on the primaries are
pronounced, as in Parasitic, according to Sibley. Any other observations?
I'm not doubting the ID, but you do have to study it closely to see why it
is not a Long-tailed.

The bird in the Uffman photo looks superficially like a Pomarine -- with
bold white wing flashes and what looks at first like spoon-shaped tail
feathers. It takes a second look to realize that the bird is really flying
to the left, and what looks like a spoon-shaped tail is really the bird's
right wing. I am really confused by the bird's rear end, which looks as
though it has a white rump and broad black tail band. Looking again at the
right wing, it does appear not broad enough for a Pomarine. Once again, I'm
not doubting the ID as a Parasitic but would appreciate further details for
the benefit of all.

The center and right Elbert photos show a chest that looks too big for a
Long-tailed and a head that is relatively small -- a good mark for Parasitic
according to Sibley. The wing in the left-most photo is narrow enough to be
a Long-tailed and it has the outermost primaries white, as in an adult
Long-tailed. But the mantle does not have the light gray/black contrast of
an adult Long-tailed, and there appears to be a fairly dark chest band,
which is inconsistant with adult Long-tailed and more like a light adult
Parasitic.  The two right most photos do appear to be of juvenile birds. The
mantle of the left-most bird does not have the sandy color of a light
juvenile Long-tailed, nor do the underwing coverts of the right wing look
barred, as they should with a light or intermediate juvenile Long-tailed.
The nail on the bill does not look larger in relation to the rest of the
bill than does the bird in the Eades photo, and the bill does look
relatively as long as the Eades bird.  Why are these photos of Long-tailed
Jaegers and not of Parasitic?  Once again, I'm not trying to make trouble,
but I need help to understand this ID.


Bob Fisher
Independence, Missouri
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