[Tweeters] Re: Long-tailed Duck at Redondo

Michael Price loblollyboy at gmail.com
Mon Nov 22 00:38:05 PST 2010


Hi Tweets

Randy writes: There was a single Long-tailed Duck at Redondo Beach late
today at the far
end of the boardwalk with a group of about 100 Goldeneyes and Scoters. I'm
not sure if it's a juvenile or female, but I was able to get a photograph.

Randy, it looks like a subadult male. First thing with uncertain waterfowl
plumages, I check my copy of *Waterfowl*, by Steve Madge and Hilary Burn
(1988), one of the titles in that sudden, exciting outpouring of
'Family-only' guides which began in the 1980's. Great illustrations showing
virtually any plumage---other than downy---of a particular waterfowl species
you're likely to see in the wild with equally excellent text (gotta love the
Brits). Without it, when it came to non-standard plumages not illustrated in
the then-available field guides, I was a complete by-guess-and-by-god
doofus; with it, I was able to attain a reasonable competence (as in: with
it, you'll be pulling off ageing-and-staging ID's which before you would
have thought "How do they *do* that?") Check it out. Full title: *Waterfowl:
**an identification guide to the ducks, geese and swans of the world.*

If you decide to add it to your library, find the hardcover edition if you
can (ISBN: 0-395-46727-6); some of the softcover editions suffer from sloppy
plate reproduction so the colors and images are washed-out and sometimes
unreliable.

Michael Price
Vancouver BC Canada
loblollyboy at gmail.com

Every answer deepens the mystery.
- E.O. Wilson
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