Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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[Mystery bird] photographed on the island of Labrador. [I will identify this bird for you tomorrow]

Image: Orphaned [larger view].

Please name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

Review all mystery birds to date.


  1. #1 Bob O'H
    January 31, 2009

    Aaah, cute.

    And happy birthday!

  2. #2 Greg Laden
    January 31, 2009

    Dog. Based on wet nose.

  3. #3 Coturnix
    January 31, 2009

    Online, nobody knows if you are a dog. Or a bird. Or a chimaera.

    Happy birdday!

  4. #4 PEM
    January 31, 2009

    I’d vote bird, based on the preponderance of feathers – that’s just down, not fur, on the face.

    Happy Birthday!

  5. #5 Bardiacblogger
    January 31, 2009

    Oh, that’s one of those rare Amazon Dogheaded Parrots you hear about!

    Happy Birthday!

  6. #6 llewelly
    January 31, 2009

    er. wow, are hybrids like that fertile? Do they have ‘hybrid vigor’?

    By the way, Happy birthday.

  7. #7 Larry Ayers
    January 31, 2009

    Great composite image! Happy birthday, GrrlScientist.

  8. #8 afarensis
    January 31, 2009

    Happy Birthday!

  9. #9 "GrrlScientist"
    January 31, 2009

    (blushes) thanks for the birdday wishes everyone, but you still have to identify the mystery bird!

  10. #10 Robert
    January 31, 2009

    Happy birthday & thanks for the present!

  11. #11 Pierce R. Butler
    January 31, 2009


    Have a happy!

  12. #12 Chris' Wills
    January 31, 2009

    Well it’s not a parrotweiller, but a close cousin I suspect.

    Happy birthday

  13. #13 Sven DiMilo
    January 31, 2009

    That’s the rare and elusive Dogheaded Conure, Aratinga caniceps. Field mark: the distinctive periwinkle hue of the feet.

  14. #14 Bob O'H
    January 31, 2009

    It looks like a giant green fragrant parrot, so it might be a dog-parrot, Strigops canis. The first description of the species was by James Cook:

    ‘… [it] clambers up and down trees because it cannot fly … it barks like a dog and smells like a posy of wet grasses… it allows itself to be picked up and handled without concern, and will willingly chase any stick thrown for it’ (Cook 1766, p. 69)

  15. #15 Gindy
    January 31, 2009

    Sven, the layman’s name for this beauty is the Red Winged Labradorian Parrot

  16. #16 Lilian Nattel
    January 31, 2009

    Happy Birthday! Have you read the kids’ Catwing series by Ursula Leguin?

  17. #17 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    January 31, 2009

    Happy birthday. The mystery bird? Somebody else beat me to it.

  18. #18 Her Reference Ron Sullivan
    January 31, 2009

    Clearly an Epauletted Weimaramacaw. There are similar species, mostly of the Beageagle genus, but nothing else so aggrievedly patient with human antics as the Weimaramacaw. Other, non-jiz fieldmarks: pale eyes, burgundy nose.

    Happy birthday! I hope you got one as a gift. A patient, long-suffering parrot who would fetch seems the perfect housemate to me.

  19. #19 blf
    January 31, 2009

    Self-portrait? Admittedly, my mental image of you is nothing like that, but as this is your birdogday, then, well, maybe, just maybe

  20. #20 Bob O'H
    January 31, 2009

    Now you mention it, blf, that wing does look like it’s fractured.

  21. #21 Allan Hannon
    January 31, 2009

    That’s a bird dog that went over to the dark side.
    Think most of your respondents didn’t click the “larger view” link and see the red crowned yellow headed woodpecker posted there.
    Happy Birthday.
    Love your mystery birds.

  22. #22 Heather
    January 31, 2009

    Great photo of the Mystery Bird! I always look forward to the photos you post on your blog.

    Happy Birthday, GrrlScientist! May this coming year be even better than your last!

  23. #23 'Tis Himself
    January 31, 2009

    That is a Red Blazoned Norwegian Green Parrot. It’s closely related to the more famous Norwegian Blue. You will notice that the Norwegian Green has a pensive look. It is probably pining for the fjords.

  24. #24 'Tis Himself
    January 31, 2009

    Oh, and happy birthday.

  25. #25 John Callender
    January 31, 2009

    It’s fun now, sure, but what about when someone pokes his eye out? What about then?

    I shall endeavor to maintain the dignity of the proceeding by making an actual guess. I think the droll photoshoppers at worth1000 might have used a Red-shouldered Macaw for the source image.

    The “larger image” is a really pretty shot of an adult male Golden-fronted Woodpecker.

    Thanks for all the mystery birds, which are like a new present every day. Happy birthday!

  26. #26 "GrrlScientist"
    January 31, 2009

    you all are so sweet, my peeps! you all — my readers and SB colleagues and PZ’s many wonderful readers too! — make it all so worthwhile and you all keep me going. truly, i can’t do this without you, your support and the many kindnesses that you do for me.

  27. #27 Cuttlefish
    January 31, 2009
  28. #28 DeafScientist
    January 31, 2009

    Happy Birdday! 🙂

    I’m still writing that grant application. (Due next week…) Then, all going well, I have a few months of (paid!) research work on a hobby-horse of mine. Hoping that will lead to more of the same. (The ups and downs of being an freelance scientist/consultant…!)

    Hope you’re well on your B-Day.

    PS: Great picture of a birog. Perhaps the leanan sídhe, or biróg, are powerful animagi and those with rare talent for animal and bird life see their hybrid forms?

  29. #29 JanieBelle
    January 31, 2009

    Happy Birthday, Grrrrrrrrrrl!

    Big wet kisses for you.

  30. #30 kamaka
    January 31, 2009

    Canis Zygodactylis

  31. #31 The Ridger
    January 31, 2009

    Happy Birthday!

  32. #32 reggie
    January 31, 2009

    Happy Birthday

    It’s that famous and rare Labrador Red-Winged Retriever

  33. #33 peter
    January 31, 2009

    Happy Birthday!

    the wet nose, clear blue eyes and the red splashes on the wings clearly identify this as the very endangered carolina labrakeet.

  34. #34 Tualha
    January 31, 2009

    Canary, obviously. Happy birthday.

  35. #35 Tziporah
    January 31, 2009

    Wishing you a Happy Birthday and a much better year ahead!

  36. #36 Hugh M.
    February 1, 2009

    hmmm Tricky.

    I would say, yes, it resembles a Weimaramacaw.

    But being from the isle of labrador, is it a labradorian paradox?

    ^^ Of course in Australia we have a similar, but probably much more venomous critter. Almost every farmer has a dogatoo.

  37. #37 Don Smith, FCD
    February 1, 2009

    Aww, John Callender beat me to it (by a whole day), but he left out field marks. Gold spot on back of neck for Golden-Fronted Woodpecker, gold spot on top of beak for adult and read spot on top of head for male.

  38. #38 David Harmon
    February 1, 2009

    Happy belated birthday!

  39. #39 John M.
    February 1, 2009

    It is, of course, from the less well-known western atlantic population of the Northern Blue Parrot superspecies. Better known is the eastern form, the Norwegian Blue that is, sadly, an ex-parrot, having gone to join the choir invisibule ca. 1973. The Labrador Blue does not have quite the same beautiful plumage, but there again the plumage don’t enter into to it.

    Do not under any circumstances nail its feet to the perch, as this may have been the reason for the extinction of its close relative.

    Ps. Happy birthday.

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