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Frankie and Mo Birders,

This bird is exhibiting all the characters which I spoke to you in the last private note. Your last bird - or at least those photos- did not exhibit what this bird is showing.

Hoary Redpolls show a “pushed in “ look in the facial area. The Bill is tiny and is a prominent reason for the effect.

The two critical areas are on the rump and undertail coverts. In birds which are uncontroversially Hoary they always are UN-STREAKED. These photos do show an individual which has no ( OR MINIMAL) streaking on the crissum and rump as clearly showing in the photo where the folded wings are open.

This bird is not exhibiting the normal “frosted “ look of many Hoaries - but it does not matter.

Congratulations- your persistence paid off.

The fact that David Sibley “approves this bird” only  carries water in some peoples bucket. His scale chart which you included on one of your older posts does not help to clarify the identification of this group. Because you can take any identification parameter - push it up to the line - but if if any grouping of characters does not cross the line, the identification of the individual will never cross the line either.


Case in point: Yesterday, I was birding with two other really excellent birders out of the Cape May ‘school of birding’.  They have serious chops. Why do you think I say that?

WE spotted a large falcon moving very fast without any apparent effort. Out here in Montana, the many of the very difficult birds for Missouri are in some cases, considerably easier to gain experience with. The size of this falcon led ones mind very quickly in one direction. The driver was not jamming gears to get the truck turned around, so when we finally got positioned it seemed a blessing that the bird had picked a short flat-topped phone pole. The breast streaking, facial characteristics and blockier shaping instantly led me to call out -Gyrfalcon. The size was simply huge. It appeared to be a male Grey-phased Gyr. The bird faced us. Back color, tail length and other important features , but as a train approached the driver took several photos. All of us were excited and confident. The bird flushed before the train got too close and immediately our impression shifted. The axillars were clearly darker than the remainder of the underwing and the back color was a medium sandy brown. We had been fooled by the largest female Prairie Falcon I have ever seen. 

Be certain when I spend time with raptors - and I have since 1966- I am talking 1000’s of sightings and spending time with birds during filming can rapidly reach into hundreds of hours often in very close proximity to birds from blinds.

The moustache mark was slighter, the streaking more confined and of larger tear drops, and the blocky shaping particularly of the head and shoulders , All of those characters crossed the line to Gyrfalcon. But once the back and axillars were seen, any other number of characters were immediately negated. And by the way 3 different Gyrs are being seen irregularly in the area where we birded… none of which mattered - the bird was unequivocaly a female Prairie Falcon.

The same is true with the Redpoll complex. Lots of things can point you to the wrong conclusion and David’s chart is one of them.


  
Tim


Timothy Barksdale
Birdman Productions LLC
P.O. Box 1124
65 Mountain View Dr.
Choteau, MT 59422

406-466-3664- Home Land Line

406-855-Bird (2473) New cell number


At Birdman Productions, we make films about birds, and tell stories that change people's lives.








> On Feb 14, 2015, at 7:00 PM, MOBIRDS-L automatic digest system <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> 
> 
> Date: February 14, 2015 at 7:00:00 PM MST
> Reply-To: Missouri Wild Bird Forum <[log in to unmask]>
> From: MOBIRDS-L automatic digest system <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: MOBIRDS-L Digest - 13 Feb 2015 to 14 Feb 2015 (#2015-36)
> To: <[log in to unmask]>
> 
> 
> There are 3 messages totaling 97 lines in this issue.
> 
> Topics of the day:
> 
>  1. leucistic Purple Finch
>  2. Ok redpoll experts!!
>  3. Hoary Redpoll Adair Co
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
> Questions or comments? Email the list owners:
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
> ABA Birding Code of Ethics
> http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html
> There are 3 messages totaling 97 lines in this issue.
> 
> Topics of the day:
> 
>  1. leucistic Purple Finch
>  2. Ok redpoll experts!!
>  3. Hoary Redpoll Adair Co
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
> Questions or comments? Email the list owners:
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
> ABA Birding Code of Ethics
> http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html
> 
> 
> 
> Date: February 14, 2015 at 10:22:06 AM MST
> From: "Luscier, Jason" <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: leucistic Purple Finch
> 
> 
> Hello MOBirders,
> 
> I've had many Purple Finches at my feeders over the past few weeks.  Today I noticed one leucistic male bird.  Incredible!!  I've posted a few pictures on flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/124142450@N05/ <https://www.flickr.com/photos/124142450@N05/>.
> 
>  <https://www.flickr.com/photos/124142450@N05/16502900336/>Enjoy!
> 
> Cheers!
> 
> Jason
> 
> Jason D. Luscier
> Assistant Professor of Biology
> Truman State University
> Kirksville, MO 63501
> 
> 
> 
> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
> Archives <https://po.missouri.edu/archives/mobirds-l.html> / Subscription options <https://po.missouri.edu/cgi-bin/wa?SUBED1=mobirds-l&A=1> / ASM Website <http://mobirds.org/> / Email the list owners <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
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> ABA Birding Code of Ethics <http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html>
> 
> 
> Date: February 14, 2015 at 10:29:41 AM MST
> From: Frankie Cuculich <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Ok redpoll experts!!
> 
> 
> I uploaded 7 more photos.  The photos have darkened some, but I thank I got the shots that will ID this bird once and for all.  Tell me what you all thank.  9 redpolls are still coming to my feeders daily.
> http://backwoodsfrank.smugmug.com
> 
> Frankie Cuculich
> Brashear, Mo.
> Adair Co.
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
> Questions or comments? Email the list owners:
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
> ABA Birding Code of Ethics
> http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html
> I uploaded 7 more photos.  The photos have darkened some, but I thank I got the shots that will ID this bird once and for all.  Tell me what you all thank.  9 redpolls are still coming to my feeders daily.
> http://backwoodsfrank.smugmug.com
> 
> Frankie Cuculich
> Brashear, Mo.
> Adair Co.
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
> Questions or comments? Email the list owners:
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
> ABA Birding Code of Ethics
> http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html
> 
> 
> 
> Date: February 14, 2015 at 1:41:26 PM MST
> From: Frankie Cuculich <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Hoary Redpoll Adair Co
> 
> 
> Hoary redpoll has been confirmed by David Sibley.
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
> Questions or comments? Email the list owners:
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
> ABA Birding Code of Ethics
> http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html
> Hoary redpoll has been confirmed by David Sibley.
> 
> ------------------------------------------------------------
> The Audubon Society of Missouri's Wild Bird Discussion Forum
> Questions or comments? Email the list owners:
> mailto:[log in to unmask]
> ABA Birding Code of Ethics
> http://www.aba.org/about/ethics.html
> 
> 


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