Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Lessback + Something a Little Different

[Lesser Black-backed Gull (left) in an argument with Herring Gull, Cape May this week.  Lesser Black-backed Gulls are often found right next to the water, so look there if you don't find one roosting with the other gulls higher up on the sand. Note the head streaking on both birds, a winter or "basic" plumage feature absent on Great Black-backed Gulls. Photo by Mike Hannisian, click to enlarge.]

The NJ Chapter of the Wildlife Society met up at Assunpink yesterday for a valuable but sobering program featuring the gulf oil spill and oil spills in general, with presentations by staff members of Tri-state Bird Rescue and the US Fish and Wildlife Service who had been there.

At lunch, Dr. Jim Applegate (Cook College, Rutgers - retired) brought forth the photo below and challenged the group to identify it:

[Mystery creature, taken with an automatic trail camera in New York State. Lessons learned the hard way when it comes to photos lead me to first advise: figure out how any photo might be messing with you. Meaning, analyze what is real, what is unnatural, and what is artifact. Identifying photos of birds is a different skill than identifying birds. We think we know what this is, down to the sex. . .in fact, like so many things, the answer is obvious once you know it. Answer will be fothcoming.]

No comments: