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Updated on May 21, 2015, 8:45 pm

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21 May: @ 20:41:00  Puzzling heron in Florida [Rex Rowan]
14 May: @ 12:00:47 Re: Yellow-bellied vs. Western flycatchers [Ted Floyd]
14 May: @ 12:00:45 Re: Passerina Buntings [Ted Floyd]
14 May: @ 12:00:29 Re: Yellow-bellied vs. Western flycatchers [Lethaby, Nick]
14 May: @ 11:58:37 Re: Yellow-bellied vs. Western flycatchers [Lethaby, Nick]
14 May: @ 11:19:58 Re: Yellow-bellied vs. Western flycatchers [Ted Floyd]
10 May: @ 20:53:06 Re: Lone Swan help [Matthew G Hunter]
01 May: @ 13:43:17  Progress on a Birders Digital Identification Manual [Mike O'Keeffe]
30 Apr: @ 23:09:04 Re: Lone Swan help [Matthew G Hunter]
30 Apr: @ 01:53:11  Lone Swan help [Matthew G Hunter]
28 Apr: @ 15:02:22 Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness [Richard Carlson]
28 Apr: @ 13:36:46 Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness [Don Richardson]
28 Apr: @ 12:12:52 Re: Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness [Bartelby Murray]
28 Apr: @ 09:47:04  Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness [Michael D. Collins]
25 Apr: @ 06:54:56  Possible LIEG X SNEG Hybrid [Harvey Tomlinson]





Subject: Puzzling heron in Florida
Date: Thu May 21 2015 20:41 pm
From: rexrowan AT gmail.com
 
On 5/18/15 Mitchell Harris found this heron at Merritt Island NWR. He
thought it might be a hybrid (Snowy X Tricolored or Little Blue) or a
Western Reef-Heron. He wrote, "The shape and length of the feathering under
the lower mandible in the MINWR bird fits every image of Reef Heron I
looked at and does not fit Snowy, Little Blue or Tri-colored." There's been
a lot of discussion on the state listserv since, some of it centering on
the behavior, which has been described only in general terms. Danny Bales
wrote, "It feeds like no other heron I've seen in Florida."

Mitchell Harris posted four photos on his Flickr account, beginning with
this one:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

Danny Bales posted four photos on his Flickr account, beginning here:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

Can anyone who has experience with Western Reef-Heron throw a little light
on the subject? It would be a first record for Florida.

Rex Rowan
Gainesville, Florida

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Yellow-bellied vs. Western flycatchers
Date: Thu May 14 2015 12:00 pm
From: tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com
 
Hi, all. In fact, the article in Birding is chiefly a review and distillation of the Baumann et al. paper. Sorry for not being clear about that.
Ted FloydLafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA

> From: nlethaby@ti.com
> To: tedfloyd57 AT HOTMAIL.COM; BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: RE: [BIRDWG01] Yellow-bellied vs. Western flycatchers
> Date: Thu, 14 May 2015 16:21:35 +0000
>
> There is a previously published paper that talks about the length of the edgings on the tertials, which I think is pretty similar to what you are describing. I suspect you are aware of this:
>
> Simple technique for distinguishing Yellow-bellied Flycatchers from Cordilleran and Pacific-slopeflycatchers
> Matthew J. Baumann, Spencer C. Galen, Nicholas D. Pederson, and Christopher C. Witt
>
> I agree that if it applies to all the secondaries and creates a dark bar that would be an easier feature to use in the field than one of the tertial edges.
>


Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Passerina Buntings
Date: Thu May 14 2015 12:00 pm
From: tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com
 
17+ years later, here's an update... :-)
http://birdingmagazine.aba.org...
(ABA password required for the full text.) Thanks to Nick Lethaby for this fine contribution.
Ted FloydLafayette, Boulder County, Colorado


Date: Sun, 15 Mar 1998 04:23:35 +0000
Reply-To: Jonathan Dunn
From: Jonathan Dunn
Subject: Passerina Buntings

I wish to further add to my earlier comments on the Morlan web page
Passerina Bunting photo. This reflects, in part, the further comments
posted by Matt Heindel and Will Russell on this subject.

Since my earlier post I had the chance to again look at perhaps a dozen
female Indigo Buntings at Bentsen RGV State Park as well as to look at fresh
winter skins at the Field Museum in Chicago. The Field Museum had a fine
winter series of Indigos from northern Central America as well as having a
small series of fresh winter plumaged Lazuli Buntings. Based on the above I
remain satisfied that the Santa Barbara winter bunting is in fact a Lazuli,
the only caution being if the photo is wildly misleading. Despite Kenn's
objections, I remain convinced that the presence or absence of streaking on
the underparts is the single best feature between the two species when
dealing with fresh winter plumaged birds (after conclusion of all
supplemental molts). All of the Indigos I saw again in south Texas and
every single specimen (of many) at the Field Museum shows to my eye obvious
blurry streaks across the breast and down the sides and flanks. Yes, the
streaks aren't as obvious as say on a Savannah Sparrow, Northern Waterthrush
or the like, but if looked for they are clearly visible. Of all the
specimens, the one with the faintest breast streaks was #211296 from
Taxisco, Guatemala on 13 Dec. 1950 (but even this one still had fairly
obvious streaks across the chest). It is worth repeating that Paul Lehman
looked for and saw no breast streaking (see his earlier post). He did see
very faint markings on the flanks.

The underparts on the Lazuli specimens showed not a trace of streaking
across the breast or for that matter along the sides and flanks. Instead
the color was a smooth and rich buff. Fall immature Lazulis do indeed show
fin pin like streaking (as opposed to blurry streaks of winter Indigos), but
all of this is lost by winter (at the latest).

My notes on wingbars from specimens of both species is that Lazlui has
bolder wingbars (broad buffy or cinnamon tips to median and greater
coverts), particularly the tips of the median coverts. Unfortunately, the
median coverts are largely hidden on the photo. The edges of the greater
coverts do look broad and contrasty to my eye, but I didn't download the
photo to compare directly to the skins. I agree with Heindel's
characterization of the difference between the two species in regards to the
wingbars.

An additional feature brought to my attention, and mentioned in the new Pyle
is the rump color. Indigos have uniformly brown upperparts with no trace of
contrast on the rump. The small series of fresh winter female Lazulis all
showed contrastingly paler gray rumps. The pale rump also appears on the
web page photo. I wondered if it might be light shining off the rump, but
the size and location of this pale patch seems a near perfect match. I was
not able to notice this paler patch on skins of young Lazulis in early fall
that still had fine streaking on the chest.

In reviewing all of the details, the only point that mitigates against
Lazlui (slightly) are the very faint flank markings that were noted (can't
see them in the photo). I thought that I might be able to perhaps see such
marks on the specimens of Lazuli, but upon reflection that seemed to be a
stretch.

I was able to look at three winter specimens of Varied Buntings (pulchra) at
the Field Museum. The spcimens were old and perhaps that explains the
"colder" look to the underparts (less warm brown) which were also more
uniform. The upperparts were also uniformly colored (like Indigo) and as
mentioned by others, the wingbars were thinner and duller and not as
contrasty (same for tertials). As Kenn indicated (and contra my earlier
post) there is some bluish visible in the tail on female Varied Buntings
(and immature males presumably). This color color was just barely evident
(more obvious on Lazluis), but that may have been due to the age of the
Varied Bunting specimens. Looking at skins I did become more impressed with
the bill shape of Varied (culmen decidedly more curved). Kevin Zimmer had
called my attention to this feature a good while ago but I just hadn't been
that impressed with it in the field. I now very much look forward to
looking at more.

Jon L. Dunn

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Yellow-bellied vs. Western flycatchers
Date: Thu May 14 2015 12:00 pm
From: nlethaby AT ti.com
 
The paper actually talks about the secondaries edging so it is the same feature.

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Ted Floyd
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2015 8:23 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Yellow-bellied vs. Western flycatchers

Hello, Birders. There's coverage of this matter in the April 2015 Birding. Note that Frontiers of Bird ID and Tony Leukering are mentioned in the coverage in Birding. Here's a link to the full article (password required):

http://birdingmagazine.aba.org...
Ted FloydLafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA





Hi all:

A while back, I was perusing the Sibley Guide and noticed that David had illustrated the secondary edgings of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (YBFL) and the Western Flycatchers (WEFL; Cordilleran -- COFL; Pacific-slope -- PSFL) differently. As there is so little text in the book, I always find it hard to determine whether differences illustrated by David are actual or just chance in the way that they were depicted. However, knowing David's attention to detail, I usually assume that any differences are real until proven otherwise. This all came up due to the recent plethora of reports of YBFL from Colorado. As Colorado's (and the West's) birders get more knowledgeable, they have turned their attention to Empidonax with a vengeance. However, having more features that are useful as separators would be helpful, so I was looking into the subject.

What I found in searching images of the various species on Flickr was that YBFL seemed to show a dark bar between the edges of the secondary fringes and the lower wing bar that was consistently wide, while those of WEFLs seemed to vary quite a bit, but included many individuals/situations where that bar was quite narrow. This difference in bar width approaches the difference in this feature between Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Hutton's Vireo (a quite useful feature in separating these amazingly-similar beasts). I provide numerous links below that I believe capture much of the variation in this feature in all three species.

My questions are: Have others looked into this? If so, what was the upshot?

Sincerely,

Tony Leukering
Villas, NJ



YBFL
http://www.flickr.com/photos/s...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/s...

and one from New Mexico
http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

this is the narrowest that I found
http://www.flickr.com/photos/e...


COFL with narrow
http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/b...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/d...

COFL with wide
http://www.flickr.com/photos/c...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/l...


PSFL with narrow
http://www.flickr.com/photos/m...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

PSFL with wide
http://www.flickr.com/photos/m...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/m...


WEFL with wide
http://www.flickr.com/photos/n...
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Yellow-bellied vs. Western flycatchers
Date: Thu May 14 2015 11:58 am
From: nlethaby AT ti.com
 
There is a previously published paper that talks about the length of the edgings on the tertials, which I think is pretty similar to what you are describing. I suspect you are aware of this:

Simple technique for distinguishing Yellow-bellied Flycatchers from Cordilleran and Pacific-slopeflycatchers
Matthew J. Baumann, Spencer C. Galen, Nicholas D. Pederson, and Christopher C. Witt

I agree that if it applies to all the secondaries and creates a dark bar that would be an easier feature to use in the field than one of the tertial edges.

-----Original Message-----
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [mailto:BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] On Behalf Of Ted Floyd
Sent: Thursday, May 14, 2015 8:23 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Yellow-bellied vs. Western flycatchers

Hello, Birders. There's coverage of this matter in the April 2015 Birding. Note that Frontiers of Bird ID and Tony Leukering are mentioned in the coverage in Birding. Here's a link to the full article (password required):

http://birdingmagazine.aba.org...
Ted FloydLafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA





Hi all:

A while back, I was perusing the Sibley Guide and noticed that David had illustrated the secondary edgings of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (YBFL) and the Western Flycatchers (WEFL; Cordilleran -- COFL; Pacific-slope -- PSFL) differently. As there is so little text in the book, I always find it hard to determine whether differences illustrated by David are actual or just chance in the way that they were depicted. However, knowing David's attention to detail, I usually assume that any differences are real until proven otherwise. This all came up due to the recent plethora of reports of YBFL from Colorado. As Colorado's (and the West's) birders get more knowledgeable, they have turned their attention to Empidonax with a vengeance. However, having more features that are useful as separators would be helpful, so I was looking into the subject.

What I found in searching images of the various species on Flickr was that YBFL seemed to show a dark bar between the edges of the secondary fringes and the lower wing bar that was consistently wide, while those of WEFLs seemed to vary quite a bit, but included many individuals/situations where that bar was quite narrow. This difference in bar width approaches the difference in this feature between Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Hutton's Vireo (a quite useful feature in separating these amazingly-similar beasts). I provide numerous links below that I believe capture much of the variation in this feature in all three species.

My questions are: Have others looked into this? If so, what was the upshot?

Sincerely,

Tony Leukering
Villas, NJ



YBFL
http://www.flickr.com/photos/s...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/s...

and one from New Mexico
http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

this is the narrowest that I found
http://www.flickr.com/photos/e...


COFL with narrow
http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/b...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/d...

COFL with wide
http://www.flickr.com/photos/c...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/l...


PSFL with narrow
http://www.flickr.com/photos/m...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

PSFL with wide
http://www.flickr.com/photos/m...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/m...


WEFL with wide
http://www.flickr.com/photos/n...
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Yellow-bellied vs. Western flycatchers
Date: Thu May 14 2015 11:19 am
From: tedfloyd57 AT hotmail.com
 
Hello, Birders. There's coverage of this matter in the April 2015 Birding. Note that Frontiers of Bird ID and Tony Leukering are mentioned in the coverage in Birding. Here's a link to the full article (password required):

http://birdingmagazine.aba.org...
Ted FloydLafayette, Boulder County, Colorado, USA





Hi all:

A while back, I was perusing the Sibley Guide and noticed that David had illustrated the secondary edgings of Yellow-bellied Flycatcher (YBFL) and the Western Flycatchers (WEFL; Cordilleran -- COFL; Pacific-slope -- PSFL) differently. As there is so little text in the book, I always find it hard to determine whether differences illustrated by David are actual or just chance in the way that they were depicted. However, knowing David's attention to detail, I usually assume that any differences are real until proven otherwise. This all came up due to the recent plethora of reports of YBFL from Colorado. As Colorado's (and the West's) birders get more knowledgeable, they have turned their attention to Empidonax with a vengeance. However, having more features that are useful as separators would be helpful, so I was looking into the subject.

What I found in searching images of the various species on Flickr was that YBFL seemed to show a dark bar between the edges of the secondary fringes and the lower wing bar that was consistently wide, while those of WEFLs seemed to vary quite a bit, but included many individuals/situations where that bar was quite narrow. This difference in bar width approaches the difference in this feature between Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Hutton's Vireo (a quite useful feature in separating these amazingly-similar beasts). I provide numerous links below that I believe capture much of the variation in this feature in all three species.

My questions are: Have others looked into this? If so, what was the upshot?

Sincerely,

Tony Leukering
Villas, NJ



YBFL
http://www.flickr.com/photos/s...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/9...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/s...

and one from New Mexico
http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

this is the narrowest that I found
http://www.flickr.com/photos/e...


COFL with narrow
http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/b...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/d...

COFL with wide
http://www.flickr.com/photos/c...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/l...


PSFL with narrow
http://www.flickr.com/photos/m...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

PSFL with wide
http://www.flickr.com/photos/m...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/j...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/m...


WEFL with wide
http://www.flickr.com/photos/n...
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Lone Swan help
Date: Sun May 10 2015 20:53 pm
From: matthewghunter AT gmail.com
 
Regarding the swan on the Lower Umpqua river, western Oregon, I have
obtained better photographs, as well as a marginal but hopefully adequate
recording of individual calls of the bird. I'm still "fishing" for some
opinions on this bird, and would appreciate any analysis.

PHOTOS: https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

VOICE RECORDING: www.umpquabirds.org/Swan-Voice_002.mp3

Thank-you,

Matt Hunter
Melrose, OR

On Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 11:16 PM, Matthew G Hunter wrote:

> Hi Folks,
>
> Following are links to three photos taken by visitors to the lower Umpqua
> River area, Douglas County, (western/coastal) Oregon. A couple of these
> photos are also in the submitted eBird checklist:
> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22917517
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> I at first agreed with the original report as Trumpeter, as did a couple
> of my Oregon campadres, but now others are leaning toward Tundra.
> Perspectives differ on how round or pointed the forehead feathering is, or
> how pinched or not pinched the feathering is near the eyes, or how broad or
> straight or rounded the bill/cheek feathering is. Bill seems larger from
> the side, not so large from the front. Can this bird be solidly put in one
> category or the other? And for what reasons?
>
> No one has heard the bird vocalize.
>
> Thanks for any perspective.
>
> Matt Hunter
> Melrose, OR
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Progress on a Birders Digital Identification Manual
Date: Fri May 1 2015 13:43 pm
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
All,



Members of this list may find some recent blog postings of interest. The scope of the blog is about as wide as it is likely to get. There are a web of strands of investigation now ongoing. These cross in various places but I have kept them separate below and as separate pages in the blog. So hopefully people can easily find what they have an interest in. Hope people are finding this stuff of use. Feedback as always welcome.



BIRDS AND LIGHT

Lighting under foliage canopy – it is about that green light we experience in temperate zones right about now.

http://birdingimagequalitytool...





COLOUR

Birders Colour Pallet Rev. 2.0 – A pallet designed with birders in mind to help with the objective analysis of colour from digital images.

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

UV reflectance in Blue Tit Cyanistes caeruleus. A continuation of one of the more popular series of postings in this blog.

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

Colour Profiling – A technique for comparing subtle colour differences between different images and individual birds. Chiffchaff forms looked at here.

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

Colour Saturation Experiments – saturation is interesting as it is not measured by the camera.

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

The links between brightness, contrast, saturation and sharpening tools, post-processing. All post-processing modifications have a knock-on effect on colour.

http://birdingimagequalitytool...





FIELD MARKS (A categorisation based on feather structure)

A Summary

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

Fringes, Notches and Tips – i.e. the outer rim

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

Feather centres – i.e. from the edge inwards.

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

Shaft-streaks and Tramlines – i.e. closest to the feather centre.

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

Colours

http://birdingimagequalitytool...



FIELD MARKS (Analysis - The Bold versus The Bland)

A Summary of the concept that field marks effectively come in two forms, bold markings and bland markings.

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

Testing the concept

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

http://birdingimagequalitytool...



FIELD MARKS (Lighting Considerations)

Lighting and avian anatomy

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

Lighting and bareparts

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

Shadow Topography – when field marks and contours align we have a potential problem

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

False Malar Stripe – one of the more prominent false field marks, owing to a bald patch, the submalar apterium

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

False Contrast – Manipulating image contrast can make some field marks go away and cause others to magically appear

http://birdingimagequalitytool...



FIELD MARKS (False Field Marks)

A summary

http://birdingimagequalitytool...





FORENSICS

Lighting and shadow direction – a couple of techniques to gauge lighting direction in an image

http://birdingimagequalitytool...

3D Modelling – potential uses in understanding lighting

http://birdingimagequalitytool...





GESTALT

An overview – summarising an area where the blog will be heading

http://birdingimagequalitytool...





HUMAN BIAS

Colour – “The Dress” Viral Phenomenon, 2015 – an incredible mass optical illusion from earlier this year.

http://birdingimagequalitytool...



Regards



Mike O’Keeffe

Ireland



http://birdingimagequalitytool...










Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Lone Swan help
Date: Thu Apr 30 2015 23:09 pm
From: matthewghunter AT gmail.com
 
Another photo of this bird is at



*http://tinyurl.com/q2la8ml *
You can zoom in a bit to look at the forehead feathering.

Matt

On Wed, Apr 29, 2015 at 11:16 PM, Matthew G Hunter wrote:

> Hi Folks,
>
> Following are links to three photos taken by visitors to the lower Umpqua
> River area, Douglas County, (western/coastal) Oregon. A couple of these
> photos are also in the submitted eBird checklist:
> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22917517
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> I at first agreed with the original report as Trumpeter, as did a couple
> of my Oregon campadres, but now others are leaning toward Tundra.
> Perspectives differ on how round or pointed the forehead feathering is, or
> how pinched or not pinched the feathering is near the eyes, or how broad or
> straight or rounded the bill/cheek feathering is. Bill seems larger from
> the side, not so large from the front. Can this bird be solidly put in one
> category or the other? And for what reasons?
>
> No one has heard the bird vocalize.
>
> Thanks for any perspective.
>
> Matt Hunter
> Melrose, OR
>

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Lone Swan help
Date: Thu Apr 30 2015 1:53 am
From: matthewghunter AT gmail.com
 
Hi Folks,

Following are links to three photos taken by visitors to the lower Umpqua
River area, Douglas County, (western/coastal) Oregon. A couple of these
photos are also in the submitted eBird checklist:
http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S22917517

https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

I at first agreed with the original report as Trumpeter, as did a couple of
my Oregon campadres, but now others are leaning toward Tundra. Perspectives
differ on how round or pointed the forehead feathering is, or how pinched
or not pinched the feathering is near the eyes, or how broad or straight or
rounded the bill/cheek feathering is. Bill seems larger from the side, not
so large from the front. Can this bird be solidly put in one category or
the other? And for what reasons?

No one has heard the bird vocalize.

Thanks for any perspective.

Matt Hunter
Melrose, OR

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness
Date: Tue Apr 28 2015 15:02 pm
From: rccarl AT pacbell.net
 
Would you and Bartelby please translate your cryptic comments for us peasants.
Richard Carlson
Full-time Birder, Biker and Rotarian
Part-time Economist
Tucson, AZ & Lake Tahoe, CA
rccarl@pacbell.net
Tucson 520-760-4935
Tahoe 530-581-0624
Cell 650-280-2965
From: Don Richardson
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Sent: Tuesday, April 28, 2015 11:03 AM
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness

I have made [red] an important point. I do hope you'll keep this promise.  


    On Tuesday, April 28, 2015 12:03 PM, Bartelby Murray wrote:
 

10 years of your foolishness indeed...

-Bartelby


The rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was announced ten years ago
> today. In the months and years that followed, much of the debate on the
> Luneau video took place on this forum. It was a waste of time to try to
> identify a bird in such low-quality footage on the basis of field marks
> alone, but a question about that video was resolved using a different
> approach. Were the wings still folded closed when a white object initially
> appeared to the left of the tree trunk? Or was it the underside of the
> right wing? This was an important question. If the original interpretation
> was mistaken, the first two diagnostic features would be eliminated. While
> this issue was being debated unconvincingly in Science, I was consumed with
> my work in the Pearl River. When I finally had a chance to check to see
> what the fuss was all about, a simple way to resolve the issue immediately
> occurred to me. Since the width of the tree trunk was known and the time
> between frames was known, it was a simple matter to estimate the
> acceleration of the white object using an elementary approach in
> computational physics. It's approximately 28 g, where g is the acceleration
> due to gravity. It's also easy to estimate the acceleration of the wingtip
> of a large woodpecker using the known wingspan and flap rate of the
> Pileated Woodpecker. It's approximately 30 g. On the basis of this simple
> analysis, there is no question that the white object must be the underside
> of the right wing. I was surprised that, out of all the people who had
> studied that video, nobody else seemed to have thought to look at the basic
> kinematics. I was even more surprised when I posted a comment about it here
> and then one of the more vocal skeptics remarked that Sibley et al. had
> already made that point, but in fact they hadn't.
>
> The only way to really learn about birds is to observe them in the field.
> While spending the better part of the past ten years in the habitat of the
> Ivory-billed Woodpecker, I had ten sightings and obtained three videos that
> show numerous flights and other behaviors, including some that don't appear
> in the historical film. These videos are much stronger than the Luneau
> video. They contain numerous events involving behaviors and characteristics
> that can only be explained in terms of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Some of
> the events also show field marks, but low-quality video footage usually
> provides other types of information (such as behaviors, flight path, and
> flap rate) much more reliably than field marks. I have previously posted
> comments on these data here, but the analysis and presentation of video
> footage is a non-trivial task. As mentioned above, for example, something
> important was missed in the analysis of the Luneau video despite the fact
> that many people had studied it. I had some assistance in the analysis of
> my data, including by Julie Zickefoose, Bret Tobalske, and Geoff Hill, but
> I have done much of it on my own. I have posted updated analyses of the
> videos and lectures on various issues at the following URL:
> Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness



>
> I spent considerable time researching the literature on this species and
> relevant topics such as flight mechanics. I spent some time researching
> threats to habitat and discovered that one of the major river basins within
> the range of this species has been heavily logged in recent years. I
> identified several factors (which should be easy for any experienced bird
> watcher to appreciate) that make these birds exceptionally elusive -- it
> would be unrealistic to expect anyone to obtain a clear photo in time to
> make a difference in the conservation of this species. I identified
> numerous mistakes that have clouded this issue, including some that were
> made decades ago. The lectures are based on a decade of field work and
> research, direct observations, and the strongest collection of data that
> has been obtained on this species in decades. None of this evidence has
> been refuted. I'm sure there are many birders who think they know better
> despite never stepping foot in the habitat of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker,
> and that's one of the reasons why the American bird watching community
> failed to document this species for decades.
> I have essentially completed my work on this issue. So this will probably
> be my final input. I hope that some birders will develop an interest in
> using factors other than field marks for identification and will give the
> Ivory-billed Woodpecker the due diligence that it deserves. After failing
> to document the Ivory-billed Woodpecker for decades, the American bird
> watching community made a much bigger mistake by failing to rise to the
> occasion when others spent years in the field and obtained data that could
> have resolved this issue.



>
> Mike CollinsAlexandria, Virginia
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


 
Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html


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Subject: Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness
Date: Tue Apr 28 2015 13:36 pm
From: donrich514 AT sbcglobal.net
 
I have made [red] an important point. I do hope you'll keep this promise.   


On Tuesday, April 28, 2015 12:03 PM, Bartelby Murray wrote:


10 years of your foolishness indeed...

-Bartelby


The rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was announced ten years ago
> today. In the months and years that followed, much of the debate on the
> Luneau video took place on this forum. It was a waste of time to try to
> identify a bird in such low-quality footage on the basis of field marks
> alone, but a question about that video was resolved using a different
> approach. Were the wings still folded closed when a white object initially
> appeared to the left of the tree trunk? Or was it the underside of the
> right wing? This was an important question. If the original interpretation
> was mistaken, the first two diagnostic features would be eliminated. While
> this issue was being debated unconvincingly in Science, I was consumed with
> my work in the Pearl River. When I finally had a chance to check to see
> what the fuss was all about, a simple way to resolve the issue immediately
> occurred to me. Since the width of the tree trunk was known and the time
> between frames was known, it was a simple matter to estimate the
> acceleration of the white object using an elementary approach in
> computational physics. It's approximately 28 g, where g is the acceleration
> due to gravity. It's also easy to estimate the acceleration of the wingtip
> of a large woodpecker using the known wingspan and flap rate of the
> Pileated Woodpecker. It's approximately 30 g. On the basis of this simple
> analysis, there is no question that the white object must be the underside
> of the right wing. I was surprised that, out of all the people who had
> studied that video, nobody else seemed to have thought to look at the basic
> kinematics. I was even more surprised when I posted a comment about it here
> and then one of the more vocal skeptics remarked that Sibley et al. had
> already made that point, but in fact they hadn't.
>
> The only way to really learn about birds is to observe them in the field.
> While spending the better part of the past ten years in the habitat of the
> Ivory-billed Woodpecker, I had ten sightings and obtained three videos that
> show numerous flights and other behaviors, including some that don't appear
> in the historical film. These videos are much stronger than the Luneau
> video. They contain numerous events involving behaviors and characteristics
> that can only be explained in terms of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Some of
> the events also show field marks, but low-quality video footage usually
> provides other types of information (such as behaviors, flight path, and
> flap rate) much more reliably than field marks. I have previously posted
> comments on these data here, but the analysis and presentation of video
> footage is a non-trivial task. As mentioned above, for example, something
> important was missed in the analysis of the Luneau video despite the fact
> that many people had studied it. I had some assistance in the analysis of
> my data, including by Julie Zickefoose, Bret Tobalske, and Geoff Hill, but
> I have done much of it on my own. I have posted updated analyses of the
> videos and lectures on various issues at the following URL:
> Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness



>
> I spent considerable time researching the literature on this species and
> relevant topics such as flight mechanics. I spent some time researching
> threats to habitat and discovered that one of the major river basins within
> the range of this species has been heavily logged in recent years. I
> identified several factors (which should be easy for any experienced bird
> watcher to appreciate) that make these birds exceptionally elusive -- it
> would be unrealistic to expect anyone to obtain a clear photo in time to
> make a difference in the conservation of this species. I identified
> numerous mistakes that have clouded this issue, including some that were
> made decades ago. The lectures are based on a decade of field work and
> research, direct observations, and the strongest collection of data that
> has been obtained on this species in decades. None of this evidence has
> been refuted. I'm sure there are many birders who think they know better
> despite never stepping foot in the habitat of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker,
> and that's one of the reasons why the American bird watching community
> failed to document this species for decades.
> I have essentially completed my work on this issue. So this will probably
> be my final input. I hope that some birders will develop an interest in
> using factors other than field marks for identification and will give the
> Ivory-billed Woodpecker the due diligence that it deserves. After failing
> to document the Ivory-billed Woodpecker for decades, the American bird
> watching community made a much bigger mistake by failing to rise to the
> occasion when others spent years in the field and obtained data that could
> have resolved this issue.



>
> Mike CollinsAlexandria, Virginia
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness
Date: Tue Apr 28 2015 12:12 pm
From: bartelby.murray AT gmail.com
 
10 years of your foolishness indeed...

-Bartelby


The rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was announced ten years ago
> today. In the months and years that followed, much of the debate on the
> Luneau video took place on this forum. It was a waste of time to try to
> identify a bird in such low-quality footage on the basis of field marks
> alone, but a question about that video was resolved using a different
> approach. Were the wings still folded closed when a white object initially
> appeared to the left of the tree trunk? Or was it the underside of the
> right wing? This was an important question. If the original interpretation
> was mistaken, the first two diagnostic features would be eliminated. While
> this issue was being debated unconvincingly in Science, I was consumed with
> my work in the Pearl River. When I finally had a chance to check to see
> what the fuss was all about, a simple way to resolve the issue immediately
> occurred to me. Since the width of the tree trunk was known and the time
> between frames was known, it was a simple matter to estimate the
> acceleration of the white object using an elementary approach in
> computational physics. It's approximately 28 g, where g is the acceleration
> due to gravity. It's also easy to estimate the acceleration of the wingtip
> of a large woodpecker using the known wingspan and flap rate of the
> Pileated Woodpecker. It's approximately 30 g. On the basis of this simple
> analysis, there is no question that the white object must be the underside
> of the right wing. I was surprised that, out of all the people who had
> studied that video, nobody else seemed to have thought to look at the basic
> kinematics. I was even more surprised when I posted a comment about it here
> and then one of the more vocal skeptics remarked that Sibley et al. had
> already made that point, but in fact they hadn't.
>
> The only way to really learn about birds is to observe them in the field.
> While spending the better part of the past ten years in the habitat of the
> Ivory-billed Woodpecker, I had ten sightings and obtained three videos that
> show numerous flights and other behaviors, including some that don't appear
> in the historical film. These videos are much stronger than the Luneau
> video. They contain numerous events involving behaviors and characteristics
> that can only be explained in terms of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Some of
> the events also show field marks, but low-quality video footage usually
> provides other types of information (such as behaviors, flight path, and
> flap rate) much more reliably than field marks. I have previously posted
> comments on these data here, but the analysis and presentation of video
> footage is a non-trivial task. As mentioned above, for example, something
> important was missed in the analysis of the Luneau video despite the fact
> that many people had studied it. I had some assistance in the analysis of
> my data, including by Julie Zickefoose, Bret Tobalske, and Geoff Hill, but
> I have done much of it on my own. I have posted updated analyses of the
> videos and lectures on various issues at the following URL:
> Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness



>
> I spent considerable time researching the literature on this species and
> relevant topics such as flight mechanics. I spent some time researching
> threats to habitat and discovered that one of the major river basins within
> the range of this species has been heavily logged in recent years. I
> identified several factors (which should be easy for any experienced bird
> watcher to appreciate) that make these birds exceptionally elusive -- it
> would be unrealistic to expect anyone to obtain a clear photo in time to
> make a difference in the conservation of this species. I identified
> numerous mistakes that have clouded this issue, including some that were
> made decades ago. The lectures are based on a decade of field work and
> research, direct observations, and the strongest collection of data that
> has been obtained on this species in decades. None of this evidence has
> been refuted. I'm sure there are many birders who think they know better
> despite never stepping foot in the habitat of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker,
> and that's one of the reasons why the American bird watching community
> failed to document this species for decades.
> I have essentially completed my work on this issue. So this will probably
> be my final input. I hope that some birders will develop an interest in
> using factors other than field marks for identification and will give the
> Ivory-billed Woodpecker the due diligence that it deserves. After failing
> to document the Ivory-billed Woodpecker for decades, the American bird
> watching community made a much bigger mistake by failing to rise to the
> occasion when others spent years in the field and obtained data that could
> have resolved this issue.



>
> Mike CollinsAlexandria, Virginia
> Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archives/birdwg01.html



Subject: Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness
Date: Tue Apr 28 2015 9:47 am
From: mike AT fishcrow.com
 
The rediscovery of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker was announced ten years ago today. In the months and years that followed, much of the debate on the Luneau video took place on this forum. It was a waste of time to try to identify a bird in such low-quality footage on the basis of field marks alone, but a question about that video was resolved using a different approach. Were the wings still folded closed when a white object initially appeared to the left of the tree trunk? Or was it the underside of the right wing? This was an important question. If the original interpretation was mistaken, the first two diagnostic features would be eliminated. While this issue was being debated unconvincingly in Science, I was consumed with my work in the Pearl River. When I finally had a chance to check to see what the fuss was all about, a simple way to resolve the issue immediately occurred to me. Since the width of the tree trunk was known and the time between frames was known, it was a simple matter to estimate the acceleration of the white object using an elementary approach in computational physics. It's approximately 28 g, where g is the acceleration due to gravity. It's also easy to estimate the acceleration of the wingtip of a large woodpecker using the known wingspan and flap rate of the Pileated Woodpecker. It's approximately 30 g. On the basis of this simple analysis, there is no question that the white object must be the underside of the right wing. I was surprised that, out of all the people who had studied that video, nobody else seemed to have thought to look at the basic kinematics. I was even more surprised when I posted a comment about it here and then one of the more vocal skeptics remarked that Sibley et al. had already made that point, but in fact they hadn't.  
The only way to really learn about birds is to observe them in the field. While spending the better part of the past ten years in the habitat of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, I had ten sightings and obtained three videos that show numerous flights and other behaviors, including some that don't appear in the historical film. These videos are much stronger than the Luneau video. They contain numerous events involving behaviors and characteristics that can only be explained in terms of an Ivory-billed Woodpecker. Some of the events also show field marks, but low-quality video footage usually provides other types of information (such as behaviors, flight path, and flap rate) much more reliably than field marks. I have previously posted comments on these data here, but the analysis and presentation of video footage is a non-trivial task. As mentioned above, for example, something important was missed in the analysis of the Luneau video despite the fact that many people had studied it. I had some assistance in the analysis of my data, including by Julie Zickefoose, Bret Tobalske, and Geoff Hill, but I have done much of it on my own. I have posted updated analyses of the videos and lectures on various issues at the following URL:
Ivory-billed Woodpecker: Ten Years of Foolishness

I spent considerable time researching the literature on this species and relevant topics such as flight mechanics. I spent some time researching threats to habitat and discovered that one of the major river basins within the range of this species has been heavily logged in recent years. I identified several factors (which should be easy for any experienced bird watcher to appreciate) that make these birds exceptionally elusive -- it would be unrealistic to expect anyone to obtain a clear photo in time to make a difference in the conservation of this species. I identified numerous mistakes that have clouded this issue, including some that were made decades ago. The lectures are based on a decade of field work and research, direct observations, and the strongest collection of data that has been obtained on this species in decades. None of this evidence has been refuted. I'm sure there are many birders who think they know better despite never stepping foot in the habitat of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker, and that's one of the reasons why the American bird watching community failed to document this species for decades. 
I have essentially completed my work on this issue. So this will probably be my final input. I hope that some birders will develop an interest in using factors other than field marks for identification and will give the Ivory-billed Woodpecker the due diligence that it deserves. After failing to document the Ivory-billed Woodpecker for decades, the American bird watching community made a much bigger mistake by failing to rise to the occasion when others spent years in the field and obtained data that could have resolved this issue.  

Mike CollinsAlexandria, Virginia

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...



Subject: Possible LIEG X SNEG Hybrid
Date: Sat Apr 25 2015 6:54 am
From: ShearH2Os AT aol.com
 
Hi All,
I photographed an odd Egret at Edwin B Forsythe (Brig) New Jersey last
Tuesday that I believe at the very least is a hybrid LIEG x SNEG.
It's head is a bit shaggy, but the two long lanceolated plumes are very
distinctive. It's body, as seen in pic 2, is bulkier/heavier than the Snowy's
around it and based on the feathered tibia area the legs are stouter. I
couldn't tell height because of varying water levels. It was more "stoic" than
the numerous Snowy's around it and would not shuffle around like the
Snowy's with the slamming of car doors although that's what finally put it to
flight.
Thoughts on this bird would be greatly appreciated.
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
Thanks and Good Birding,
Harvey Tomlinson
NJ

Archives: http://listserv.ksu.edu/archiv...


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