Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

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[Mystery bird] Laysan Duck, also known as the Laysan Teal, Anas laysanensis, photographed on Midway Atoll National Wildlife Refuge, Midway Island, Hawai’i. [I will identify this bird for you in 48 hours]

Image: Joe Fuhrman, March 2010 [larger view].

NOTE: Unless you are a beginning bird watcher, PLEASE wait 24 hours before identifying this bird. (Intermediate-expert birders are encouraged to use puns, anagrams, poetry references or citations, Monty Python quotes or anything else that tickles your fancy to indicate you’ve identified this species during the first 24 hours after the image pops up. Thank you.) Everyone — even beginning birders! — PLEASE name at least one field mark that supports your identification.

Review all mystery birds to date.


  1. #1 PaoloV
    March 29, 2010

    Hmm, the location doesn’t look right for what I think this is. I would expect the Anatomy to be blue-green, but not in Hawaii, I thought it would Antipodean.

  2. #2 PaoloV
    March 29, 2010

    Oops, meant to say this subspecies would probably be like a Handyman to listen to.

  3. #3 carel
    March 29, 2010

    Not much to pick from here. Sarkozy might address Bushmen this way.

  4. #4 Jefrir
    March 29, 2010

    Definitely a duck

  5. #5 Arancaytar
    March 29, 2010

    It looks and swims like one, but does it quack like one? 😛

  6. #6 blf
    March 29, 2010

    I agree with Jefrir, it’s a duck. Dunno about the quacking, or for that matter, how well it goes with orange sauce or a fine vin.

  7. #7 Adrian
    March 29, 2010

    But…But it floats like a witch. Are we sure it isn’t a witch?

  8. #8 Daftie
    March 30, 2010

    From the colouring of the plumage, I would have said a chicken or a wren. However, as it seems to be enjoying itself on the water (it is laughing after all), I’m going to say seagull.

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