[Tweeters] The "duck" in the talons of the eagle - Issaquah Journal

Robert Pisano pisano at nwlink.com
Fri Feb 15 13:50:28 PST 2008


I'm thinking male Hooded Merganser.

Will post this question on an International Birding Blog and see what
others think.

Robert Pisano / Seattle

On Feb 15, 2008, at 12:46 PM, Kelly McAllister wrote:

> Here's what I've received from various Tweeters:


> Domestic hybrid Mallard?

> Female Common Merganser

> wigeon

> Horned Grebe, Common Goldeneye, or Merganser

> Western Grebe (two votes)

> American Wigeon based on head (but wing like a Redhead's)


> I initially thought it was a female Common Merganser. A co-worker

> suggested Western Grebe, in part based on the apparent legs at the

> extreme posterior end of the body. The legs look yellowish though

> which isn't right for Western Grebe, is it? The whitish primaries are

> puzzling as well. When I first looked at it and thought of female

> Common Merganser, I was imagining a chesnut brown color, representing

> the bird's head, up by the yellow feet of the eagle. However, when

> Western Grebe was suggested, I pondered whether the large white

> oval-shaped area in the middle of the bird's back is actually its head

> hanging down over its back. The problem with that interpretation is

> the break in the white as you look between the shoulders of the bird.

> Frankly, I don't know what the big white oval is. To me, it also looks

> too robust for a Western Grebe.


> Obviously, I don't know what it is. Maybe I need to find a phone

> number for Jeff Reed and see if he has other pictures or a higher

> resolution version of this one.


> Interestingly, I found a different picture of what I'm quite certain

> is the same event. It's at the following link (and it makes me more

> confused than ever):


> http://blog.seattlepi.nwsource.com/myseattlepix/photo.asp?

> photoID=1008602


> Oh well, it's fun... I guess.


> Kelly McAllister

> Olympia, Washington_______________________________________________

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> Tweeters at u.washington.edu

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