Posted by: 3pomjaeger3 | 9 September 2013

7 September: More storms!

ImageThese Brown Pelicans nicely illustrate some differences between juveniles (this year’s young) and second-year birds (last year’s young).  The reddish arrows point to the saw-tooth-like trailing edge of the wings of two juveniles, a feature created both by the pointed individual feathers and by the fact that the birds still have all of their juvenal flight feathers.  The green arrows point to the side and well-defined white wing stripe that is so typical of juveniles.  The other arrows point to some of the equivalent features in second-year Brown Pelicans:  Blue to the ragged, but not saw-tooted, trailing edge (it has replaced some juvenal flight feathers), yellow to the reduced and ill-defined white wing stripe (it has replaced quite a few underwing feathers with more adult-like brown ones), and black to dark streaks on the belly that are typical of older ages.  Photo copyright 7 September 2013 by Tony Leukering.  Click on image to see larger version.

With not much raptor action to report on, due to another day of passing thunderstorms blocking the path that brings most raptors to Smith Point, I figured that a little tutorial on Brown Pelican ageing would fill up some space.  Today’s storms came at about the worst possible time, cutting off a nicely developing hawk flight in mid-morning.  The rain and lightning continued long enough to encourage me to go check out Robbins Park at the tip of Smith Point, thus my report to eBird is split into two, with today’s eBird checklists found here and here.

Blue-gray Gnatcatcher tally:  22

Raptors counted:

  • Northern Harrier – 1 (brown)
  • Cooper’s Hawk – 4 (juveniles)
  • Broad-winged Hawk – 9 (juveniles)
  • Swainson’s Hawk – 1 (juvenile)
  • American Kestrel – 1 (female)
  • Total – 16

I have fallen behind on the blog, due to some car-battery issues that kept me from going to the town to access the Internet.  I will catch up tomorrow on the results from the 8th and 9th.

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