[Mystery bird] American Avocet chick, Recurvirostra americana, photographed in Arizona. [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]
Image: Richard Ditch, 2007 [larger view].
Date Time Original: 2007:06:01 18:52:32
Exposure Time: 1/159
Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.
Rick Wright, Managing Director of WINGS Birding Tours Worldwide, writes:
This bird’s downy plumage may not identify it to species, but it leaves no doubt that we are dealing with a very young bird — a chick, in fact. The long legs and bill, and the fact that it is standing in water, tells us that this is a shorebird.
Adult shorebirds are best identified by shape and structure, and the same goes for their young. The legs and feet of this bird are long and noticeably stout, with a thick ankle joint. The bill is very strange: relatively massive at the base, then tapering quickly to a fine and ever so slightly upturned tip. That last character puts us onto the correct identification, one that a quick examination of the bird’s plumage confirms.
Note the three dark “stripes” on the upperparts; compare that with the wing pattern of a fledged American Avocet. The hint of warm cinnamon on the side of the neck also presages the rusty neck of a juvenile avocet.