Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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Mystery shorebird, Avium mysteriosus, at Bolivar Flats, Texas.

Image: Joseph Kennedy, 25 August 2008 [larger view].

Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope with TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/640s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.


  1. #1 harry Presberg
    July 28, 2008

    Is it not one of those semipalmate plover thingys?

    Except it’s in Texas, where they do nothing by halves..

  2. #2 Russell
    July 28, 2008

    Looks a bit like a killdeer — which isn’t a shorebird — but it doesn’t have the black breast patch.

  3. #3 Phoca
    July 28, 2008

    Isn’t it a Ring-necked Plover?

  4. #4 JPS
    July 28, 2008

    I just got back from birding in Queens, NYC. If its not a semipalmated plover I’ve mis-identified the two birds I saw today.

  5. #5 Barn Owl
    July 28, 2008

    Can’t see the markings on its “face” too well, but since the beak looks dark and large, I guess Wilson’s plover.

  6. #6 "GrrlScientist"
    July 28, 2008

    okay, there are some correct answers and some incorrect answers. shall i let a few more people guess or shall i just tell you what this bird’s ID is?

  7. #7 The Ridger
    July 28, 2008

    I believe that’s George…

  8. #8 Barn Owl
    July 28, 2008

    Let more peeps guess – Darren Naish tortures readers for ages with these identification posts. It builds character. 😉

  9. #9 Cyndy
    July 28, 2008

    I’d vote semipalmated. Wilson’s beak is longer and all dark (I see some orange here), and the legs should be “caucasian-flesh”-colored (these are yellow). Also I believe Bolivar Flats is too far north for Wilson’s. Not that I’ve seen either of these personally 🙂

    FYI, killdeer count as shorebirds even though they live away from the shore, all in one happy family with other plovers.

  10. #10 Barn Owl
    July 28, 2008

    I’ve seen the occasional Wilson’s Plover at Bolivar Flats, but I can certainly see your point about the smidge of orange on the beak, and the leg color, Cyndy. Especially now that I’m home on my MacBook Pro.

    The size of the beak seems a tough call to me, because of the angle, but it’s diagnostic in the field, so to speak.

  11. #11 Ian
    July 29, 2008

    It’s a seriosuly anorexic penguin….

  12. #12 "GrrlScientist"
    July 29, 2008

    this is a semipalmated plover.

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