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Larry, et al.,

I've observed this before in BWTE at Eagle Bluffs CA.  It is a  
striking feature.  I wanted to learn more about it.

Fortunately, I have a copy of THE BLUE-WINGED TEAL, Its ecology and  
management, by Logan J. Bennett, Colletiate Press, Inc., Ames, Iowa  
1938. This book is based on Dr. Bennett's Ph.D dissertation research.

Below is what I found.

p. 8:

PLUMAGE VARIATIONS

Kennard (1919) described a sub-species of the Blue-winged Teal.  The  
promulgated name was Querquedula discors albinucha.  The basis for  
the description was the white crescent of the male in nuptial plumage  
extending over the eyes and joining at the back of the head to form a  
white nuchal spot in birds that apparently nested in the southern  
part of the United States.  This subspecific determination was not  
accepted by the American Ornithologists' Union (Oberholser, 1921) on  
the basis that the evidence presented indicated a difference of age  
or a color phase.  The author examined several hundred specimens from  
Mexico and the United States.  It was common to find specimens with  
the white crescent extending back over the eyes and joining.  On some  
specimens the feathers had to be parted before the few white feathers  
extending backward could be seen.  On other specimens the markings  
were quite distinct.  The author confirms the opinion of the American  
Ornithologists' Union that the presence of the white nuchal spot is  
merely a variation in plumage coloration.


Now, let's find a Garganey in Missouri!
Bodacious birding to all,

Edge Wade
Columbia, MO
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On Mar 30, 2009, at 3:48 PM, Larry Lade wrote:

> http://www.flickr.com/photos/11503968@N00/3399060559/


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