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Updated on April 22, 2017, 2:35 am

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22 Apr: @ 02:33:26  Odd Zonotrichia pt 2 [Michael Park]
22 Apr: @ 02:00:40  Odd Zonotrichia [Michael Park]
21 Apr: @ 18:35:26 Re: Strange Nashville Warbler at South Padre Island, 4/17/17 [Glenn d'Entremont]
21 Apr: @ 14:04:33  Fwd: Swan hybrid? or Oddity? [Tony Leukering]
20 Apr: @ 21:45:37  Strange Nashville Warbler at South Padre Island, 4/17/17 [000002580802dbdc-dmarc-request]
19 Apr: @ 14:54:33 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [David Sibley]
19 Apr: @ 13:17:58 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Martin Reid]
19 Apr: @ 11:28:53 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [David Sibley]
19 Apr: @ 10:24:22 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [trose]
19 Apr: @ 05:49:25 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Erik Nielsen]
19 Apr: @ 01:47:55 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Robert O'Brien]
19 Apr: @ 00:43:20 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Tony Leukering]
18 Apr: @ 23:24:31 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Jon Ruddy]
18 Apr: @ 22:53:35 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Suzanne Sullivan]
18 Apr: @ 22:17:55 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Christopher Vogel]
18 Apr: @ 21:47:56 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Tony Leukering]
18 Apr: @ 21:29:24 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Kevin J. McGowan]
18 Apr: @ 20:32:51 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Erik Nielsen]
18 Apr: @ 20:24:28 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [0000030da70e3b9c-dmarc-request]
18 Apr: @ 18:59:22 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Erik Nielsen]
18 Apr: @ 18:04:42 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Jason Rogers]
18 Apr: @ 14:08:51 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [KEVIN karlson]
18 Apr: @ 13:22:46 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Natalie McNear]
18 Apr: @ 07:23:15 Re: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Kevin J. McGowan]
18 Apr: @ 06:52:30  Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id [Franklin Haas]
18 Apr: @ 06:28:19 Re: Swan ID [Mike Buckland]
17 Apr: @ 14:58:57 Re: Swan ID [Martin Reid]
17 Apr: @ 14:57:24 Re: Swan ID [KEVIN karlson]
17 Apr: @ 14:04:06  Swan ID [Hugh Ranson]
17 Apr: @ 13:28:40 Re: Possible PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER in NEBRASKA [KEVIN karlson]
17 Apr: @ 00:28:13  Possible PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER in NEBRASKA [Noah Arthur]
16 Apr: @ 13:39:25 Re: Female Hummingbird [Joseph Morlan]
14 Apr: @ 07:41:05 Re: Odd Duck [Shaibal Mitra]
14 Apr: @ 06:05:25 Re: Odd Duck [Bates Estabrooks]
13 Apr: @ 18:34:20 Re: Odd Duck [Wayne Hoffman]
13 Apr: @ 17:27:39 Re: Odd Duck [Bates Estabrooks]
12 Apr: @ 20:12:05 Re: Odd Duck [Kevin J. McGowan]
12 Apr: @ 17:53:52  Odd Duck [Bates Estabrooks]
09 Apr: @ 11:14:02  Female Hummingbird [Joseph Morlan]
08 Apr: @ 02:47:13 Re: Digital image corruption and rarity records [Michael O'Keeffe]
07 Apr: @ 15:20:47 Re: Digital image corruption and rarity records [Noah Arthur]
07 Apr: @ 14:57:53 Re: Digital image corruption and rarity records [Michael O'Keeffe]
07 Apr: @ 13:42:56 Re: Digital image corruption and rarity records [Joseph Morlan]
07 Apr: @ 12:37:48 Re: Digital image corruption and rarity records [John Sterling]
07 Apr: @ 11:09:30 Re: Digital image corruption and rarity records [Robert O'Brien]
07 Apr: @ 11:05:00 Re: Digital image corruption and rarity records [Robert O'Brien]
07 Apr: @ 01:49:47 Re: Digital image corruption and rarity records [Michael O'Keeffe]
06 Apr: @ 22:52:14 Re: Digital image corruption and rarity records [Kevin J. McGowan]
06 Apr: @ 18:50:01  Digital image corruption and rarity records [Noah Arthur]
26 Mar: @ 02:57:38 Re: Comments requested on a Podiceps grebe in Florida, Part II [Michael O'Keeffe]





Subject: Odd Zonotrichia pt 2
Date: Sat Apr 22 2017 2:33 am
From: dpbot AT earthlink.net
 
I added another image with the bird facing forward, rather than facing to its left.

https://www.flickr.com/gp/7475...

Michael Park
Berkeley, CA

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Odd Zonotrichia
Date: Sat Apr 22 2017 2:00 am
From: dpbot AT earthlink.net
 
Hello,

This bird was initially facing away from me. And at first glance, I thought it might be a White-crowned Sparrow. But then I notice that the forehead was yellow. The bill is pink-orange.

I don't recall seeing Golden-crowned Sparrow with an orange bill.

I toyed with the idea of this being a Golden-crowned x White-crowned Sparrow.

But maybe others have opinions?

https://www.flickr.com/gp/7475...

Unfortunately there are no images from the rear. The bird disappeared when hikers approached.

Michael Park
Berkeley

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Strange Nashville Warbler at South Padre Island, 4/17/17
Date: Fri Apr 21 2017 18:35 pm
From: gdentremont1 AT comcast.net
 
A search turned up these individual(s).


http://www.surfbirds.com/namer...


https://www.123rf.com/photo_34...


Not quite the same.


Glenn


Glenn d'Entremont: gdentremont1@comcast.net Stoughton, MA


>
> On April 20, 2017 at 10:45 PM 000002580802dbdc-dmarc-request@LISTSERV.KSU.EDU wrote:
>
> I photographed this strange Nashville Warbler at the South Padre Island Convention Center on 4/17/17. Noteworthy are the dark lower throat and white edges of the vent. Could it be a hybrid? Some images are at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> Comments are welcome. Thanks.
>
> Dan Jones
> Progreso Lakes, TX
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Fwd: Swan hybrid? or Oddity?
Date: Fri Apr 21 2017 14:04 pm
From: 000000b797e8dae8-dmarc-request AT listserv.ksu.edu
 
All:

Here is the opinion of the dean of hybrid waterfowl.

Tony

Tony Leukering
currently Medicine Bow, WY
www.aba.org/photoquiz/
www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering
http://cowyebird.blogspot.com

Begin forwarded message:

> From: Steven Mlodinow
> Date: April 21, 2017 at 12:47:48 MDT
> To: greatgrayowl@aol.com
> Subject: Fwd: Swan hybrid? or Oddity?
>
> For your torture
> Steve
>
>
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Jfffff6rn Lehmhus
> To: Steven Mlodinow
> Sent: Fri, Apr 21, 2017 12:02 pm
> Subject: Re: Swan hybrid? or Oddity?
>
> Hi Steve, I think it is a hybrid involving Mute swan . the tricolored bill is quite typical for such hybrids with trumpeter/Tundra/whooper. However, Looking at Mute x Whoopper , there is usually more yellow on the bill
>
> http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-rSHX...
> http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_rn7V...
> http://birdhybrids.blogspot.de...
>
> and in Mute x Trumpeter or Mute x Tundra there is more black towards the bill base
> http://www.trumpeterswansociet...
>
> But there are hybrids that look similar to your photo. It was said they have been from breeding of Trumpeter x Tundra swan hybrids ("Trumpling swans") with Mute swan. the result, so called "Mumpling swans" luckily seem to be infertile (and have a bill that could fit) (Personally i think they could also be (Trumpeter x Whooper) x Mute or something else involving a more yellow billed species
>
> http://img08.deviantart.net/4e...
>
> http://vwgdepeel.ivnastensomer...
>
> http://www.deviantart.com/art/...
>
> Von: Steven Mlodinow
> An: lehmhus@yahoo.de
> Gesendet: 14:37 Donnerstag, 20.April 2017
> Betreff: Swan hybrid? or Oddity?
>
> Hello Jrn
>
> I am, once again, in need of your waterfowl wisdom.
>
> The bird at https://www.flickr.com/photos/... was photographed in southern California.
> Some have proposed Mute x Whooper, but I don't see enough Mute in the bird to be happy with that.
> It is peculiar for reasons obvious enough. But I can't really seem to come up with a cross that makes me happy. But these hybrids are not always intermediate. So, you expertise... invaluable.
>
> Hope life is treating you very well
> Steve
>
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Strange Nashville Warbler at South Padre Island, 4/17/17
Date: Thu Apr 20 2017 21:45 pm
From: 000002580802dbdc-dmarc-request AT listserv.ksu.edu
 
I photographed this strange Nashville Warbler at the South Padre Island Convention Center on 4/17/17.  Noteworthy are the dark lower throat and white edges of the vent. Could it be a hybrid?  Some images are at:  https://www.flickr.com/photos/...


Comments are welcome. Thanks.


Dan Jones
Progreso Lakes, TX

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Wed Apr 19 2017 14:54 pm
From: sibleyguides AT gmail.com
 
Hi Martin,

That is a strikingly redpoll-like bird! I will make a few comments, and
open to any other insight or corrections.

Birds have two kinds of melanin - one shades black to gray, the other
rufous to buff - and one or both can be affected by albinism. I would guess
that what's going on with the crown of your Chipping Sparrow is that one
small patch has retained only the reddish melanin. You say it was bright
red, but true red (like a redpoll) would involve carotenoid pigments, which
essentially never show up where they're not expected, so I'm confident it's
melanin.

It might look brighter than usual if the normal condition is a mixture of
gray melanin with the rufous, so that the absence of gray allows the rufous
to show better, and/or if the normal gray pigment on the hidden bases of
the feathers is missing, then the white bases of the crown feathers would
create a reflective white layer under the rufous feather tips and make that
color glow a little more.

As far as terminology, I wrote a blog post a few years ago suggesting that
we just call all of these birds "partial albinos". The term "leucistic" has
been used in research to refer to very specific conditions with specific
causes, but birders have used it more broadly and in several different
ways. I would focus on describing the appearance of a bird with terms like
dilute or pied, and lump them all under a general term like partial albino.


Best,
David
sibleyguides@gmail.com
www.sibleyguides.com

On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 2:16 PM, Martin Reid wrote:

> David/All,
> FYI here is a link to an aberrant Chipping Sparrow that frequented my Fort
> Worth yard in December 2001. I feel it adds to the discussion of partially
> white Chipping Sparrows. One aspect of note is that while many of the
> brown and gray feather areas are white, the crown feathers (that normally
> are rusty) - is bright red. Is this due to reduced melanin, or the absence
> of melanin? Is this a partly-albino bird (note the pink bill) or is it a
> partly leucistic bird (the crown is affected, but is not white)?
>
> NOTE: the pics are from emulsion prints, and I have not updated this page
> for fourteen years, so don™t judge it by today™s standards - thanks!
>
> http://www.martinreid.com/Main...
>
> Martin
>
> > On Apr 19, 2017, at Apr 19, 11:28 AM, David Sibley <
> sibleyguides@GMAIL.COM> wrote:
> >
> > Hi All,
> >
> > I agree completely with Kevin McGowan and wanted to reinforce his
> comments.
> > It's clearly not a Snow/McKay's Bunting because, among other things, the
> > pattern of dark and light in the wings is wrong. Therefore it must be an
> > abnormal bird showing some form of albinism. Starting out with the
> > assumptions that it is 1) an expected species for the place and time and
> 2)
> > not showing any additional abnormalities (beyond a reduction of melanin),
> > there is really only one plausible answer - Chipping Sparrow.
> >
> > The bill shape looks perfect for Chipping Sparrow, conical but relatively
> > slender, with slightly curved culmen, and the extra curve on the cutting
> > edge of the upper mandible (suggestive of a tooth). The combination of
> tail
> > length, primary projection, and bill shape really only fits Spizella, and
> > the all-black bill only fits Chipping Sparrow, which is an expected
> species
> > and matches the remaining plumage markings. Calling it any other species
> > means invoking more abnormalities to explain the bill color, plumage
> color,
> > bill shape, etc.
> >
> > It would be nice to have more photos and observations, of course, but I
> am
> > confident they will also fit Chipping Sparrow.
> >
> > Best,
> > David
> > sibleyguides@gmail.com
> > www.sibleyguides.com
> >
> > On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 11:14 AM, trose wrote:
> >
> >> On 4/18/17 11:47 PM, Robert O'Brien wrote:
> >>
> >>> Seems like other clues are being ignored here.
> >>> In what situation was the bird found?
> >>> What was its behavior?
> >>>
> >>
> >> Glad someone brought that up. Because one of the first things I noticed
> >> was that the bird seems to be sitting among a pile of sunflower seed
> >> shells. (I could be wrong - the photo provided is blurry - but that's
> sure
> >> what it looks like). That suggests it's at a bird feeder. Which would
> help
> >> in narrowing down possible bird families. (Snow Bunting highly unlikely,
> >> for example, aside from physical aspects.) More environmental/situation
> >> info would be useful.
> >>
> >> T. R. Holland
> >>
> >> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
> >>
> >
> > Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Wed Apr 19 2017 13:17 pm
From: upupa AT airmail.net
 
David/All,
FYI here is a link to an aberrant Chipping Sparrow that frequented my Fort Worth yard in December 2001. I feel it adds to the discussion of partially white Chipping Sparrows. One aspect of note is that while many of the brown and gray feather areas are white, the crown feathers (that normally are rusty) - is bright red. Is this due to reduced melanin, or the absence of melanin? Is this a partly-albino bird (note the pink bill) or is it a partly leucistic bird (the crown is affected, but is not white)?

NOTE: the pics are from emulsion prints, and I have not updated this page for fourteen years, so don™t judge it by today™s standards - thanks!

http://www.martinreid.com/Main...

Martin

> On Apr 19, 2017, at Apr 19, 11:28 AM, David Sibley wrote:
>
> Hi All,
>
> I agree completely with Kevin McGowan and wanted to reinforce his comments.
> It's clearly not a Snow/McKay's Bunting because, among other things, the
> pattern of dark and light in the wings is wrong. Therefore it must be an
> abnormal bird showing some form of albinism. Starting out with the
> assumptions that it is 1) an expected species for the place and time and 2)
> not showing any additional abnormalities (beyond a reduction of melanin),
> there is really only one plausible answer - Chipping Sparrow.
>
> The bill shape looks perfect for Chipping Sparrow, conical but relatively
> slender, with slightly curved culmen, and the extra curve on the cutting
> edge of the upper mandible (suggestive of a tooth). The combination of tail
> length, primary projection, and bill shape really only fits Spizella, and
> the all-black bill only fits Chipping Sparrow, which is an expected species
> and matches the remaining plumage markings. Calling it any other species
> means invoking more abnormalities to explain the bill color, plumage color,
> bill shape, etc.
>
> It would be nice to have more photos and observations, of course, but I am
> confident they will also fit Chipping Sparrow.
>
> Best,
> David
> sibleyguides@gmail.com
> www.sibleyguides.com
>
> On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 11:14 AM, trose wrote:
>
>> On 4/18/17 11:47 PM, Robert O'Brien wrote:
>>
>>> Seems like other clues are being ignored here.
>>> In what situation was the bird found?
>>> What was its behavior?
>>>
>>
>> Glad someone brought that up. Because one of the first things I noticed
>> was that the bird seems to be sitting among a pile of sunflower seed
>> shells. (I could be wrong - the photo provided is blurry - but that's sure
>> what it looks like). That suggests it's at a bird feeder. Which would help
>> in narrowing down possible bird families. (Snow Bunting highly unlikely,
>> for example, aside from physical aspects.) More environmental/situation
>> info would be useful.
>>
>> T. R. Holland
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Wed Apr 19 2017 11:28 am
From: sibleyguides AT gmail.com
 
Hi All,

I agree completely with Kevin McGowan and wanted to reinforce his comments.
It's clearly not a Snow/McKay's Bunting because, among other things, the
pattern of dark and light in the wings is wrong. Therefore it must be an
abnormal bird showing some form of albinism. Starting out with the
assumptions that it is 1) an expected species for the place and time and 2)
not showing any additional abnormalities (beyond a reduction of melanin),
there is really only one plausible answer - Chipping Sparrow.

The bill shape looks perfect for Chipping Sparrow, conical but relatively
slender, with slightly curved culmen, and the extra curve on the cutting
edge of the upper mandible (suggestive of a tooth). The combination of tail
length, primary projection, and bill shape really only fits Spizella, and
the all-black bill only fits Chipping Sparrow, which is an expected species
and matches the remaining plumage markings. Calling it any other species
means invoking more abnormalities to explain the bill color, plumage color,
bill shape, etc.

It would be nice to have more photos and observations, of course, but I am
confident they will also fit Chipping Sparrow.

Best,
David
sibleyguides@gmail.com
www.sibleyguides.com

On Wed, Apr 19, 2017 at 11:14 AM, trose wrote:

> On 4/18/17 11:47 PM, Robert O'Brien wrote:
>
>> Seems like other clues are being ignored here.
>> In what situation was the bird found?
>> What was its behavior?
>>
>
> Glad someone brought that up. Because one of the first things I noticed
> was that the bird seems to be sitting among a pile of sunflower seed
> shells. (I could be wrong - the photo provided is blurry - but that's sure
> what it looks like). That suggests it's at a bird feeder. Which would help
> in narrowing down possible bird families. (Snow Bunting highly unlikely,
> for example, aside from physical aspects.) More environmental/situation
> info would be useful.
>
> T. R. Holland
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Wed Apr 19 2017 10:24 am
From: trose AT pokeintheeye.biz
 
On 4/18/17 11:47 PM, Robert O'Brien wrote:
> Seems like other clues are being ignored here.
> In what situation was the bird found?
> What was its behavior?

Glad someone brought that up. Because one of the first things I noticed
was that the bird seems to be sitting among a pile of sunflower seed
shells. (I could be wrong - the photo provided is blurry - but that's
sure what it looks like). That suggests it's at a bird feeder. Which
would help in narrowing down possible bird families. (Snow Bunting
highly unlikely, for example, aside from physical aspects.) More
environmental/situation info would be useful.

T. R. Holland

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Wed Apr 19 2017 5:49 am
From: erikbogh AT gmail.com
 
Kevin McGowan's solid reasoning about tail/wing length and especially bill shape has brought me into the Chipping Sparrow camp. 
Although I doubt they will help to totally nail it down, it might be nice to see the actual pictures - not just the ones from the camera's LCD.

Erik Nielsen
Westwood, MA
Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Wed Apr 19 2017 1:47 am
From: baro AT pdx.edu
 
Seems like other clues are being ignored here.

In what situation was the bird found?
What was its behavior?
With what other birds did it associate?
What was it's flight style?
Did it fly up to a tree, or away in the sky?
Was it on the ground?
Did it hop or walk?
How was it feeding?

Bob OBrien Carver OR


On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 4:51 AM, Franklin Haas wrote:

> A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
>
> Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
>
> The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
> interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
>
> I think it is a leucistic Snow.
>
> Frank
>
>
> --
> Frank Haas
>
> Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Wed Apr 19 2017 0:43 am
From: 000000b797e8dae8-dmarc-request AT listserv.ksu.edu
 
American Goldfinch also has very long primary projection, with a decidedly large gap between the 2nd-longest and 3rd-longest primaries, a feature not even hinted at in the mystery bird's wing formula.

Tony

Tony Leukering
currently Medicine Bow, WY
www.aba.org/photoquiz/
www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering
http://cowyebird.blogspot.com

> On Apr 18, 2017, at 21:53, Suzanne Sullivan wrote:
>
> Christopher,
> I was just going to post that question! But the bill shape is to pointed,
> to me it looks most like a Goldfinch, it has that look to me. The bill
> looks really dark for Goldfinch but often if a bird has pigment issues it
> can also show in the bill. Blocking out the color, since it is distracting,
> shape of body and bill to me best fits Goldfinch.
> Suzanne Sullivan
> Wilmington, MA
>
> On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 11:07 PM, Christopher Vogel <
> 0000030e3b872f1e-dmarc-request@listserv.ksu.edu> wrote:
>
>> Has anyone considered Indigo Bunting?
>>
>> The bill is all wrong for both Snow Bunting and Scarlet Tanager. (It's not
>> exactly spot-on for Indigo Bunting either, lacking gray at the mandible's
>> base, but... Maybe give it a week or three)
>>
>> Also, as has been noted, the primary projection is all wrong for
>> Plectrophenax. And the bird is just plain not shaped at all like a
>> Plectrophenax or Piranga.
>>
>> If one were to take the black bits as they are, and replace the white bits
>> with blue, one would have a very close approximation of an Indigo Bunting.
>>
>> Also, the time of year is pretty good for an arriving one, just about now.
>>
>> Cheers
>> CJV
>> Manistique, MI
>>
>>
>>
>> Sent from my iPhone
>>
>>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 10:45 PM, Tony Leukering <000000b797e8dae8-dmarc-
>> request@LISTSERV.KSU.EDU> wrote:
>>>
>>> Natalie et al.:
>>>
>>> Unless the bird's outer primaries are uncommonly trashed, its primary
>> projection is way too short for any Piranga. The bird's short projection
>> suggests a shorter-distance migrant and/or a shrub inhabitant. That
>> projection would fit well with Kevin M's suggestion, as would the arrival
>> timing -- it's a bit on the early side for Scarlet Tanager and some other
>> options.
>>>
>>> Tony
>>>
>>> Tony Leukering
>>> Largo, FL
>>> www.aba.org/photoquiz/
>>> www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering
>>> http://cowyebird.blogspot.com
>>>
>>>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 12:12, Natalie McNear
>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>> It's a leucistic Scarlet Tanager, the slightly decurved bill with teeth
>> gives it away.
>>>>
>>>> Natalie McNear
>>>>
>>>> Novato, CA
>>>>
>>>>
>>>>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 4:51 AM, Franklin Haas
>> wrote:
>>>>>
>>>>> A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
>>>>>
>>>>> Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
>>>>>
>>>>> The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
>>>>> interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
>>>>>
>>>>> I think it is a leucistic Snow.
>>>>>
>>>>> Frank
>>>>>
>>>>>
>>>>> --
>>>>> Frank Haas
>>>>>
>>>>> Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
>>>>>
>>>>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>>>
>>>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>>
>>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>
>
>
>
> --
> Suzanne M. Sullivan
> Wilmington, MA
> swampy435@gmail.com
>
> "The self evident vision of who we are as a free and caring nation, and the
> ideal to fulfill this destiny is stronger than the division of those who's
> only vision is of themselves. SMB
>
> Be the Voice of the River
> http://www.ipswichriver.org
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 23:24 pm
From: accipitriformes AT gmail.com
 
FWIW, this bird oozes a Spizellid GISS to my eye, and I agree with Kevin
McGowan's assessment. Though it's difficult to "see" a bird here, I see
Chipping as well. The size and shape, and relative 'weight', of this bird's
bill assists in eliminating visually heavier-billed candidates, such as
Indigo Bunting, etc.

Jon Ruddy
Ottawa, Ontario

On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 10:29 PM, Kevin J. McGowan wrote:

> I didn't think there would be this much interest or discussion about a
> leucistic sparrow. But, since there is, let's discuss it and not just make
> wild guesses.
>
>
> The intense whiteness, with no sense of any contours or edges makes me
> think of a leucistic bird, or one with other pigment problems, not a bird
> that is supposed to be white. I don't know what it is that I see
> differently in pigmentally-challenged birds from normally white birds, but
> there is something. And this bird is abnormal.
>
>
> So, if it's leucistic, what do the parts that have color tell us?
>
>
> I see dark eye, dark bill, very dark secondaries, tertials, and tail
> feathers. I'd call them blackish.
>
>
> The primaries and greater primary coverts are not blackish, though.
> They're warm brown. And maybe the white tips on the coverts are real,
> indicating a wingbar. Snow Bunting is the opposite, with brown in the
> secondaries, but black in the primaries and a giant white patch of the
> primary coverts and bases of the inner primaries.
>
>
> Bill shape is important. I said it looks nothing like that of a Snow
> Bunting, and I stand by that. I think of passerine bill shape as having 5
> important parts: upper line from bill tip to feathers (the culmen), lower
> line from tip to feathers, upper line from feathers to gape, lower line
> from feathers to gape, and the line of the bill edge where the upper and
> lower parts meet (tomium).
>
>
> The bend, or tooth, in the tomium is a red herring, I think. It looks like
> the tooth of a Pirangus tanager, but this is clearly not a tanager by any
> other reckoning. And other birds can show that bend, even if you don't see
> it in the drawings in a field guide.
>
>
> To me, Snow Buntings and longspurs have a very obvious sharp angle that
> bends at the lower line of the bill where the bill hits the feathers. The
> line from gape to feathers angles decidedly down, and the line from
> feathers to tip angles up. This bird is almost flat from gape to bill tip.
> Not quite flat, but not like a bunting/longspur.
>
>
> The angle of the upper line from feathers to gape and lower line from
> feathers to gape is very sharp, or acute. This is in contrast to things
> like Cardinalid buntings and grosbeaks where it's almost square. Snow
> Buntings in winter also show a very straight line from upper bill/feathers
> to lower/feathers, although photos I'm looking at of breeding plumage look
> more angled.
>
>
> Bill is conical, typical of seed eaters, but it's pretty thin at the base.
> Also, the depth of the bill at the gape to lower line with feathers is
> thin. Cardinalids are huge at this measurement, and Zonotrichia sparrows
> are thick here too.
>
>
> The tail in the bird is rather long, and quite notched. It extends beyond
> the wings by half a wing length. Plectrophenax buntings extend barely a
> quarter of the wing length. White-throated Sparrow, for comparison, is much
> shorter winged, with the tail extending a whole wing-length behind the wing
> tip.
>
>
> Those are my observations. All my inferences will extend from there.
>
>
> Actually, I'm still liking my original thought of leucistic Chipping
> Sparrow.
>
>
> More photos of the bird with other birds would be instructive. I'm
> guessing that if it was with other birds that were the same shape, that's
> what it is.
>
>
> Kevin
>
>
> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> Project Manager
> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> kjm2@cornell.edu
> 607-254-2452
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification <
> BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU> on behalf of Erik Nielsen
> Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 9:31 PM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
>
> There obviously isn't much to go on - plumage-wise; but the right wing
> does show wingbars (tips of greater and maybe median coverts). I still
> think WTSP might not be a bad fit.
>
> Erik Nielsen
> Westwood, MA
>
> http://flickr.com/photos/erikb...
>
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
>
>
>
>
> > On Apr 18, 2017, at 21:14, birder64@yahoo.com wrote:
> >
> > I do like the sparrow road we're going down...dare I say leucistic house
> sparrow??
> >
> > Brian McAllister
> > Saranac Lake, NY
> >
> >
> >
> >> On Apr 18, 2017, at 7:49 PM, Erik Nielsen wrote:
> >>
> >> I agree, the shape is wrong for Snow/McKay - way too short primary
> extension.
> >>
> >> To me it doesn't look slim enough for Chipping.
> >>
> >> My first thought upon seeing the pictures was Junco. The bill is wrong,
> however, both color and shape.
> >>
> >> How about White-throated Sparrow? The general shape and what's left of
> any color doesn't seem out of place.
> >>
> >> Erik Nielsen
> >> Westwood, MA
> >>
> >> http://flickr.com/photos/erikb...
>
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com... <
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> [https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
>
>
>
> >>
> >>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 19:04, Jason Rogers wrote:
> >>>
> >>> Yes, definitely not a Snow or McKay's - proportions are wrong for
> those two. Its head is too large, primary projection too short, and tail
> too long. Bill seems too long to me for Snow/McKay's as well.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Not sure what we've got here, but Kevin's suggestion of Chipping
> Sparrow seems reasonable at this point.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Jason Rogers
> >>>
> >>> Calgary, AB
> >>>
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> ________________________________
> >>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification <
> BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU> on behalf of Kevin J. McGowan >
> >>> Sent: April 18, 2017 12:20 PM
> >>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >>> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
> >>>
> >>> Leucistic, yes. Bunting, no. That is not a bunting bill. Looks more
> like a leucistic Chipping Sparrow.
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Kevin
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> >>> Project Manager
> >>> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> >>> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> >>> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> >>> Ithaca, NY 14850
> >>> kjm2@cornell.edu
> >>> 607-254-2452
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> ________________________________
> >>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification <
> BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU> on behalf of Franklin Haas <
> fhaasbirds@GMAIL.COM>
> >>> Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:51 AM
> >>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> >>> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
> >>>
> >>> A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
> >>>
> >>> Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
> >>>
> >>> The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
> >>> interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
> >>>
> >>> I think it is a leucistic Snow.
> >>>
> >>> Frank
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Frank Haas
> >>>
> >>> Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
> >>>
> >>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
> >>>
> >>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
> >>>
> >>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
> >>
> >> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
> >
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>



--
Eastern Ontario Birding
eontbird.ca

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 22:53 pm
From: swampy435 AT gmail.com
 
Christopher,
I was just going to post that question! But the bill shape is to pointed,
to me it looks most like a Goldfinch, it has that look to me. The bill
looks really dark for Goldfinch but often if a bird has pigment issues it
can also show in the bill. Blocking out the color, since it is distracting,
shape of body and bill to me best fits Goldfinch.
Suzanne Sullivan
Wilmington, MA

On Tue, Apr 18, 2017 at 11:07 PM, Christopher Vogel <
0000030e3b872f1e-dmarc-request@listserv.ksu.edu> wrote:

> Has anyone considered Indigo Bunting?
>
> The bill is all wrong for both Snow Bunting and Scarlet Tanager. (It's not
> exactly spot-on for Indigo Bunting either, lacking gray at the mandible's
> base, but... Maybe give it a week or three)
>
> Also, as has been noted, the primary projection is all wrong for
> Plectrophenax. And the bird is just plain not shaped at all like a
> Plectrophenax or Piranga.
>
> If one were to take the black bits as they are, and replace the white bits
> with blue, one would have a very close approximation of an Indigo Bunting.
>
> Also, the time of year is pretty good for an arriving one, just about now.
>
> Cheers
> CJV
> Manistique, MI
>
>
>
> Sent from my iPhone
>
> > On Apr 18, 2017, at 10:45 PM, Tony Leukering <000000b797e8dae8-dmarc-
> request@LISTSERV.KSU.EDU> wrote:
> >
> > Natalie et al.:
> >
> > Unless the bird's outer primaries are uncommonly trashed, its primary
> projection is way too short for any Piranga. The bird's short projection
> suggests a shorter-distance migrant and/or a shrub inhabitant. That
> projection would fit well with Kevin M's suggestion, as would the arrival
> timing -- it's a bit on the early side for Scarlet Tanager and some other
> options.
> >
> > Tony
> >
> > Tony Leukering
> > Largo, FL
> > www.aba.org/photoquiz/
> > www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering
> > http://cowyebird.blogspot.com
> >
> >> On Apr 18, 2017, at 12:12, Natalie McNear
> wrote:
> >>
> >> It's a leucistic Scarlet Tanager, the slightly decurved bill with teeth
> gives it away.
> >>
> >> Natalie McNear
> >>
> >> Novato, CA
> >>
> >>
> >>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 4:51 AM, Franklin Haas
> wrote:
> >>>
> >>> A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
> >>>
> >>> Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
> >>>
> >>> The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
> >>> interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
> >>>
> >>> I think it is a leucistic Snow.
> >>>
> >>> Frank
> >>>
> >>>
> >>> --
> >>> Frank Haas
> >>>
> >>> Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
> >>>
> >>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
> >>
> >> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
> >
> > Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>



--
Suzanne M. Sullivan
Wilmington, MA
swampy435@gmail.com

"The self evident vision of who we are as a free and caring nation, and the
ideal to fulfill this destiny is stronger than the division of those who's
only vision is of themselves. SMB

Be the Voice of the River
http://www.ipswichriver.org

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 22:17 pm
From: 0000030e3b872f1e-dmarc-request AT listserv.ksu.edu
 
Has anyone considered Indigo Bunting? 

The bill is all wrong for both Snow Bunting and Scarlet Tanager. (It's not exactly spot-on for Indigo Bunting either, lacking gray at the mandible's base, but... Maybe give it a week or three)

Also, as has been noted, the primary projection is all wrong for Plectrophenax. And the bird is just plain not shaped at all like a Plectrophenax or Piranga.

If one were to take the black bits as they are, and replace the white bits with blue, one would have a very close approximation of an Indigo Bunting.

Also, the time of year is pretty good for an arriving one, just about now.

Cheers
CJV
Manistique, MI



Sent from my iPhone

> On Apr 18, 2017, at 10:45 PM, Tony Leukering <000000b797e8dae8-dmarc-request@LISTSERV.KSU.EDU> wrote:
>
> Natalie et al.:
>
> Unless the bird's outer primaries are uncommonly trashed, its primary projection is way too short for any Piranga. The bird's short projection suggests a shorter-distance migrant and/or a shrub inhabitant. That projection would fit well with Kevin M's suggestion, as would the arrival timing -- it's a bit on the early side for Scarlet Tanager and some other options.
>
> Tony
>
> Tony Leukering
> Largo, FL
> www.aba.org/photoquiz/
> www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering
> http://cowyebird.blogspot.com
>
>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 12:12, Natalie McNear wrote:
>>
>> It's a leucistic Scarlet Tanager, the slightly decurved bill with teeth gives it away.
>>
>> Natalie McNear
>>
>> Novato, CA
>>
>>
>>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 4:51 AM, Franklin Haas wrote:
>>>
>>> A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
>>>
>>> Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
>>>
>>> The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
>>> interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
>>>
>>> I think it is a leucistic Snow.
>>>
>>> Frank
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Frank Haas
>>>
>>> Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
>>>
>>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 21:47 pm
From: 000000b797e8dae8-dmarc-request AT listserv.ksu.edu
 
Natalie et al.:

Unless the bird's outer primaries are uncommonly trashed, its primary projection is way too short for any Piranga. The bird's short projection suggests a shorter-distance migrant and/or a shrub inhabitant. That projection would fit well with Kevin M's suggestion, as would the arrival timing -- it's a bit on the early side for Scarlet Tanager and some other options.

Tony

Tony Leukering
Largo, FL
www.aba.org/photoquiz/
www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering
http://cowyebird.blogspot.com

> On Apr 18, 2017, at 12:12, Natalie McNear wrote:
>
> It's a leucistic Scarlet Tanager, the slightly decurved bill with teeth gives it away.
>
> Natalie McNear
>
> Novato, CA
>
>
>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 4:51 AM, Franklin Haas wrote:
>>
>> A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
>>
>> Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
>>
>> The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
>> interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
>>
>> I think it is a leucistic Snow.
>>
>> Frank
>>
>>
>> --
>> Frank Haas
>>
>> Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 21:29 pm
From: kjm2 AT cornell.edu
 
I didn't think there would be this much interest or discussion about a leucistic sparrow. But, since there is, let's discuss it and not just make wild guesses.


The intense whiteness, with no sense of any contours or edges makes me think of a leucistic bird, or one with other pigment problems, not a bird that is supposed to be white. I don't know what it is that I see differently in pigmentally-challenged birds from normally white birds, but there is something. And this bird is abnormal.


So, if it's leucistic, what do the parts that have color tell us?


I see dark eye, dark bill, very dark secondaries, tertials, and tail feathers. I'd call them blackish.


The primaries and greater primary coverts are not blackish, though. They're warm brown. And maybe the white tips on the coverts are real, indicating a wingbar. Snow Bunting is the opposite, with brown in the secondaries, but black in the primaries and a giant white patch of the primary coverts and bases of the inner primaries.


Bill shape is important. I said it looks nothing like that of a Snow Bunting, and I stand by that. I think of passerine bill shape as having 5 important parts: upper line from bill tip to feathers (the culmen), lower line from tip to feathers, upper line from feathers to gape, lower line from feathers to gape, and the line of the bill edge where the upper and lower parts meet (tomium).


The bend, or tooth, in the tomium is a red herring, I think. It looks like the tooth of a Pirangus tanager, but this is clearly not a tanager by any other reckoning. And other birds can show that bend, even if you don't see it in the drawings in a field guide.


To me, Snow Buntings and longspurs have a very obvious sharp angle that bends at the lower line of the bill where the bill hits the feathers. The line from gape to feathers angles decidedly down, and the line from feathers to tip angles up. This bird is almost flat from gape to bill tip. Not quite flat, but not like a bunting/longspur.


The angle of the upper line from feathers to gape and lower line from feathers to gape is very sharp, or acute. This is in contrast to things like Cardinalid buntings and grosbeaks where it's almost square. Snow Buntings in winter also show a very straight line from upper bill/feathers to lower/feathers, although photos I'm looking at of breeding plumage look more angled.


Bill is conical, typical of seed eaters, but it's pretty thin at the base. Also, the depth of the bill at the gape to lower line with feathers is thin. Cardinalids are huge at this measurement, and Zonotrichia sparrows are thick here too.


The tail in the bird is rather long, and quite notched. It extends beyond the wings by half a wing length. Plectrophenax buntings extend barely a quarter of the wing length. White-throated Sparrow, for comparison, is much shorter winged, with the tail extending a whole wing-length behind the wing tip.


Those are my observations. All my inferences will extend from there.


Actually, I'm still liking my original thought of leucistic Chipping Sparrow.


More photos of the bird with other birds would be instructive. I'm guessing that if it was with other birds that were the same shape, that's what it is.


Kevin


Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
Project Manager
Distance Learning in Bird Biology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
kjm2@cornell.edu
607-254-2452


________________________________
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Erik Nielsen
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 9:31 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id

There obviously isn't much to go on - plumage-wise; but the right wing does show wingbars (tips of greater and maybe median coverts). I still think WTSP might not be a bad fit.

Erik Nielsen
Westwood, MA

http://flickr.com/photos/erikb...

[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...




> On Apr 18, 2017, at 21:14, birder64@yahoo.com wrote:
>
> I do like the sparrow road we're going down...dare I say leucistic house sparrow??
>
> Brian McAllister
> Saranac Lake, NY
>
>
>
>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 7:49 PM, Erik Nielsen wrote:
>>
>> I agree, the shape is wrong for Snow/McKay - way too short primary extension.
>>
>> To me it doesn't look slim enough for Chipping.
>>
>> My first thought upon seeing the pictures was Junco. The bill is wrong, however, both color and shape.
>>
>> How about White-throated Sparrow? The general shape and what's left of any color doesn't seem out of place.
>>
>> Erik Nielsen
>> Westwood, MA
>>
>> http://flickr.com/photos/erikb...

[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...
[https://farm3.staticflickr.com...



>>
>>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 19:04, Jason Rogers wrote:
>>>
>>> Yes, definitely not a Snow or McKay's - proportions are wrong for those two. Its head is too large, primary projection too short, and tail too long. Bill seems too long to me for Snow/McKay's as well.
>>>
>>>
>>> Not sure what we've got here, but Kevin's suggestion of Chipping Sparrow seems reasonable at this point.
>>>
>>>
>>> Jason Rogers
>>>
>>> Calgary, AB
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Kevin J. McGowan
>>> Sent: April 18, 2017 12:20 PM
>>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>>> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
>>>
>>> Leucistic, yes. Bunting, no. That is not a bunting bill. Looks more like a leucistic Chipping Sparrow.
>>>
>>>
>>> Kevin
>>>
>>>
>>> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
>>> Project Manager
>>> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
>>> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
>>> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
>>> Ithaca, NY 14850
>>> kjm2@cornell.edu
>>> 607-254-2452
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Franklin Haas
>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:51 AM
>>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>>> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
>>>
>>> A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
>>>
>>> Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
>>>
>>> The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
>>> interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
>>>
>>> I think it is a leucistic Snow.
>>>
>>> Frank
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Frank Haas
>>>
>>> Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
>>>
>>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>>
>>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>>
>>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 20:32 pm
From: erikbogh AT gmail.com
 
There obviously isn't much to go on - plumage-wise; but the right wing does show wingbars (tips of greater and maybe median coverts). I still think WTSP might not be a bad fit.

Erik Nielsen
Westwood, MA

http://flickr.com/photos/erikb...

> On Apr 18, 2017, at 21:14, birder64@yahoo.com wrote:
>
> I do like the sparrow road we're going down...dare I say leucistic house sparrow??
>
> Brian McAllister
> Saranac Lake, NY
>
>
>
>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 7:49 PM, Erik Nielsen wrote:
>>
>> I agree, the shape is wrong for Snow/McKay - way too short primary extension.
>>
>> To me it doesn't look slim enough for Chipping.
>>
>> My first thought upon seeing the pictures was Junco. The bill is wrong, however, both color and shape.
>>
>> How about White-throated Sparrow? The general shape and what's left of any color doesn't seem out of place.
>>
>> Erik Nielsen
>> Westwood, MA
>>
>> http://flickr.com/photos/erikb...
>>
>>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 19:04, Jason Rogers wrote:
>>>
>>> Yes, definitely not a Snow or McKay's - proportions are wrong for those two. Its head is too large, primary projection too short, and tail too long. Bill seems too long to me for Snow/McKay's as well.
>>>
>>>
>>> Not sure what we've got here, but Kevin's suggestion of Chipping Sparrow seems reasonable at this point.
>>>
>>>
>>> Jason Rogers
>>>
>>> Calgary, AB
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Kevin J. McGowan
>>> Sent: April 18, 2017 12:20 PM
>>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>>> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
>>>
>>> Leucistic, yes. Bunting, no. That is not a bunting bill. Looks more like a leucistic Chipping Sparrow.
>>>
>>>
>>> Kevin
>>>
>>>
>>> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
>>> Project Manager
>>> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
>>> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
>>> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
>>> Ithaca, NY 14850
>>> kjm2@cornell.edu
>>> 607-254-2452
>>>
>>>
>>> ________________________________
>>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Franklin Haas
>>> Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:51 AM
>>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>>> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
>>>
>>> A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
>>>
>>> Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
>>>
>>> The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
>>> interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
>>>
>>> I think it is a leucistic Snow.
>>>
>>> Frank
>>>
>>>
>>> --
>>> Frank Haas
>>>
>>> Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
>>>
>>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>>
>>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>>
>>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 20:24 pm
From: 0000030da70e3b9c-dmarc-request AT listserv.ksu.edu
 
I do like the sparrow road we're going down...dare I say leucistic house sparrow??

Brian McAllister
Saranac Lake, NY



> On Apr 18, 2017, at 7:49 PM, Erik Nielsen wrote:
>
> I agree, the shape is wrong for Snow/McKay - way too short primary extension.
>
> To me it doesn't look slim enough for Chipping.
>
> My first thought upon seeing the pictures was Junco. The bill is wrong, however, both color and shape.
>
> How about White-throated Sparrow? The general shape and what's left of any color doesn't seem out of place.
>
> Erik Nielsen
> Westwood, MA
>
> http://flickr.com/photos/erikb...
>
>> On Apr 18, 2017, at 19:04, Jason Rogers wrote:
>>
>> Yes, definitely not a Snow or McKay's - proportions are wrong for those two. Its head is too large, primary projection too short, and tail too long. Bill seems too long to me for Snow/McKay's as well.
>>
>>
>> Not sure what we've got here, but Kevin's suggestion of Chipping Sparrow seems reasonable at this point.
>>
>>
>> Jason Rogers
>>
>> Calgary, AB
>>
>>
>>
>> ________________________________
>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Kevin J. McGowan
>> Sent: April 18, 2017 12:20 PM
>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
>>
>> Leucistic, yes. Bunting, no. That is not a bunting bill. Looks more like a leucistic Chipping Sparrow.
>>
>>
>> Kevin
>>
>>
>> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
>> Project Manager
>> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
>> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
>> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
>> Ithaca, NY 14850
>> kjm2@cornell.edu
>> 607-254-2452
>>
>>
>> ________________________________
>> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Franklin Haas
>> Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:51 AM
>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
>>
>> A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
>>
>> Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
>>
>> The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
>> interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
>>
>> I think it is a leucistic Snow.
>>
>> Frank
>>
>>
>> --
>> Frank Haas
>>
>> Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 18:59 pm
From: erikbogh AT gmail.com
 
I agree, the shape is wrong for Snow/McKay - way too short primary extension. 

To me it doesn't look slim enough for Chipping.

My first thought upon seeing the pictures was Junco. The bill is wrong, however, both color and shape.

How about White-throated Sparrow? The general shape and what's left of any color doesn't seem out of place.

Erik Nielsen
Westwood, MA

http://flickr.com/photos/erikb...

> On Apr 18, 2017, at 19:04, Jason Rogers wrote:
>
> Yes, definitely not a Snow or McKay's - proportions are wrong for those two. Its head is too large, primary projection too short, and tail too long. Bill seems too long to me for Snow/McKay's as well.
>
>
> Not sure what we've got here, but Kevin's suggestion of Chipping Sparrow seems reasonable at this point.
>
>
> Jason Rogers
>
> Calgary, AB
>
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Kevin J. McGowan
> Sent: April 18, 2017 12:20 PM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
>
> Leucistic, yes. Bunting, no. That is not a bunting bill. Looks more like a leucistic Chipping Sparrow.
>
>
> Kevin
>
>
> Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
> Project Manager
> Distance Learning in Bird Biology
> Cornell Lab of Ornithology
> 159 Sapsucker Woods Road
> Ithaca, NY 14850
> kjm2@cornell.edu
> 607-254-2452
>
>
> ________________________________
> From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Franklin Haas
> Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:51 AM
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
>
> A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
>
> Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
>
> The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
> interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
>
> I think it is a leucistic Snow.
>
> Frank
>
>
> --
> Frank Haas
>
> Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 18:04 pm
From: hawkowl AT hotmail.com
 
Yes, definitely not a Snow or McKay's - proportions are wrong for those two. Its head is too large, primary projection too short, and tail too long. Bill seems too long to me for Snow/McKay's as well.


Not sure what we've got here, but Kevin's suggestion of Chipping Sparrow seems reasonable at this point.


Jason Rogers

Calgary, AB



________________________________
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Kevin J. McGowan
Sent: April 18, 2017 12:20 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id

Leucistic, yes. Bunting, no. That is not a bunting bill. Looks more like a leucistic Chipping Sparrow.


Kevin


Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
Project Manager
Distance Learning in Bird Biology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
kjm2@cornell.edu
607-254-2452


________________________________
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Franklin Haas
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:51 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id

A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.

Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...

The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.

I think it is a leucistic Snow.

Frank


--
Frank Haas

Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 14:08 pm
From: karlson3 AT comcast.net
 
to all: I am not sure what this bird is by species, but I attached a link to a breeding male Snow Bunting that I photographed in Alaska in 1992 that has a bill very similar in shape to the bird in question, which means I disagree with the other Kevin's comment that the bill was not bunting-like. Snow Bunting has a bill that is more similar to sparrows, and this photo shows that. I also don't think it is a Scarlet Tanager due to the head and body shape: link to Snow Bunting photo: http://kevinkarlsonphotography...

> On April 18, 2017 at 2:12 PM Natalie McNear wrote:
>
>
> It's a leucistic Scarlet Tanager, the slightly decurved bill with teeth gives it away.
>
> Natalie McNear
>
> Novato, CA
>
>
> > On Apr 18, 2017, at 4:51 AM, Franklin Haas wrote:
> >
> > A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
> >
> > Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
> >
> > The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
> > interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
> >
> > I think it is a leucistic Snow.
> >
> > Frank
> >
> >
> > --
> > Frank Haas
> >
> > Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
> >
> > Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 13:22 pm
From: natalie.mcnear AT gmail.com
 
It's a leucistic Scarlet Tanager, the slightly decurved bill with teeth gives it away. 

Natalie McNear

Novato, CA


> On Apr 18, 2017, at 4:51 AM, Franklin Haas wrote:
>
> A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.
>
> Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...
>
> The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
> interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.
>
> I think it is a leucistic Snow.
>
> Frank
>
>
> --
> Frank Haas
>
> Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 7:23 am
From: kjm2 AT cornell.edu
 
Leucistic, yes. Bunting, no. That is not a bunting bill. Looks more like a leucistic Chipping Sparrow.


Kevin


Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
Project Manager
Distance Learning in Bird Biology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
kjm2@cornell.edu
607-254-2452


________________________________
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Franklin Haas
Sent: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:51 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id

A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.

Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...

The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.

I think it is a leucistic Snow.

Frank


--
Frank Haas

Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Snow/Mckay's Bunting Id
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 6:52 am
From: fhaasbirds AT gmail.com
 
A white and black bunting was found yesterday near Landisburg, Pa.

Photos at http://franklinhaas.com/Buntin...

The dark primary coverts and tail pattern rule out McKay's, but am
interested in possible Snow/McKay's hybrid.

I think it is a leucistic Snow.

Frank


--
Frank Haas

Wisdom begins with putting the right name to a thing.

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Swan ID
Date: Tue Apr 18 2017 6:28 am
From: mcbuckland AT gmail.com
 
From a European perspective, I don't think this is a Whooper Swan, well at
least not a pure one. The bill coloration on a Whooper is much cleaner (as
is Bewick's, with black bills with distinct yellow base), and the shape
looks pretty odd too. The curved neck shape and bill shape/pattern suggests
to me a hybrid origin with a Mute Swan - maybe Whooper x Mute to account
for the yellowish colouring and bill size? A quick search online shows
birds with a similar bill, including the odd orange/pink spot towards the
tip. Presumably an escape from some collection?

Mike

On Mon, Apr 17, 2017 at 8:58 PM, Martin Reid wrote:

> FYI on this web page there is a copy of an illustration from a paper about
> variation in bill pattern in Whistling and Bewick™s Swans:
>
> http://www.martinreid.com/Main... <
> http://www.martinreid.com/Main...
>
> Martin
>
>
> > On Apr 17, 2017, at Apr 17, 1:53 PM, Hugh Ranson <
> hranson@GOLETA.K12.CA.US> wrote:
> >
> > On April 15th a swan showed up at the Andree Clark Bird Refuge in coastal
> > Santa Barbara County, California. It was tentatively identified as a
> Tundra
> > Swan, a scarce but annual visitor to the county; this would be a very
> late
> > date for a Tundra Swan. Questions soon arose as to whether this was the
> > correct call, and whether the bird could be a hybrid. Has anyone in this
> > group seen a Tundra Swan with bill coloring and pattern approaching this
> > bird? Can the bird be aged with any certainty? Two photos here:
> >
> > https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
> >
> > Clicking on the photo will help you zoom in.
> >
> > Hugh Ranson
> > Santa Barbara, CA
> >
> > Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Swan ID
Date: Mon Apr 17 2017 14:58 pm
From: upupa AT airmail.net
 
FYI on this web page there is a copy of an illustration from a paper about variation in bill pattern in Whistling and Bewick™s Swans:

http://www.martinreid.com/Main...

Martin


> On Apr 17, 2017, at Apr 17, 1:53 PM, Hugh Ranson wrote:
>
> On April 15th a swan showed up at the Andree Clark Bird Refuge in coastal
> Santa Barbara County, California. It was tentatively identified as a Tundra
> Swan, a scarce but annual visitor to the county; this would be a very late
> date for a Tundra Swan. Questions soon arose as to whether this was the
> correct call, and whether the bird could be a hybrid. Has anyone in this
> group seen a Tundra Swan with bill coloring and pattern approaching this
> bird? Can the bird be aged with any certainty? Two photos here:
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> Clicking on the photo will help you zoom in.
>
> Hugh Ranson
> Santa Barbara, CA
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...


Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Swan ID
Date: Mon Apr 17 2017 14:57 pm
From: karlson3 AT comcast.net
 
Hugh, the bird is not a tundra swan. The bill is way too long for that species, and the extensive yellow coloration on the bill suggests Whooper Swan, which has a very long bill like this bird. This could be an escape from a waterfowl collection, private or public, or a rare Whooper Swan, but I doubt that is possible in your area. Local experts would know what the status of Whooper Swan is in CA. Eurasian Tundra Swan has a similar bill pattern, but nowhere near as long a bill. Kevin Karlson

>
> On April 17, 2017 at 2:53 PM Hugh Ranson wrote:
>
> On April 15th a swan showed up at the Andree Clark Bird Refuge in coastal
> Santa Barbara County, California. It was tentatively identified as a Tundra
> Swan, a scarce but annual visitor to the county; this would be a very late
> date for a Tundra Swan. Questions soon arose as to whether this was the
> correct call, and whether the bird could be a hybrid. Has anyone in this
> group seen a Tundra Swan with bill coloring and pattern approaching this
> bird? Can the bird be aged with any certainty? Two photos here:
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> Clicking on the photo will help you zoom in.
>
> Hugh Ranson
> Santa Barbara, CA
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Swan ID
Date: Mon Apr 17 2017 14:04 pm
From: hranson AT goleta.k12.ca.us
 
On April 15th a swan showed up at the Andree Clark Bird Refuge in coastal
Santa Barbara County, California. It was tentatively identified as a Tundra
Swan, a scarce but annual visitor to the county; this would be a very late
date for a Tundra Swan. Questions soon arose as to whether this was the
correct call, and whether the bird could be a hybrid. Has anyone in this
group seen a Tundra Swan with bill coloring and pattern approaching this
bird? Can the bird be aged with any certainty? Two photos here:

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

Clicking on the photo will help you zoom in.

Hugh Ranson
Santa Barbara, CA

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Possible PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER in NEBRASKA
Date: Mon Apr 17 2017 13:28 pm
From: karlson3 AT comcast.net
 
Noah and all:

I am not sure which bird in the photos you are referring to, but it does not matter, since both are American Golden Plovers. I did not reference the article you posted, since the primary tips showing behind the longest tertial is only a guideline for Id, with the number of primary tips visible behind the longest tertial sometimes affected by feather wear or molt. In fact. in spring, 1st spring Pacific Golden retains their juvenile primaries for a whole year, and does not replace them until their first molt to adult basic plumage in late summer/early fall, so they can show 3-4 primary tips visible beyond the longest tertial due to extra long primaries. All American Goldens replace their primaries in mid-winger prior to migrating north, so the relationship of primary tips to tertials is more constant. Sometimes birds that have recently replaced primaries might appear to have fewer visible behind the longest tertial, but in fact the spacing between them is so small that you don't notice
them stacked up. In fall, younger juveniles of both species can show varying number of primary tips visible due to slower growth of either primaries or tertials.


Physical differences are often the best way to first spot a Pacific Golden, and in spring, molt timing and feather pattern differences are also very helpful. Pacific-Golden is a huskier bird overall, with a heavier, bulkier upper chest and shoulders and larger, blockier head than American Golden, which has a smaller, often pigeon-headed look to its head. Pacific's head shape is more like Black-bellied (squarer and less rounded on the crown). Pacific is also a longer-legged bird, particularly in the tibia, and appears lanky due to the longer legs compared to American Golden. Pacific also has a longer and often heavier bill compared to the small, slender bill of American, but beware of a few larger billed American. Both of your birds show fairly typical American Golden head and bill shapes.


Also in spring, Pacific Golden begins its molt to breeding plumage much earlier than American, and often shows substantial breeding plumage feathers on the back and underparts by mid-April, while American Golden does not show much breeding plumage before early to mid-May, with some birds waiting until later in May. If your birds had any Pacific breeding feathers on the back, they would show much wider and more golden coloration to the fringes on the upper back, even first year birds that typically only show fragmented breeding plumage. The supercilium on Pacific also typically widens past the eye and extends to the nape, which differs from American's more slender supercilium that does not extend to the nape.


Kevin Karlson

>
> On April 17, 2017 at 1:28 AM Noah Arthur wrote:
>
> This afternoon, I photographed a comparatively short-winged golden-plover
> in a flock of several hundred American Golden-plovers at a marsh preserve
> in Utica, Nebraska. Needless to say, this would be a mega in Nebraska,
> perhaps a state first...
> Back-of-camera screenshot here; scroll ahead for phone-scope shots:
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/...
>
> The photos reveal what appears to be 2 or 3 primary tips extending past the
> tertials, which according to this article (https://www.utahbirds.org/Rec
> Com/2008/2008_22Article.pdf) is diagnostic for Pacific Golden-plover. In
> fact, this article states that wing projection is the only characteristic
> that's definitive in separating American and Pacific. So it would seem that
> my bird is in fact a Pacific. However, the bird's relatively drab plumage
> (not brightly gold-spotted), white facial markings, and seemingly shortish
> legs, don't quite match my mental image of a Pacific Golden-plover, so I'm
> erring on the side of caution so far and not calling it anything more than
> a possible...
>
> What do you all think?
>
> Thanks!
>
> Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE)
> semirelicta@gmail.com
> 510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Possible PACIFIC GOLDEN-PLOVER in NEBRASKA
Date: Mon Apr 17 2017 0:28 am
From: semirelicta AT gmail.com
 
This afternoon, I photographed a comparatively short-winged golden-plover
in a flock of several hundred American Golden-plovers at a marsh preserve
in Utica, Nebraska. Needless to say, this would be a mega in Nebraska,
perhaps a state first...
Back-of-camera screenshot here; scroll ahead for phone-scope shots:
https://www.flickr.com/photos/...

The photos reveal what appears to be 2 or 3 primary tips extending past the
tertials, which according to this article (https://www.utahbirds.org/Rec
Com/2008/2008_22Article.pdf) is diagnostic for Pacific Golden-plover. In
fact, this article states that wing projection is the only characteristic
that's definitive in separating American and Pacific. So it would seem that
my bird is in fact a Pacific. However, the bird's relatively drab plumage
(not brightly gold-spotted), white facial markings, and seemingly shortish
legs, don't quite match my mental image of a Pacific Golden-plover, so I'm
erring on the side of caution so far and not calling it anything more than
a possible...

What do you all think?

Thanks!

Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA/Lincoln, NE)
semirelicta@gmail.com
510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Female Hummingbird
Date: Sun Apr 16 2017 13:39 pm
From: jmorlan AT gmail.com
 
Many thanks for the thoughtful comments I received offline regarding the
female Calypte Hummingbird I posted. All feedback is much appreciated. Here
is a summary of some of the responses I received so far:

She's definitely not a pure Costa's, and I don't see anything suggestive of
Anna's x Costa's.

I'd call it an Anna's, albeit a duller (1st-year?) individual; face looks
wrong for Costa's but good for Anna's, plus the flanks, and looks like
some dusky centers to undertail coverts but can't see for sure.

What do you see on this bird that leads you away from Anna's, other than
the short tail which might be that it might be missing some tail feathers?
With views of the spread tail, that could certainly help, as well as
perhaps address the possibility of hybrid Anna's X Costa's....the shape of
the secondary coverts seem to match the shape of Anna's..

It looks very Costa's like to me, gray crown, face pattern, throat pattern,
bill length, compact shape, etc. Any vocalizations?

Completely agree it is a Calypte, as the structure, head shape, and
flank color seems to indicate this. I personally don't see this bird as
a Costa's, which I would think would show a less elongated shape and
less extensive green/duskiness on the flanks. That said, the throat/head
pattern does seem atypical for Anna's (though I have seen many birds in
SF that struck me as exactly that). I look forward to hearing what
people with extensive Costa's experience have to say. I would pitch my
vote for Anna's or perhaps even hybrid (?).

The stout bill seems like Anna's to me.

The incoming gorget could be juv male but at this time of year, hrm. I
won't pretend to be an expert here and am no longer in socal staring at
these both regularly, but the compact shape and long wings relative to tail
give a Costa's Jizz for sure, despite a fairly straight bill.

Costa's usually has a clean throat and a supercilium that continues down
the neck, isolating the auriculars....The timing is off for a juvenile male
Costa's to start growing a goatee, but adult female Anna's have them. The
right wing is blocking the tail, making it difficult to interpret primary
extension, but I interpreted the wings as falling shorter than the tail
tip. Another angle would help clear that up.

Young male Costa's grow in several purple forget feathers in the center of
the throat within a few weeks of fledgling. I've seen some at my feeders
that already have more adult colored forget feathers than this bird. That
said, this isn't a juvenile (wing feathers worn, not fresh and back
feathers lack scaly look of fresh juvies). I agree that it's an adult
female, and the greenish wash to the chest and flanks seems better for
Anna's.

I just recently saw a bird like this at a friends farm, which I shared with
David with Sheri L. Williamson. Kinda pale underneath but both thought that
nothing really pointed away from it just being an Anna's.

Just a note: Adult female Costa's Hummingbirds can, on occasion, have
iridescent gorget feathers.

I notice that the primaries are broad except for p10 which is
noticeably narrower than the rest. In the Central /Eastern states this
is one characteristic to distinguish between Black-chinned and
Ruby-throated. I'm not suggesting it's an Archilochus but I would look
into the primary patterns of Anna's / Costa's to see if that's a
characteristic. Just something to consider.

On Sun, 09 Apr 2017 09:13:52 -0700, Joseph Morlan
wrote:

>I could use help with a female/immature Hummingbird which visited our yard
>in Pacifica, California last Thursday.
>
>Photos are at...
>
>https://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/...
>
>I believe the evenly broad primaries indicate Calypte. Anna's is common
>and expected in this area while Costa's would be accidental although it
>occurs more regularly inland. Could this be a Costa's?
>
>Thanks.
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Odd Duck
Date: Fri Apr 14 2017 7:41 am
From: Shaibal.Mitra AT csi.cuny.edu
 
Hi Bates and all,

Domestication is an evolutionary process experienced by populations, not by individuals. During domestication, multiple characteristics present only as rare variants in the ancestral (wild) population are brought to high frequency via artificial selection, natural selection arising from novel environments, and drift. Darwin studied this phenomenon carefully because he discerned that many of the traits distinguishing domesticated plants and animals from their wild progenitors tended in to be similar, across different kinds of organisms and across independent domestication events. Thus the phenomenon furnished a large sample of striking examples illustrating descent with modification.

I'm not an expert on the criteria for distinguishing true domestication, but I understand that these involve multiple, relatively major evolutionary changes in the population in question. Thus, although the thousands of Barnacle Geese (or Mandarin Ducks, etc.) held in captivity for multiple generations undoubtedly experience evolution via drift and natural selection arising from novel environments, these would not be regarded as domestication. On the other hand, the vast captive populations of Graylag Goose, Chinese Swan Goose, Muscovy Duck, and Mallard show suites of multiple, major trait shifts associated with true domestication.

Domestication is defined as a characteristic of a population, but it is recognized by patterns of derived traits of the individuals within the population. When individuals escape or are released from a domesticated population, this does not alter the status of the domesticated population, nor does it erase the effects of domestication from these individuals' genomes. But it certainly means a lot to that individual, who may succeed in finding wild conspecifics, surviving among them, and even breeding with them. Their progeny will inherit lots of genes associated with domestication which are otherwise exceedingly rare in the wild population; consequently they might remain recognizable (as having domesticated ancestry) for several generations.

In contrast, escaped individuals from captive populations that have not experienced true domestication--even those that have been held captive for multiple generations--will differ less obviously and in fewer traits from their wild populations. For birders, wariness/tameness is often one of the traits that we focus on when confronted with an individual bird that might have escaped from captivity, but this trait is particularly fraught because birds are intelligent, behaviorally plastic animals, and even utterly wild birds (such as juvenile Brant that have never seen a human before) readily learn that they can feed at ease among the ankles of joggers, yoga masters, birders, and religious devotees along the Belt Parkway in Brooklyn. Similarly, individual birds escaped from domestication are sometimes able to behave in relatively appropriate ways after re-joining their wild relatives.

Shai Mitra
Bay Shore, NY
________________________________________
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification [BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU] on behalf of Bates Estabrooks [wgpu@HOTMAIL.COM]
Sent: Friday, April 14, 2017 7:05 AM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Odd Duck

Wayne,


Thanks for taking the time to spell this out. It's very helpful.


If I understand, then, "domestic" is applied to those birds whose external features (and genetics, by implication) indicate human captivity, etc., somewhere in their lineage (in its ancestors, or in the individual itself). What puzzles me is, can a "domestic" bird be fully "wild" (associating with wild flocks, foraging naturally, migrating, etc.)?


Thanks again.


Bates Estabrooks


________________________________
From: Wayne Hoffman
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2017 7:33 PM
To: Bates Estabrooks; birdwg01@listserv.ksu.edu
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Odd Duck

Hi -

The word domestic may have been used ib different ways by different people who responded to you, but basically a domestic organism is one that has been in human captivity, culture, or other association for long enough that it has undergone genetic modifications, often as a result of artificial selection. Domestic animals often have colors not regular in the wild, and often differ in size from their wild ancestors. Domestic mammals often have changes in hair/fur texture (e.g., sheep, angora goats, dogs, cats). Domestic birds often have changes in plumage color and pattern, frequently through artificial selection for leucism, melanism or other anomalies. Domestic animals often have been selected for modifications in reproductive biology and behavior. Thus, the strong pair bond of wolves is gone from most domestic dogs, and from many breeds of Mallards. Many domestic birds have become indeterminate layers, and are willing to lay eggs in different seasons than their ancestors. Adult domestic mammals often have facial features more like those of wild immatures.

In general domestic animals are less capable of surviving in the wild than their ancestors except in "special' environments, e.g. islands without predators. Domstinc animals that have sccessfully reverted to the wild are generally call feral, and we often see (natural) selection back towards the ancestral characters. For example, feral populations of Rock Pigeons tend to lose most of the really different plumages, In a city pigeon flock that includes birds still "owned' by people birds with white patches, tan coloration, etc. are common. In feral populations that get fewer recruits from domestic flocks, most birds either have plumage close to wild type, or of a particular type that is darker than wild type. The tan ones and white ones get weeded out pretty quickly.

Wayne

On 4/13/2017 3:27:46 PM, Bates Estabrooks wrote:

Thanks everyone for the feedback about the odd duck I saw.


Everyone responded ID'ed the bird as a domestic duck. This prompted a question in my mind. When someone say that this duck is "domestic", what does that mean?


Does that mean that this individual has genes from previously domesticated individuals and is itself sedentary/hangs in one localized area? Or does it mean, simply, that this bird has some barnyard ancestry but could be free-ranging/feral/migratory?


Thanks.


Bates Estabrooks


________________________________
From: Bates Estabrooks
Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 6:53 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Odd Duck


All,


I happened upon this odd duck at a local fish hatchery here in eastern Tennessee. It's obviously mostly Mallard, but I was wondering if it is some known hybrid? I frequently stop by this location and have never seen this bird before.


Thanks for the help.


Bates Estabrooks

Anderson County, Tennessee

USA


https://goo.gl/photos/dxrEaos4...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...


Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Odd Duck
Date: Fri Apr 14 2017 6:05 am
From: wgpu AT hotmail.com
 
Wayne,


Thanks for taking the time to spell this out. It's very helpful.


If I understand, then, "domestic" is applied to those birds whose external features (and genetics, by implication) indicate human captivity, etc., somewhere in their lineage (in its ancestors, or in the individual itself). What puzzles me is, can a "domestic" bird be fully "wild" (associating with wild flocks, foraging naturally, migrating, etc.)?


Thanks again.


Bates Estabrooks


________________________________
From: Wayne Hoffman
Sent: Thursday, April 13, 2017 7:33 PM
To: Bates Estabrooks; birdwg01@listserv.ksu.edu
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Odd Duck

Hi -

The word domestic may have been used ib different ways by different people who responded to you, but basically a domestic organism is one that has been in human captivity, culture, or other association for long enough that it has undergone genetic modifications, often as a result of artificial selection. Domestic animals often have colors not regular in the wild, and often differ in size from their wild ancestors. Domestic mammals often have changes in hair/fur texture (e.g., sheep, angora goats, dogs, cats). Domestic birds often have changes in plumage color and pattern, frequently through artificial selection for leucism, melanism or other anomalies. Domestic animals often have been selected for modifications in reproductive biology and behavior. Thus, the strong pair bond of wolves is gone from most domestic dogs, and from many breeds of Mallards. Many domestic birds have become indeterminate layers, and are willing to lay eggs in different seasons than their ancestors. Adult domestic mammals often have facial features more like those of wild immatures.

In general domestic animals are less capable of surviving in the wild than their ancestors except in "special' environments, e.g. islands without predators. Domstinc animals that have sccessfully reverted to the wild are generally call feral, and we often see (natural) selection back towards the ancestral characters. For example, feral populations of Rock Pigeons tend to lose most of the really different plumages, In a city pigeon flock that includes birds still "owned' by people birds with white patches, tan coloration, etc. are common. In feral populations that get fewer recruits from domestic flocks, most birds either have plumage close to wild type, or of a particular type that is darker than wild type. The tan ones and white ones get weeded out pretty quickly.

Wayne

On 4/13/2017 3:27:46 PM, Bates Estabrooks wrote:

Thanks everyone for the feedback about the odd duck I saw.


Everyone responded ID'ed the bird as a domestic duck. This prompted a question in my mind. When someone say that this duck is "domestic", what does that mean?


Does that mean that this individual has genes from previously domesticated individuals and is itself sedentary/hangs in one localized area? Or does it mean, simply, that this bird has some barnyard ancestry but could be free-ranging/feral/migratory?


Thanks.


Bates Estabrooks


________________________________
From: Bates Estabrooks
Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 6:53 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Odd Duck


All,


I happened upon this odd duck at a local fish hatchery here in eastern Tennessee. It's obviously mostly Mallard, but I was wondering if it is some known hybrid? I frequently stop by this location and have never seen this bird before.


Thanks for the help.


Bates Estabrooks

Anderson County, Tennessee

USA


https://goo.gl/photos/dxrEaos4...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...


Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Odd Duck
Date: Thu Apr 13 2017 18:34 pm
From: whoffman AT peak.org
 
Hi -

The word domestic may have been used ib different ways by different people who responded to you, but basically a domestic organism is one that has been in human captivity, culture, or other association for long enough that it has undergone genetic modifications, often as a result of artificial selection. Domestic animals often have colors not regular in the wild, and often differ in size from their wild ancestors. Domestic mammals often have changes in hair/fur texture (e.g., sheep, angora goats, dogs, cats). Domestic birds often have changes in plumage color and pattern, frequently through artificial selection for leucism, melanism or other anomalies. Domestic animals often have been selected for modifications in reproductive biology and behavior. Thus, the strong pair bond of wolves is gone from most domestic dogs, and from many breeds of Mallards. Many domestic birds have become indeterminate layers, and are willing to lay eggs in different seasons than their ancestors. Adult domestic mammals often have facial features more like those of wild immatures.

In general domestic animals are less capable of surviving in the wild than their ancestors except in "special' environments, e.g. islands without predators. Domstinc animals that have sccessfully reverted to the wild are generally call feral, and we often see (natural) selection back towards the ancestral characters. For example, feral populations of Rock Pigeons tend to lose most of the really different plumages, In a city pigeon flock that includes birds still "owned' by people birds with white patches, tan coloration, etc. are common. In feral populations that get fewer recruits from domestic flocks, most birds either have plumage close to wild type, or of a particular type that is darker than wild type. The tan ones and white ones get weeded out pretty quickly.

Wayne
On 4/13/2017 3:27:46 PM, Bates Estabrooks wrote:
Thanks everyone for the feedback about the odd duck I saw.


Everyone responded ID'ed the bird as a domestic duck. This prompted a question in my mind. When someone say that this duck is "domestic", what does that mean?


Does that mean that this individual has genes from previously domesticated individuals and is itself sedentary/hangs in one localized area? Or does it mean, simply, that this bird has some barnyard ancestry but could be free-ranging/feral/migratory?


Thanks.


Bates Estabrooks


________________________________
From: Bates Estabrooks
Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 6:53 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Odd Duck


All,


I happened upon this odd duck at a local fish hatchery here in eastern Tennessee. It's obviously mostly Mallard, but I was wondering if it is some known hybrid? I frequently stop by this location and have never seen this bird before.


Thanks for the help.


Bates Estabrooks

Anderson County, Tennessee

USA


https://goo.gl/photos/dxrEaos4...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...


Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Odd Duck
Date: Thu Apr 13 2017 17:27 pm
From: wgpu AT hotmail.com
 
Thanks everyone for the feedback about the odd duck I saw.


Everyone responded ID'ed the bird as a domestic duck. This prompted a question in my mind. When someone say that this duck is "domestic", what does that mean?


Does that mean that this individual has genes from previously domesticated individuals and is itself sedentary/hangs in one localized area? Or does it mean, simply, that this bird has some barnyard ancestry but could be free-ranging/feral/migratory?


Thanks.


Bates Estabrooks


________________________________
From: Bates Estabrooks
Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 6:53 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: Odd Duck


All,


I happened upon this odd duck at a local fish hatchery here in eastern Tennessee. It's obviously mostly Mallard, but I was wondering if it is some known hybrid? I frequently stop by this location and have never seen this bird before.


Thanks for the help.


Bates Estabrooks

Anderson County, Tennessee

USA


https://goo.gl/photos/dxrEaos4...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Odd Duck
Date: Wed Apr 12 2017 20:12 pm
From: kjm2 AT cornell.edu
 
Please check out my decade-old discussion of domestic ducks and hybrids at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/c...


Most almost-Mallards have domestic weirdness in them.


Best,


Kevin


Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
Project Manager
Distance Learning in Bird Biology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
kjm2@cornell.edu
607-254-2452


________________________________
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Bates Estabrooks
Sent: Wednesday, April 12, 2017 6:53 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Odd Duck

All,


I happened upon this odd duck at a local fish hatchery here in eastern Tennessee. It's obviously mostly Mallard, but I was wondering if it is some known hybrid? I frequently stop by this location and have never seen this bird before.


Thanks for the help.


Bates Estabrooks

Anderson County, Tennessee

USA


https://goo.gl/photos/dxrEaos4...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Odd Duck
Date: Wed Apr 12 2017 17:53 pm
From: wgpu AT hotmail.com
 
All,


I happened upon this odd duck at a local fish hatchery here in eastern Tennessee. It's obviously mostly Mallard, but I was wondering if it is some known hybrid? I frequently stop by this location and have never seen this bird before.


Thanks for the help.


Bates Estabrooks

Anderson County, Tennessee

USA


https://goo.gl/photos/dxrEaos4...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Female Hummingbird
Date: Sun Apr 9 2017 11:14 am
From: jmorlan AT gmail.com
 
I could use help with a female/immature Hummingbird which visited our yard
in Pacifica, California last Thursday.

Photos are at...

https://fog.ccsf.edu/~jmorlan/...

I believe the evenly broad primaries indicate Calypte. Anna's is common
and expected in this area while Costa's would be accidental although it
occurs more regularly inland. Could this be a Costa's?

Thanks.
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA
"It turns out we're very good at not seeing things" - Jack Hitt

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Digital image corruption and rarity records
Date: Sat Apr 8 2017 2:47 am
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
Hi Noah,

What you are describing sounds rather like a random version of the "Colour Replacement" tool in Adobe Photoshop.
http://www.photoshopessentials...

But as the example you have given shows, there should be fairly obvious telltale signs something is wrong were this to happen as a random corruption. If an image is corrupted in some way while it is being written to the memory card (like the example you provide I suspect) there should be a clear delineation where the corruption occurred while the image was being layed down, one pixel and one line at a time, like a script of text.

Another possibility might be that there is a corruption in a colour channel. This might create a complete colour shift across the whole image, rather like using an "Adjust Hue" or "Adjust White Balance" tool. Again though, this should be readily apparent. Or, if it's so subtle as to be almost unnoticeable, it shouldn't drastically affect the identification.

The fact that one has to actively select an area to recolour using the Colour Replacement tool in Abobe Photoshop suggests to me that the example you have painted (a Yellowlegs with it's legs turned red) is only likely to happen if someone intentionally messes with the photo using an algorithm like the Colour Replacement tool.

Regards

Mike O'Keeffe
Ireland
http://birdingimagequalitytool...


----- Original Message -----
From: "Noah Arthur"
To: "okeeffeml" , BIRDWG01@listserv.ksu.edu
Sent: Friday, 7 April, 2017 21:20:09
Subject: Re: Digital image corruption and rarity records

Thanks for the input, everyone!

Mike, great to hear from you on this! I hoped you'd chime in given your
extensive research on this kind of stuff...

...As to actual examples of this kind of subtle bird photo corruption, I
haven't seen any. It's all theoretical at this point.

Here's the closest thing I've found to an actual example of the kind of
corription I'm theorizing about: https://i.stack.imgur.com/Qtu7...
As you can see, the upper part of the pic is just slightly darker than the
lower part, but the photo is still obviously corrupted due to the sharp
dividing line between the lighter and darker parts...

Noah




On Friday, April 7, 2017, Michael O'Keeffe wrote:

> Hi,
>
> To add to what Joseph Morlan wrote the main purpose of a blog I write is
> to explore all these different images biases. I came up with the concept of
> an image quality tool as a way to score bird images accordingly. I agree
> with Joseph and others that there are enough verifiable and quantifiable
> common image quality issues that can and do easily influence bird
> identifications from digital images without having to worry about rarer,
> potentially undetectable issues.
>
> I haven't come across the phenomenon you describe Noah but I imagine it's
> possible so I would love to see an example.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
> Ireland
> http://birdingimagequalitytool...
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Joseph Morlan >
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Sent: Fri, 07 Apr 2017 19:43:19 +0100 (IST)
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Digital image corruption and rarity records
>
> Noah,
>
> It's a little hard to know where to start but I think the issue of image
> corruption is a minor part of a much larger suite of issues that can plague
> digital photography.
>
> These are in no particular order.
>
> 1. Bias caused by the monitor. Most people viewing images do so on a
> computer screen. There are a variety of such screens but most current
> monitors use LCD. The image must be displayed in the form of pixels. Thus
> there will not be a one-to-one correspondence between what is on the image
> and what the eye sees. No two monitors will show the bird exactly the
> same. Some of these differences are imperceptible, but others can be
> extreme. One time I posted a perfectly good photo of a Red-tailed Hawk and
> received a comment that he had never seen a "green Red-tailed Hawk."
> Clearly this person who had never properly calibrated his monitor. Many
> years ago when hardware was not as good as it is today, I ran a series of
> mystery birds on my website. I put a standard disclaimer saying...
>
> "Color perception has been a chronic problem in assessing photographic
> images on the web. This problem is compounded by the wide variety of
> hardware and software used to view these images. Please adjust your video
> to the highest possible number of colors. My logs show that over 25% of
> visitors view these pages with only 256 colors (8 bit). Sixteen bit (high
> color) is minimum and 24 bit (true color) desirable. Also you may wish to
> calibrate your monitor against a color standard and ensure that brightness
> and contrast are set correctly."
>
> 2. Bias caused by the camera or the media. I have one camera that appears
> to be biased toward yellow. To get a good image I usually have to
> desaturate the yellow in my image editing software. One of the big
> advantages of digital imaging is that the photographer is also the
> developer. Unlike the old days when we sent exposed rolls of film out to
> places like Seattle Film Works and hoped for the best, good image editing
> software allows the photographer to make adjustments to exposure,
> brightness, color balance, sharpness, etc. In the case of bird
> identification, it is up to the photographer to correct the image so it
> looks as close as possible to what the bird looked like in life.
> Unfortunately this calls for human judgment and can be subject to bias and
> error as can any human endeavor.
>
> There is a "purist" segment of the bird photography community that believes
> that one should never edit a photo other than to crop and scale it. They
> believe that any other editing is corrupting in some way and misrepresents
> reality. I disagree. What comes out of the camera usually benefits from
> at least some correction. Nevertheless I frequently see images with excess
> post-processing, particularly over-sharpening.
>
> 3. Bias caused by camera settings. Most cameras shoot JPG format. JPG is
> a "lossy" format in that it tries to intelligently eliminate duplicative or
> unnecessary pixels to reduce the image size on disk. While this format
> works very well, there is a whole subject devoted to what are called "JPG
> artifacts" that come into play whenever a JPG is created or edited. Some
> cameras create smaller JPG's which lose more of the original data than
> others. This problem is solved by shooting with a camera that supports RAW
> format. These formats (often specific to particular camera brands) are
> lossless. I.e. they keep every pixel that the media records. Serious
> photographer understand the benefits of using RAW formats. Nevertheless,
> the image still needs to be converted to a JPG or PNG format in order to be
> rendered by browsing software. And then the rendering ends up on a screen
> which may have other biases.
>
> 4. Bias caused by environmental conditions. The same bird looks different
> in the shade than in bright sunlight. Backlighting can make colorful birds
> look black. Sometimes software can bring out hidden colors or features when
> photos are taken under harsh lighting conditions. These environmental
> biases can easily result in ID errors in the field when no photography is
> involved.
>
> 5. Observer biases. Some people see colors differently than others. Pale
> colors are frequently confused. I show slides in bird classes and have
> polled students on the color of the bill of a Flesh-footed Shearwater and
> over the years, 50% will vote that it is pink and 50% will vote that it is
> yellow. There is no correlation between the age or sex of the students and
> how they identify the color which all students observe under exactly
> identical conditions.
>
> I could go on. We all know there is a difference between good pictures and
> bad pictures and can usually tell the difference. There is no question that
> digital photography has transformed the way we communicate about birds in a
> powerful way. But image corruption as Noah describes is a minor part of a
> broader range of biases and variations that we need to be aware of whenever
> we post images or respond to questions about posted images.
>
> On Fri, 7 Apr 2017 10:37:33 -0700, John Sterling >
> wrote:
>
> >Noah,
> >This is nonsense. There are many ways to manipulate a photo without
> corrupting it.
> >
> >
> >John Sterling
> >VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
> >
> >26 Palm Ave
> >Woodland, CA 95695
> >530 908-3836
> >jsterling@wavecable.com
> >www.sterlingbirds.com
> >
> >
> >
> >> On Apr 6, 2017, at 4:39 PM, Noah Arthur > wrote:
> >>
> >> Over the last few months, I've done some research on an issue that
> doesn't
> >> get much attention in the birding community, but might be of interest
> when
> >> it comes to difficult-to-ID rarities: digital image corruption. Through
> >> online research and asking questions on photography forums, I've
> discovered
> >> several disconcerting facts about corruption:
> >>
> >> 1) Image corruption can be caused by a number of common photography
> >> practices and mistakes. Here's a long list: http://digicamhelp.com/
> >> accessories/memory-cards/corrupted-memory-card/
> >>
> >> 2) Image corruption is not always obvious. It can be very subtle and
> >> difficult to notice. In other words, a corrupted photo won't necessarily
> >> look corrupted, so you can't conclude that a photo isn't corrupted just
> >> because it looks okay.
> >>
> >> 3) It is possible for just one detail in a photo to be corrupted while
> the
> >> rest of the image is unaffected. For example, a yellow bill can be
> >> corrupted to look orange, even if nothing else in the photo is
> corrupted.
> >> (In other words, the sequence of binary code that codes for yellow color
> >> gets changed to a sequence that codes for orange, while all the rest of
> the
> >> code that makes up the image remains unchanged.)
> >>
> >> Based on these facts, it seems possible for a photo of one species to
> look
> >> like another similar species. For example, if a photo of a yellowlegs
> got
> >> corrupted so that the legs look reddish, you would have a photo of what
> >> looks like a Redshank! This makes me seriously question whether or not
> >> digital photography is really a surefire way of documenting rare birds.
> To
> >> me, the best way to think of this is in terms of scientific hypothesis
> >> testing: In bird ID, a common species is the null hypothesis, while a
> rare
> >> species is the alternative hypothesis. Scientifically, we aren't
> supposed
> >> to accept the alternative hypothesis unless we can conclusively rule out
> >> the null hypothesis. We often use digital photos to rule out the null
> >> hypothesis and "prove" that a bird really is a rarity. But if there's a
> >> chance that the photos of the "rarity" are really corrupted photos of a
> >> similar common species, then the common species (the null hypothesis)
> can't
> >> be completely ruled out, and therefore the rare species (the alternative
> >> hypothesis) can't be proven.
> >>
> >> So if there is any chance that a photo might be corrupted, it seems to
> me
> >> that it can't be used as conclusive evidence for a rare bird sighting,
> >> especially if there are very similar common species that must be ruled
> out
> >> based on just one or two small field marks (insert gull or shorebird
> >> example here)... I wonder if records committees, eBird reviewers, and
> other
> >> reviewers of bird records should take into account the possibility of
> photo
> >> corruption? For example, maybe rarity report forms should include a
> >> questionnaire asking if the photographer has made any of the common
> >> mistakes listed in the link above? What do you all think? Is corruption
> a
> >> legitimate concern when it comes to rare bird photography... Or is this
> >> just my OCD making me worry about something that doesn't need worrying
> >> about again? :)
> >>
> >> Good Gulling!
> >>
> >> Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA)
> >> semirelicta@gmail.com
> >> 510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>
> >>
> >> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
> >
> >
> >Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
> --
> Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Digital image corruption and rarity records
Date: Fri Apr 7 2017 15:20 pm
From: semirelicta AT gmail.com
 
Thanks for the input, everyone!

Mike, great to hear from you on this! I hoped you'd chime in given your
extensive research on this kind of stuff...

...As to actual examples of this kind of subtle bird photo corruption, I
haven't seen any. It's all theoretical at this point.

Here's the closest thing I've found to an actual example of the kind of
corription I'm theorizing about: https://i.stack.imgur.com/Qtu7...
As you can see, the upper part of the pic is just slightly darker than the
lower part, but the photo is still obviously corrupted due to the sharp
dividing line between the lighter and darker parts...

Noah




On Friday, April 7, 2017, Michael O'Keeffe wrote:

> Hi,
>
> To add to what Joseph Morlan wrote the main purpose of a blog I write is
> to explore all these different images biases. I came up with the concept of
> an image quality tool as a way to score bird images accordingly. I agree
> with Joseph and others that there are enough verifiable and quantifiable
> common image quality issues that can and do easily influence bird
> identifications from digital images without having to worry about rarer,
> potentially undetectable issues.
>
> I haven't come across the phenomenon you describe Noah but I imagine it's
> possible so I would love to see an example.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
> Ireland
> http://birdingimagequalitytool...
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: Joseph Morlan >
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Sent: Fri, 07 Apr 2017 19:43:19 +0100 (IST)
> Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Digital image corruption and rarity records
>
> Noah,
>
> It's a little hard to know where to start but I think the issue of image
> corruption is a minor part of a much larger suite of issues that can plague
> digital photography.
>
> These are in no particular order.
>
> 1. Bias caused by the monitor. Most people viewing images do so on a
> computer screen. There are a variety of such screens but most current
> monitors use LCD. The image must be displayed in the form of pixels. Thus
> there will not be a one-to-one correspondence between what is on the image
> and what the eye sees. No two monitors will show the bird exactly the
> same. Some of these differences are imperceptible, but others can be
> extreme. One time I posted a perfectly good photo of a Red-tailed Hawk and
> received a comment that he had never seen a "green Red-tailed Hawk."
> Clearly this person who had never properly calibrated his monitor. Many
> years ago when hardware was not as good as it is today, I ran a series of
> mystery birds on my website. I put a standard disclaimer saying...
>
> "Color perception has been a chronic problem in assessing photographic
> images on the web. This problem is compounded by the wide variety of
> hardware and software used to view these images. Please adjust your video
> to the highest possible number of colors. My logs show that over 25% of
> visitors view these pages with only 256 colors (8 bit). Sixteen bit (high
> color) is minimum and 24 bit (true color) desirable. Also you may wish to
> calibrate your monitor against a color standard and ensure that brightness
> and contrast are set correctly."
>
> 2. Bias caused by the camera or the media. I have one camera that appears
> to be biased toward yellow. To get a good image I usually have to
> desaturate the yellow in my image editing software. One of the big
> advantages of digital imaging is that the photographer is also the
> developer. Unlike the old days when we sent exposed rolls of film out to
> places like Seattle Film Works and hoped for the best, good image editing
> software allows the photographer to make adjustments to exposure,
> brightness, color balance, sharpness, etc. In the case of bird
> identification, it is up to the photographer to correct the image so it
> looks as close as possible to what the bird looked like in life.
> Unfortunately this calls for human judgment and can be subject to bias and
> error as can any human endeavor.
>
> There is a "purist" segment of the bird photography community that believes
> that one should never edit a photo other than to crop and scale it. They
> believe that any other editing is corrupting in some way and misrepresents
> reality. I disagree. What comes out of the camera usually benefits from
> at least some correction. Nevertheless I frequently see images with excess
> post-processing, particularly over-sharpening.
>
> 3. Bias caused by camera settings. Most cameras shoot JPG format. JPG is
> a "lossy" format in that it tries to intelligently eliminate duplicative or
> unnecessary pixels to reduce the image size on disk. While this format
> works very well, there is a whole subject devoted to what are called "JPG
> artifacts" that come into play whenever a JPG is created or edited. Some
> cameras create smaller JPG's which lose more of the original data than
> others. This problem is solved by shooting with a camera that supports RAW
> format. These formats (often specific to particular camera brands) are
> lossless. I.e. they keep every pixel that the media records. Serious
> photographer understand the benefits of using RAW formats. Nevertheless,
> the image still needs to be converted to a JPG or PNG format in order to be
> rendered by browsing software. And then the rendering ends up on a screen
> which may have other biases.
>
> 4. Bias caused by environmental conditions. The same bird looks different
> in the shade than in bright sunlight. Backlighting can make colorful birds
> look black. Sometimes software can bring out hidden colors or features when
> photos are taken under harsh lighting conditions. These environmental
> biases can easily result in ID errors in the field when no photography is
> involved.
>
> 5. Observer biases. Some people see colors differently than others. Pale
> colors are frequently confused. I show slides in bird classes and have
> polled students on the color of the bill of a Flesh-footed Shearwater and
> over the years, 50% will vote that it is pink and 50% will vote that it is
> yellow. There is no correlation between the age or sex of the students and
> how they identify the color which all students observe under exactly
> identical conditions.
>
> I could go on. We all know there is a difference between good pictures and
> bad pictures and can usually tell the difference. There is no question that
> digital photography has transformed the way we communicate about birds in a
> powerful way. But image corruption as Noah describes is a minor part of a
> broader range of biases and variations that we need to be aware of whenever
> we post images or respond to questions about posted images.
>
> On Fri, 7 Apr 2017 10:37:33 -0700, John Sterling >
> wrote:
>
> >Noah,
> >This is nonsense. There are many ways to manipulate a photo without
> corrupting it.
> >
> >
> >John Sterling
> >VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
> >
> >26 Palm Ave
> >Woodland, CA 95695
> >530 908-3836
> >jsterling@wavecable.com
> >www.sterlingbirds.com
> >
> >
> >
> >> On Apr 6, 2017, at 4:39 PM, Noah Arthur > wrote:
> >>
> >> Over the last few months, I've done some research on an issue that
> doesn't
> >> get much attention in the birding community, but might be of interest
> when
> >> it comes to difficult-to-ID rarities: digital image corruption. Through
> >> online research and asking questions on photography forums, I've
> discovered
> >> several disconcerting facts about corruption:
> >>
> >> 1) Image corruption can be caused by a number of common photography
> >> practices and mistakes. Here's a long list: http://digicamhelp.com/
> >> accessories/memory-cards/corrupted-memory-card/
> >>
> >> 2) Image corruption is not always obvious. It can be very subtle and
> >> difficult to notice. In other words, a corrupted photo won't necessarily
> >> look corrupted, so you can't conclude that a photo isn't corrupted just
> >> because it looks okay.
> >>
> >> 3) It is possible for just one detail in a photo to be corrupted while
> the
> >> rest of the image is unaffected. For example, a yellow bill can be
> >> corrupted to look orange, even if nothing else in the photo is
> corrupted.
> >> (In other words, the sequence of binary code that codes for yellow color
> >> gets changed to a sequence that codes for orange, while all the rest of
> the
> >> code that makes up the image remains unchanged.)
> >>
> >> Based on these facts, it seems possible for a photo of one species to
> look
> >> like another similar species. For example, if a photo of a yellowlegs
> got
> >> corrupted so that the legs look reddish, you would have a photo of what
> >> looks like a Redshank! This makes me seriously question whether or not
> >> digital photography is really a surefire way of documenting rare birds.
> To
> >> me, the best way to think of this is in terms of scientific hypothesis
> >> testing: In bird ID, a common species is the null hypothesis, while a
> rare
> >> species is the alternative hypothesis. Scientifically, we aren't
> supposed
> >> to accept the alternative hypothesis unless we can conclusively rule out
> >> the null hypothesis. We often use digital photos to rule out the null
> >> hypothesis and "prove" that a bird really is a rarity. But if there's a
> >> chance that the photos of the "rarity" are really corrupted photos of a
> >> similar common species, then the common species (the null hypothesis)
> can't
> >> be completely ruled out, and therefore the rare species (the alternative
> >> hypothesis) can't be proven.
> >>
> >> So if there is any chance that a photo might be corrupted, it seems to
> me
> >> that it can't be used as conclusive evidence for a rare bird sighting,
> >> especially if there are very similar common species that must be ruled
> out
> >> based on just one or two small field marks (insert gull or shorebird
> >> example here)... I wonder if records committees, eBird reviewers, and
> other
> >> reviewers of bird records should take into account the possibility of
> photo
> >> corruption? For example, maybe rarity report forms should include a
> >> questionnaire asking if the photographer has made any of the common
> >> mistakes listed in the link above? What do you all think? Is corruption
> a
> >> legitimate concern when it comes to rare bird photography... Or is this
> >> just my OCD making me worry about something that doesn't need worrying
> >> about again? :)
> >>
> >> Good Gulling!
> >>
> >> Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA)
> >> semirelicta@gmail.com
> >> 510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>
> >>
> >> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
> >
> >
> >Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
> --
> Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Digital image corruption and rarity records
Date: Fri Apr 7 2017 14:57 pm
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
Hi,

To add to what Joseph Morlan wrote the main purpose of a blog I write is to explore all these different images biases. I came up with the concept of an image quality tool as a way to score bird images accordingly. I agree with Joseph and others that there are enough verifiable and quantifiable common image quality issues that can and do easily influence bird identifications from digital images without having to worry about rarer, potentially undetectable issues.

I haven't come across the phenomenon you describe Noah but I imagine it's possible so I would love to see an example.

Regards

Mike O'Keeffe
Ireland
http://birdingimagequalitytool...


----- Original Message -----
From: Joseph Morlan
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Sent: Fri, 07 Apr 2017 19:43:19 +0100 (IST)
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Digital image corruption and rarity records

Noah,

It's a little hard to know where to start but I think the issue of image
corruption is a minor part of a much larger suite of issues that can plague
digital photography.

These are in no particular order.

1. Bias caused by the monitor. Most people viewing images do so on a
computer screen. There are a variety of such screens but most current
monitors use LCD. The image must be displayed in the form of pixels. Thus
there will not be a one-to-one correspondence between what is on the image
and what the eye sees. No two monitors will show the bird exactly the
same. Some of these differences are imperceptible, but others can be
extreme. One time I posted a perfectly good photo of a Red-tailed Hawk and
received a comment that he had never seen a "green Red-tailed Hawk."
Clearly this person who had never properly calibrated his monitor. Many
years ago when hardware was not as good as it is today, I ran a series of
mystery birds on my website. I put a standard disclaimer saying...

"Color perception has been a chronic problem in assessing photographic
images on the web. This problem is compounded by the wide variety of
hardware and software used to view these images. Please adjust your video
to the highest possible number of colors. My logs show that over 25% of
visitors view these pages with only 256 colors (8 bit). Sixteen bit (high
color) is minimum and 24 bit (true color) desirable. Also you may wish to
calibrate your monitor against a color standard and ensure that brightness
and contrast are set correctly."

2. Bias caused by the camera or the media. I have one camera that appears
to be biased toward yellow. To get a good image I usually have to
desaturate the yellow in my image editing software. One of the big
advantages of digital imaging is that the photographer is also the
developer. Unlike the old days when we sent exposed rolls of film out to
places like Seattle Film Works and hoped for the best, good image editing
software allows the photographer to make adjustments to exposure,
brightness, color balance, sharpness, etc. In the case of bird
identification, it is up to the photographer to correct the image so it
looks as close as possible to what the bird looked like in life.
Unfortunately this calls for human judgment and can be subject to bias and
error as can any human endeavor.

There is a "purist" segment of the bird photography community that believes
that one should never edit a photo other than to crop and scale it. They
believe that any other editing is corrupting in some way and misrepresents
reality. I disagree. What comes out of the camera usually benefits from
at least some correction. Nevertheless I frequently see images with excess
post-processing, particularly over-sharpening.

3. Bias caused by camera settings. Most cameras shoot JPG format. JPG is
a "lossy" format in that it tries to intelligently eliminate duplicative or
unnecessary pixels to reduce the image size on disk. While this format
works very well, there is a whole subject devoted to what are called "JPG
artifacts" that come into play whenever a JPG is created or edited. Some
cameras create smaller JPG's which lose more of the original data than
others. This problem is solved by shooting with a camera that supports RAW
format. These formats (often specific to particular camera brands) are
lossless. I.e. they keep every pixel that the media records. Serious
photographer understand the benefits of using RAW formats. Nevertheless,
the image still needs to be converted to a JPG or PNG format in order to be
rendered by browsing software. And then the rendering ends up on a screen
which may have other biases.

4. Bias caused by environmental conditions. The same bird looks different
in the shade than in bright sunlight. Backlighting can make colorful birds
look black. Sometimes software can bring out hidden colors or features when
photos are taken under harsh lighting conditions. These environmental
biases can easily result in ID errors in the field when no photography is
involved.

5. Observer biases. Some people see colors differently than others. Pale
colors are frequently confused. I show slides in bird classes and have
polled students on the color of the bill of a Flesh-footed Shearwater and
over the years, 50% will vote that it is pink and 50% will vote that it is
yellow. There is no correlation between the age or sex of the students and
how they identify the color which all students observe under exactly
identical conditions.

I could go on. We all know there is a difference between good pictures and
bad pictures and can usually tell the difference. There is no question that
digital photography has transformed the way we communicate about birds in a
powerful way. But image corruption as Noah describes is a minor part of a
broader range of biases and variations that we need to be aware of whenever
we post images or respond to questions about posted images.

On Fri, 7 Apr 2017 10:37:33 -0700, John Sterling
wrote:

>Noah,
>This is nonsense. There are many ways to manipulate a photo without corrupting it.
>
>
>John Sterling
>VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
>
>26 Palm Ave
>Woodland, CA 95695
>530 908-3836
>jsterling@wavecable.com
>www.sterlingbirds.com
>
>
>
>> On Apr 6, 2017, at 4:39 PM, Noah Arthur wrote:
>>
>> Over the last few months, I've done some research on an issue that doesn't
>> get much attention in the birding community, but might be of interest when
>> it comes to difficult-to-ID rarities: digital image corruption. Through
>> online research and asking questions on photography forums, I've discovered
>> several disconcerting facts about corruption:
>>
>> 1) Image corruption can be caused by a number of common photography
>> practices and mistakes. Here's a long list: http://digicamhelp.com/
>> accessories/memory-cards/corrupted-memory-card/
>>
>> 2) Image corruption is not always obvious. It can be very subtle and
>> difficult to notice. In other words, a corrupted photo won't necessarily
>> look corrupted, so you can't conclude that a photo isn't corrupted just
>> because it looks okay.
>>
>> 3) It is possible for just one detail in a photo to be corrupted while the
>> rest of the image is unaffected. For example, a yellow bill can be
>> corrupted to look orange, even if nothing else in the photo is corrupted.
>> (In other words, the sequence of binary code that codes for yellow color
>> gets changed to a sequence that codes for orange, while all the rest of the
>> code that makes up the image remains unchanged.)
>>
>> Based on these facts, it seems possible for a photo of one species to look
>> like another similar species. For example, if a photo of a yellowlegs got
>> corrupted so that the legs look reddish, you would have a photo of what
>> looks like a Redshank! This makes me seriously question whether or not
>> digital photography is really a surefire way of documenting rare birds. To
>> me, the best way to think of this is in terms of scientific hypothesis
>> testing: In bird ID, a common species is the null hypothesis, while a rare
>> species is the alternative hypothesis. Scientifically, we aren't supposed
>> to accept the alternative hypothesis unless we can conclusively rule out
>> the null hypothesis. We often use digital photos to rule out the null
>> hypothesis and "prove" that a bird really is a rarity. But if there's a
>> chance that the photos of the "rarity" are really corrupted photos of a
>> similar common species, then the common species (the null hypothesis) can't
>> be completely ruled out, and therefore the rare species (the alternative
>> hypothesis) can't be proven.
>>
>> So if there is any chance that a photo might be corrupted, it seems to me
>> that it can't be used as conclusive evidence for a rare bird sighting,
>> especially if there are very similar common species that must be ruled out
>> based on just one or two small field marks (insert gull or shorebird
>> example here)... I wonder if records committees, eBird reviewers, and other
>> reviewers of bird records should take into account the possibility of photo
>> corruption? For example, maybe rarity report forms should include a
>> questionnaire asking if the photographer has made any of the common
>> mistakes listed in the link above? What do you all think? Is corruption a
>> legitimate concern when it comes to rare bird photography... Or is this
>> just my OCD making me worry about something that doesn't need worrying
>> about again? :)
>>
>> Good Gulling!
>>
>> Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA)
>> semirelicta@gmail.com
>> 510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
>
>Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Digital image corruption and rarity records
Date: Fri Apr 7 2017 13:42 pm
From: jmorlan AT gmail.com
 
Noah,

It's a little hard to know where to start but I think the issue of image
corruption is a minor part of a much larger suite of issues that can plague
digital photography.

These are in no particular order.

1. Bias caused by the monitor. Most people viewing images do so on a
computer screen. There are a variety of such screens but most current
monitors use LCD. The image must be displayed in the form of pixels. Thus
there will not be a one-to-one correspondence between what is on the image
and what the eye sees. No two monitors will show the bird exactly the
same. Some of these differences are imperceptible, but others can be
extreme. One time I posted a perfectly good photo of a Red-tailed Hawk and
received a comment that he had never seen a "green Red-tailed Hawk."
Clearly this person who had never properly calibrated his monitor. Many
years ago when hardware was not as good as it is today, I ran a series of
mystery birds on my website. I put a standard disclaimer saying...

"Color perception has been a chronic problem in assessing photographic
images on the web. This problem is compounded by the wide variety of
hardware and software used to view these images. Please adjust your video
to the highest possible number of colors. My logs show that over 25% of
visitors view these pages with only 256 colors (8 bit). Sixteen bit (high
color) is minimum and 24 bit (true color) desirable. Also you may wish to
calibrate your monitor against a color standard and ensure that brightness
and contrast are set correctly."

2. Bias caused by the camera or the media. I have one camera that appears
to be biased toward yellow. To get a good image I usually have to
desaturate the yellow in my image editing software. One of the big
advantages of digital imaging is that the photographer is also the
developer. Unlike the old days when we sent exposed rolls of film out to
places like Seattle Film Works and hoped for the best, good image editing
software allows the photographer to make adjustments to exposure,
brightness, color balance, sharpness, etc. In the case of bird
identification, it is up to the photographer to correct the image so it
looks as close as possible to what the bird looked like in life.
Unfortunately this calls for human judgment and can be subject to bias and
error as can any human endeavor.

There is a "purist" segment of the bird photography community that believes
that one should never edit a photo other than to crop and scale it. They
believe that any other editing is corrupting in some way and misrepresents
reality. I disagree. What comes out of the camera usually benefits from
at least some correction. Nevertheless I frequently see images with excess
post-processing, particularly over-sharpening.

3. Bias caused by camera settings. Most cameras shoot JPG format. JPG is
a "lossy" format in that it tries to intelligently eliminate duplicative or
unnecessary pixels to reduce the image size on disk. While this format
works very well, there is a whole subject devoted to what are called "JPG
artifacts" that come into play whenever a JPG is created or edited. Some
cameras create smaller JPG's which lose more of the original data than
others. This problem is solved by shooting with a camera that supports RAW
format. These formats (often specific to particular camera brands) are
lossless. I.e. they keep every pixel that the media records. Serious
photographer understand the benefits of using RAW formats. Nevertheless,
the image still needs to be converted to a JPG or PNG format in order to be
rendered by browsing software. And then the rendering ends up on a screen
which may have other biases.

4. Bias caused by environmental conditions. The same bird looks different
in the shade than in bright sunlight. Backlighting can make colorful birds
look black. Sometimes software can bring out hidden colors or features when
photos are taken under harsh lighting conditions. These environmental
biases can easily result in ID errors in the field when no photography is
involved.

5. Observer biases. Some people see colors differently than others. Pale
colors are frequently confused. I show slides in bird classes and have
polled students on the color of the bill of a Flesh-footed Shearwater and
over the years, 50% will vote that it is pink and 50% will vote that it is
yellow. There is no correlation between the age or sex of the students and
how they identify the color which all students observe under exactly
identical conditions.

I could go on. We all know there is a difference between good pictures and
bad pictures and can usually tell the difference. There is no question that
digital photography has transformed the way we communicate about birds in a
powerful way. But image corruption as Noah describes is a minor part of a
broader range of biases and variations that we need to be aware of whenever
we post images or respond to questions about posted images.

On Fri, 7 Apr 2017 10:37:33 -0700, John Sterling
wrote:

>Noah,
>This is nonsense. There are many ways to manipulate a photo without corrupting it.
>
>
>John Sterling
>VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV
>
>26 Palm Ave
>Woodland, CA 95695
>530 908-3836
>jsterling@wavecable.com
>www.sterlingbirds.com
>
>
>
>> On Apr 6, 2017, at 4:39 PM, Noah Arthur wrote:
>>
>> Over the last few months, I've done some research on an issue that doesn't
>> get much attention in the birding community, but might be of interest when
>> it comes to difficult-to-ID rarities: digital image corruption. Through
>> online research and asking questions on photography forums, I've discovered
>> several disconcerting facts about corruption:
>>
>> 1) Image corruption can be caused by a number of common photography
>> practices and mistakes. Here's a long list: http://digicamhelp.com/
>> accessories/memory-cards/corrupted-memory-card/
>>
>> 2) Image corruption is not always obvious. It can be very subtle and
>> difficult to notice. In other words, a corrupted photo won't necessarily
>> look corrupted, so you can't conclude that a photo isn't corrupted just
>> because it looks okay.
>>
>> 3) It is possible for just one detail in a photo to be corrupted while the
>> rest of the image is unaffected. For example, a yellow bill can be
>> corrupted to look orange, even if nothing else in the photo is corrupted.
>> (In other words, the sequence of binary code that codes for yellow color
>> gets changed to a sequence that codes for orange, while all the rest of the
>> code that makes up the image remains unchanged.)
>>
>> Based on these facts, it seems possible for a photo of one species to look
>> like another similar species. For example, if a photo of a yellowlegs got
>> corrupted so that the legs look reddish, you would have a photo of what
>> looks like a Redshank! This makes me seriously question whether or not
>> digital photography is really a surefire way of documenting rare birds. To
>> me, the best way to think of this is in terms of scientific hypothesis
>> testing: In bird ID, a common species is the null hypothesis, while a rare
>> species is the alternative hypothesis. Scientifically, we aren't supposed
>> to accept the alternative hypothesis unless we can conclusively rule out
>> the null hypothesis. We often use digital photos to rule out the null
>> hypothesis and "prove" that a bird really is a rarity. But if there's a
>> chance that the photos of the "rarity" are really corrupted photos of a
>> similar common species, then the common species (the null hypothesis) can't
>> be completely ruled out, and therefore the rare species (the alternative
>> hypothesis) can't be proven.
>>
>> So if there is any chance that a photo might be corrupted, it seems to me
>> that it can't be used as conclusive evidence for a rare bird sighting,
>> especially if there are very similar common species that must be ruled out
>> based on just one or two small field marks (insert gull or shorebird
>> example here)... I wonder if records committees, eBird reviewers, and other
>> reviewers of bird records should take into account the possibility of photo
>> corruption? For example, maybe rarity report forms should include a
>> questionnaire asking if the photographer has made any of the common
>> mistakes listed in the link above? What do you all think? Is corruption a
>> legitimate concern when it comes to rare bird photography... Or is this
>> just my OCD making me worry about something that doesn't need worrying
>> about again? :)
>>
>> Good Gulling!
>>
>> Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA)
>> semirelicta@gmail.com
>> 510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
>
>Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
--
Joseph Morlan, Pacifica, CA

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Digital image corruption and rarity records
Date: Fri Apr 7 2017 12:37 pm
From: jsterling AT wavecable.com
 
Noah,
This is nonsense. There are many ways to manipulate a photo without corrupting it.


John Sterling
VVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVV

26 Palm Ave
Woodland, CA 95695
530 908-3836
jsterling@wavecable.com
www.sterlingbirds.com



> On Apr 6, 2017, at 4:39 PM, Noah Arthur wrote:
>
> Over the last few months, I've done some research on an issue that doesn't
> get much attention in the birding community, but might be of interest when
> it comes to difficult-to-ID rarities: digital image corruption. Through
> online research and asking questions on photography forums, I've discovered
> several disconcerting facts about corruption:
>
> 1) Image corruption can be caused by a number of common photography
> practices and mistakes. Here's a long list: http://digicamhelp.com/
> accessories/memory-cards/corrupted-memory-card/
>
> 2) Image corruption is not always obvious. It can be very subtle and
> difficult to notice. In other words, a corrupted photo won't necessarily
> look corrupted, so you can't conclude that a photo isn't corrupted just
> because it looks okay.
>
> 3) It is possible for just one detail in a photo to be corrupted while the
> rest of the image is unaffected. For example, a yellow bill can be
> corrupted to look orange, even if nothing else in the photo is corrupted.
> (In other words, the sequence of binary code that codes for yellow color
> gets changed to a sequence that codes for orange, while all the rest of the
> code that makes up the image remains unchanged.)
>
> Based on these facts, it seems possible for a photo of one species to look
> like another similar species. For example, if a photo of a yellowlegs got
> corrupted so that the legs look reddish, you would have a photo of what
> looks like a Redshank! This makes me seriously question whether or not
> digital photography is really a surefire way of documenting rare birds. To
> me, the best way to think of this is in terms of scientific hypothesis
> testing: In bird ID, a common species is the null hypothesis, while a rare
> species is the alternative hypothesis. Scientifically, we aren't supposed
> to accept the alternative hypothesis unless we can conclusively rule out
> the null hypothesis. We often use digital photos to rule out the null
> hypothesis and "prove" that a bird really is a rarity. But if there's a
> chance that the photos of the "rarity" are really corrupted photos of a
> similar common species, then the common species (the null hypothesis) can't
> be completely ruled out, and therefore the rare species (the alternative
> hypothesis) can't be proven.
>
> So if there is any chance that a photo might be corrupted, it seems to me
> that it can't be used as conclusive evidence for a rare bird sighting,
> especially if there are very similar common species that must be ruled out
> based on just one or two small field marks (insert gull or shorebird
> example here)... I wonder if records committees, eBird reviewers, and other
> reviewers of bird records should take into account the possibility of photo
> corruption? For example, maybe rarity report forms should include a
> questionnaire asking if the photographer has made any of the common
> mistakes listed in the link above? What do you all think? Is corruption a
> legitimate concern when it comes to rare bird photography... Or is this
> just my OCD making me worry about something that doesn't need worrying
> about again? :)
>
> Good Gulling!
>
> Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA)
> semirelicta@gmail.com
> 510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...


Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Digital image corruption and rarity records
Date: Fri Apr 7 2017 11:09 am
From: baro AT pdx.edu
 
PS.  i do have a Least Sandpiper photo with black legs on rocks (no mud)
but this bird did have black legs. Bob Ob.

On Friday, April 7, 2017, Robert O'Brien wrote:
> As a compulsive photographer (don't even own binoculars) I've taken many
10000s of telephoto bird, flower, scenic photos of common things since the
dawn of digital photography and never seen this phenomenon.
> Bob obrien Carver OR
>
> On Thursday, April 6, 2017, Michael O'Keeffe wrote:
>> Hi Noah,
>>
>> Did you come across any "before and after" images showing what an image
looked like before it got corrupted and what it looked like afterwards. I
would imagine that the incidence of a barely perceptible corruption in an
image which resulted in one species conveniently looking like another is
really rare but it would be interesting to look at some examples.
>>
>> Regards
>>
>> Mike O'Keeffe
>> Ireland
>>
>>
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Noah Arthur"
>> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
>> Sent: Friday, 7 April, 2017 00:39:47
>> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Digital image corruption and rarity records
>>
>> Over the last few months, I've done some research on an issue that
doesn't
>> get much attention in the birding community, but might be of interest
when
>> it comes to difficult-to-ID rarities: digital image corruption. Through
>> online research and asking questions on photography forums, I've
discovered
>> several disconcerting facts about corruption:
>>
>> 1) Image corruption can be caused by a number of common photography
>> practices and mistakes. Here's a long list: http://digicamhelp.com/
>> accessories/memory-cards/corrupted-memory-card/
>>
>> 2) Image corruption is not always obvious. It can be very subtle and
>> difficult to notice. In other words, a corrupted photo won't necessarily
>> look corrupted, so you can't conclude that a photo isn't corrupted just
>> because it looks okay.
>>
>> 3) It is possible for just one detail in a photo to be corrupted while
the
>> rest of the image is unaffected. For example, a yellow bill can be
>> corrupted to look orange, even if nothing else in the photo is corrupted.
>> (In other words, the sequence of binary code that codes for yellow color
>> gets changed to a sequence that codes for orange, while all the rest of
the
>> code that makes up the image remains unchanged.)
>>
>> Based on these facts, it seems possible for a photo of one species to
look
>> like another similar species. For example, if a photo of a yellowlegs got
>> corrupted so that the legs look reddish, you would have a photo of what
>> looks like a Redshank! This makes me seriously question whether or not
>> digital photography is really a surefire way of documenting rare birds.
To
>> me, the best way to think of this is in terms of scientific hypothesis
>> testing: In bird ID, a common species is the null hypothesis, while a
rare
>> species is the alternative hypothesis. Scientifically, we aren't supposed
>> to accept the alternative hypothesis unless we can conclusively rule out
>> the null hypothesis. We often use digital photos to rule out the null
>> hypothesis and "prove" that a bird really is a rarity. But if there's a
>> chance that the photos of the "rarity" are really corrupted photos of a
>> similar common species, then the common species (the null hypothesis)
can't
>> be completely ruled out, and therefore the rare species (the alternative
>> hypothesis) can't be proven.
>>
>> So if there is any chance that a photo might be corrupted, it seems to me
>> that it can't be used as conclusive evidence for a rare bird sighting,
>> especially if there are very similar common species that must be ruled
out
>> based on just one or two small field marks (insert gull or shorebird
>> example here)... I wonder if records committees, eBird reviewers, and
other
>> reviewers of bird records should take into account the possibility of
photo
>> corruption? For example, maybe rarity report forms should include a
>> questionnaire asking if the photographer has made any of the common
>> mistakes listed in the link above? What do you all think? Is corruption a
>> legitimate concern when it comes to rare bird photography... Or is this
>> just my OCD making me worry about something that doesn't need worrying
>> about again? :)
>>
>> Good Gulling!
>>
>> Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA)
>> semirelicta@gmail.com
>> 510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>
>> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Digital image corruption and rarity records
Date: Fri Apr 7 2017 11:05 am
From: baro AT pdx.edu
 
As a compulsive photographer (don't even own binoculars) I've taken many
10000s of telephoto bird, flower, scenic photos of common things since the
dawn of digital photography and never seen this phenomenon.
Bob obrien Carver OR

On Thursday, April 6, 2017, Michael O'Keeffe wrote:
> Hi Noah,
>
> Did you come across any "before and after" images showing what an image
looked like before it got corrupted and what it looked like afterwards. I
would imagine that the incidence of a barely perceptible corruption in an
image which resulted in one species conveniently looking like another is
really rare but it would be interesting to look at some examples.
>
> Regards
>
> Mike O'Keeffe
> Ireland
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Noah Arthur"
> To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
> Sent: Friday, 7 April, 2017 00:39:47
> Subject: [BIRDWG01] Digital image corruption and rarity records
>
> Over the last few months, I've done some research on an issue that doesn't
> get much attention in the birding community, but might be of interest when
> it comes to difficult-to-ID rarities: digital image corruption. Through
> online research and asking questions on photography forums, I've
discovered
> several disconcerting facts about corruption:
>
> 1) Image corruption can be caused by a number of common photography
> practices and mistakes. Here's a long list: http://digicamhelp.com/
> accessories/memory-cards/corrupted-memory-card/
>
> 2) Image corruption is not always obvious. It can be very subtle and
> difficult to notice. In other words, a corrupted photo won't necessarily
> look corrupted, so you can't conclude that a photo isn't corrupted just
> because it looks okay.
>
> 3) It is possible for just one detail in a photo to be corrupted while the
> rest of the image is unaffected. For example, a yellow bill can be
> corrupted to look orange, even if nothing else in the photo is corrupted.
> (In other words, the sequence of binary code that codes for yellow color
> gets changed to a sequence that codes for orange, while all the rest of
the
> code that makes up the image remains unchanged.)
>
> Based on these facts, it seems possible for a photo of one species to look
> like another similar species. For example, if a photo of a yellowlegs got
> corrupted so that the legs look reddish, you would have a photo of what
> looks like a Redshank! This makes me seriously question whether or not
> digital photography is really a surefire way of documenting rare birds. To
> me, the best way to think of this is in terms of scientific hypothesis
> testing: In bird ID, a common species is the null hypothesis, while a rare
> species is the alternative hypothesis. Scientifically, we aren't supposed
> to accept the alternative hypothesis unless we can conclusively rule out
> the null hypothesis. We often use digital photos to rule out the null
> hypothesis and "prove" that a bird really is a rarity. But if there's a
> chance that the photos of the "rarity" are really corrupted photos of a
> similar common species, then the common species (the null hypothesis)
can't
> be completely ruled out, and therefore the rare species (the alternative
> hypothesis) can't be proven.
>
> So if there is any chance that a photo might be corrupted, it seems to me
> that it can't be used as conclusive evidence for a rare bird sighting,
> especially if there are very similar common species that must be ruled out
> based on just one or two small field marks (insert gull or shorebird
> example here)... I wonder if records committees, eBird reviewers, and
other
> reviewers of bird records should take into account the possibility of
photo
> corruption? For example, maybe rarity report forms should include a
> questionnaire asking if the photographer has made any of the common
> mistakes listed in the link above? What do you all think? Is corruption a
> legitimate concern when it comes to rare bird photography... Or is this
> just my OCD making me worry about something that doesn't need worrying
> about again? :)
>
> Good Gulling!
>
> Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA)
> semirelicta@gmail.com
> 510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Digital image corruption and rarity records
Date: Fri Apr 7 2017 1:49 am
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
Hi Noah,

Did you come across any "before and after" images showing what an image looked like before it got corrupted and what it looked like afterwards. I would imagine that the incidence of a barely perceptible corruption in an image which resulted in one species conveniently looking like another is really rare but it would be interesting to look at some examples.

Regards

Mike O'Keeffe
Ireland


----- Original Message -----
From: "Noah Arthur"
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Sent: Friday, 7 April, 2017 00:39:47
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Digital image corruption and rarity records

Over the last few months, I've done some research on an issue that doesn't
get much attention in the birding community, but might be of interest when
it comes to difficult-to-ID rarities: digital image corruption. Through
online research and asking questions on photography forums, I've discovered
several disconcerting facts about corruption:

1) Image corruption can be caused by a number of common photography
practices and mistakes. Here's a long list: http://digicamhelp.com/
accessories/memory-cards/corrupted-memory-card/

2) Image corruption is not always obvious. It can be very subtle and
difficult to notice. In other words, a corrupted photo won't necessarily
look corrupted, so you can't conclude that a photo isn't corrupted just
because it looks okay.

3) It is possible for just one detail in a photo to be corrupted while the
rest of the image is unaffected. For example, a yellow bill can be
corrupted to look orange, even if nothing else in the photo is corrupted.
(In other words, the sequence of binary code that codes for yellow color
gets changed to a sequence that codes for orange, while all the rest of the
code that makes up the image remains unchanged.)

Based on these facts, it seems possible for a photo of one species to look
like another similar species. For example, if a photo of a yellowlegs got
corrupted so that the legs look reddish, you would have a photo of what
looks like a Redshank! This makes me seriously question whether or not
digital photography is really a surefire way of documenting rare birds. To
me, the best way to think of this is in terms of scientific hypothesis
testing: In bird ID, a common species is the null hypothesis, while a rare
species is the alternative hypothesis. Scientifically, we aren't supposed
to accept the alternative hypothesis unless we can conclusively rule out
the null hypothesis. We often use digital photos to rule out the null
hypothesis and "prove" that a bird really is a rarity. But if there's a
chance that the photos of the "rarity" are really corrupted photos of a
similar common species, then the common species (the null hypothesis) can't
be completely ruled out, and therefore the rare species (the alternative
hypothesis) can't be proven.

So if there is any chance that a photo might be corrupted, it seems to me
that it can't be used as conclusive evidence for a rare bird sighting,
especially if there are very similar common species that must be ruled out
based on just one or two small field marks (insert gull or shorebird
example here)... I wonder if records committees, eBird reviewers, and other
reviewers of bird records should take into account the possibility of photo
corruption? For example, maybe rarity report forms should include a
questionnaire asking if the photographer has made any of the common
mistakes listed in the link above? What do you all think? Is corruption a
legitimate concern when it comes to rare bird photography... Or is this
just my OCD making me worry about something that doesn't need worrying
about again? :)

Good Gulling!

Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA)
semirelicta@gmail.com
510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Digital image corruption and rarity records
Date: Thu Apr 6 2017 22:52 pm
From: kjm2 AT cornell.edu
 
Nobody advocates identifying any bird from a single photograph. The larger the series, the better. I would keep these ideas in mind, but the probability of multiple photos being corrupted in the same way such that they all support the same misidentification seems vanishingly small. I might use the concept to reinforce my own prejudices against using a single photo for ID, but I don't see this as a problem for digital photography or rare bird identification as a whole.


Kevin


Kevin J. McGowan, Ph.D.
Project Manager
Distance Learning in Bird Biology
Cornell Lab of Ornithology
159 Sapsucker Woods Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
kjm2@cornell.edu
607-254-2452


________________________________
From: NBHC ID-FRONTIERS Frontiers of Field Identification on behalf of Noah Arthur
Sent: Thursday, April 6, 2017 7:39 PM
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Subject: [BIRDWG01] Digital image corruption and rarity records

Over the last few months, I've done some research on an issue that doesn't
get much attention in the birding community, but might be of interest when
it comes to difficult-to-ID rarities: digital image corruption. Through
online research and asking questions on photography forums, I've discovered
several disconcerting facts about corruption:

1) Image corruption can be caused by a number of common photography
practices and mistakes. Here's a long list: http://digicamhelp.com/
[https://i0.wp.com/digicamhelp....

Digicamhelp - Digital Camera Help for Beginners & Beyond
digicamhelp.com
Digital Camera Help for Beginners & Beyond ... Taking photos of the moon can be done with relative ease even with a modest point and shoot digital camera.


accessories/memory-cards/corrupted-memory-card/

2) Image corruption is not always obvious. It can be very subtle and
difficult to notice. In other words, a corrupted photo won't necessarily
look corrupted, so you can't conclude that a photo isn't corrupted just
because it looks okay.

3) It is possible for just one detail in a photo to be corrupted while the
rest of the image is unaffected. For example, a yellow bill can be
corrupted to look orange, even if nothing else in the photo is corrupted.
(In other words, the sequence of binary code that codes for yellow color
gets changed to a sequence that codes for orange, while all the rest of the
code that makes up the image remains unchanged.)

Based on these facts, it seems possible for a photo of one species to look
like another similar species. For example, if a photo of a yellowlegs got
corrupted so that the legs look reddish, you would have a photo of what
looks like a Redshank! This makes me seriously question whether or not
digital photography is really a surefire way of documenting rare birds. To
me, the best way to think of this is in terms of scientific hypothesis
testing: In bird ID, a common species is the null hypothesis, while a rare
species is the alternative hypothesis. Scientifically, we aren't supposed
to accept the alternative hypothesis unless we can conclusively rule out
the null hypothesis. We often use digital photos to rule out the null
hypothesis and "prove" that a bird really is a rarity. But if there's a
chance that the photos of the "rarity" are really corrupted photos of a
similar common species, then the common species (the null hypothesis) can't
be completely ruled out, and therefore the rare species (the alternative
hypothesis) can't be proven.

So if there is any chance that a photo might be corrupted, it seems to me
that it can't be used as conclusive evidence for a rare bird sighting,
especially if there are very similar common species that must be ruled out
based on just one or two small field marks (insert gull or shorebird
example here)... I wonder if records committees, eBird reviewers, and other
reviewers of bird records should take into account the possibility of photo
corruption? For example, maybe rarity report forms should include a
questionnaire asking if the photographer has made any of the common
mistakes listed in the link above? What do you all think? Is corruption a
legitimate concern when it comes to rare bird photography... Or is this
just my OCD making me worry about something that doesn't need worrying
about again? :)

Good Gulling!

Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA)
semirelicta@gmail.com
510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Digital image corruption and rarity records
Date: Thu Apr 6 2017 18:50 pm
From: semirelicta AT gmail.com
 
Over the last few months, I've done some research on an issue that doesn't
get much attention in the birding community, but might be of interest when
it comes to difficult-to-ID rarities: digital image corruption. Through
online research and asking questions on photography forums, I've discovered
several disconcerting facts about corruption:

1) Image corruption can be caused by a number of common photography
practices and mistakes. Here's a long list: http://digicamhelp.com/
accessories/memory-cards/corrupted-memory-card/

2) Image corruption is not always obvious. It can be very subtle and
difficult to notice. In other words, a corrupted photo won't necessarily
look corrupted, so you can't conclude that a photo isn't corrupted just
because it looks okay.

3) It is possible for just one detail in a photo to be corrupted while the
rest of the image is unaffected. For example, a yellow bill can be
corrupted to look orange, even if nothing else in the photo is corrupted.
(In other words, the sequence of binary code that codes for yellow color
gets changed to a sequence that codes for orange, while all the rest of the
code that makes up the image remains unchanged.)

Based on these facts, it seems possible for a photo of one species to look
like another similar species. For example, if a photo of a yellowlegs got
corrupted so that the legs look reddish, you would have a photo of what
looks like a Redshank! This makes me seriously question whether or not
digital photography is really a surefire way of documenting rare birds. To
me, the best way to think of this is in terms of scientific hypothesis
testing: In bird ID, a common species is the null hypothesis, while a rare
species is the alternative hypothesis. Scientifically, we aren't supposed
to accept the alternative hypothesis unless we can conclusively rule out
the null hypothesis. We often use digital photos to rule out the null
hypothesis and "prove" that a bird really is a rarity. But if there's a
chance that the photos of the "rarity" are really corrupted photos of a
similar common species, then the common species (the null hypothesis) can't
be completely ruled out, and therefore the rare species (the alternative
hypothesis) can't be proven.

So if there is any chance that a photo might be corrupted, it seems to me
that it can't be used as conclusive evidence for a rare bird sighting,
especially if there are very similar common species that must be ruled out
based on just one or two small field marks (insert gull or shorebird
example here)... I wonder if records committees, eBird reviewers, and other
reviewers of bird records should take into account the possibility of photo
corruption? For example, maybe rarity report forms should include a
questionnaire asking if the photographer has made any of the common
mistakes listed in the link above? What do you all think? Is corruption a
legitimate concern when it comes to rare bird photography... Or is this
just my OCD making me worry about something that doesn't need worrying
about again? :)

Good Gulling!

Noah Arthur (Oakland, CA)
semirelicta@gmail.com
510-967-2179 <(510)%20967-2179>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...



Subject: Comments requested on a Podiceps grebe in Florida, Part II
Date: Sun Mar 26 2017 2:57 am
From: okeeffeml AT eircom.net
 
Hi,

The better images at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/ch... confirm its a Horned (Slavonian) Grebe. Unfortunate that all images to date appear more or less in silhouette. But even in spite of that, overall structure fits Horned, especially the flat crown. The bill shape can be a little hard to discern due to back lighting but fits Horned, with no indication of an upturn (eg. ML52135671 and ML52135681). And, it clearly has a pale tip as others have pointed out. Also others have commented the breeding plumage pattern coming through on the head fits Horned perfectly, including the golden feathering above and behind the eye, extending clearly onto the lores (eg. ML52135741). I note Glenn d'Entremont's comments re reddish colour on the lower neck but Eared (Black-necked) can also show this before attaining it's full, black breeding plumage. I don't think there is any reason to suspect a hybrid.

Regards

Mike O'Keeffe
Ireland

----- Original Message -----
From: "Glenn d'Entremont"
To: BIRDWG01 AT LISTSERV.KSU.EDU
Sent: Sunday, 26 March, 2017 00:59:26
Subject: Re: [BIRDWG01] Comments requested on a Podiceps grebe in Florida, Part II

This bird looks shaped like a Horned IMO with low sleeked back and an elongated crown with no peak.


Is it my monitor, but in images ML52135681 and ML52135781 does it appear to show a reddish color near the lower neck? This also appears in the reflection in the water on ....681. This is only on the right side I do not get that from with the bird facing left.


Anyone else getting this impression/color?


Glenn


Glenn d'Entremont: gdentremont1@comcast.net Stoughton, MA


>
> On March 24, 2017 at 3:27 AM Bill Pranty wrote:
>
> Good morning,
>
> Yesterday I revisited Anclote River Park and again photographed the Horned/Eared grebe. The lighting was much better but the grebe was farther offshore. Nonetheless, I hope that the new images will clarify some of the confusion regarding the grebe's ID (although I accept that its identity may never be settled).
>
> My new eBIrd checklist with 10 new images is here:
>
> http://ebird.org/ebird/view/ch...
>
> As an FYI, while Horned Grebe is a regular, fairly common to occasionally common migrant and winter resident locally, eared Grebe has never been documented via photographic proof. So, if this grebe is accepted to be an Eared Grebe, then we will have a new bird for Pasco County.
>
> Thanks to all who have already commented.
>
> Best regards,
>
> Bill
>
> --
>
> Bill Pranty
>
> Bayonet Point (Pasco County), Florida
>
> Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...
>

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...

Archives: https://listserv.ksu.edu/birdw...


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