Date: 11/12/20 11:11 am
From: Nels Nelson <nelsnelson7...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Hagg Lake Goldeneyes

Thanks Rick for sharing the additional information on how to properly ID
female goldeneyes. After reviewing all this additional information and
reviewing all my photos of the yellow-billed individual, I've concluded it
is a somewhat unusual variant of a juvenile Common Goldeneye. If
interested, I've added additional photos of the yellow-billed bird to my
eBird report above.

Nels Nelson

On Thu, Nov 12, 2020 at 8:04 AM Rick Bennett <rickbennett67...>

> Hi all, You may have seen this before, but last night I found a web page
> on identifying female goldeneyes:
> I had not appreciated how complicated and subjective it can be, especially
> since many of the characteristics highlighted in guides have so much
> overlap and are so changeable depending on movement and orientation.
> Concerning the bird with the mostly dirty orange bill, I realize I just
> didn't see it well enough to put a name on it. Sorry for the false alarm.
> Cheers, Rick
> On Wed, Nov 11, 2020 at 9:35 PM Susan Kirkbride <
> <susan.kirkbride99...> wrote:
>> Hi all, I went ahead and changed the Barrow’s Goldeneye on my Hagg Lake
>> eBird checklist to a Common Goldeneye. I really don’t think I photographed
>> the same birds as the rest of you. The bird I thought was a Barrow’s has a
>> different sized and shaped bill than the one Nels photographed. After
>> looking at many references I feel the head shape, eye color, and bill size,
>> shape and color are wrong on my bird for a Barrows. I took many photos of
>> the Goldeneyes I saw in various positions and none of them show my bird
>> with the forward slanting type of head shape that seems to be somewhat
>> diagnostic. I haven’t seen a lot of Barrow’s in the past, so always,
>> feedback is welcome. Cheers, Susan
>> On Nov 11, 2020, at 8:08 AM, Rick Bennett <rickbennett67...>
>> wrote:
>> Hi all, Just catching up on emails and looking at the Hagg Lake reports
>> from yesterday. Looks like everyone had less than ideal conditions for
>> looking at the goldeneyes and we all saw them under different conditions.
>> When I was there it was mid 30s and breezy so they kept their bills tucked
>> most of the time. Usually when I have seen female BAGO in the past, they
>> were associated with males. Since this time it initially appeared that
>> there were females of both species, I spent a lot of time trying to get
>> better looks and some photos and then went home to compare them to as many
>> field guides and photos as I could find. Everyone could see that bill color
>> was definitely a different color than the typical COGO. To me, body
>> plumage also seemed darker gray and more streaked on the one I called a
>> BAGO. In the field, head shape and steepness of the forehead was very fluid
>> as they moved and changed angle so I couldn't tell much from those
>> characteristics. The bill size of the bird I call the BAGO seemed smaller
>> at times and similar at others, but I had very few chances to see both
>> bills at the same time. Once home, in looking through pictures, I found
>> only one photo identified as a COGO in the eBird archive that has a similar
>> amount of orange up on the bill, but I also have to remember that depending
>> on location those photos may not have been flagged and reviewed. So,
>> because of the differences in bill color and plumage coloration, it
>> appeared to me that they really were different species, so I posted it, but
>> admittedly I hoped others with more experience with BAGO would find this
>> bird and weigh in. I am still curious if there are clues I have
>> overlooked. Stefan has seen a lot more BAGO than me and was not sure if
>> this was one. I am wondering if that was because it didn't seem to be a
>> BAGO in comparison to the nearby COGO or if it didn't look like a BAGO
>> period. I keep wondering if things would be different if we all saw the
>> bird on its own. Anyway, I'm still trying to learn for the next time.
>> Cheers, Rick
>> On Tue, Nov 10, 2020 at 6:45 PM Stefan Schlick <greenfant...>
>> wrote:
>>> On your picture it sure looks like the bird has a shorter bill than the
>>> other 3. I did not see that in the field.
>>> Elaine: Sorry, the Long-tailed Duck was again at Dam Overlook at maybe
>>> 3pm.
>>> Cheers,
>>> Stefan
>>> ------------------------------
>>> *From:* Nels Nelson <nelsnelson7...>
>>> *Sent:* Tuesday, November 10, 2020 6:23 PM
>>> *To:* <natureservices...> <natureservices...>
>>> *Cc:* Stefan Schlick <greenfant...>; Rick Bennett <
>>> <rickbennett67...>
>>> *Subject:* Re: My WW Scoter photo you requested.
>>> Hi Elaine,
>>> I forgot to send you my eBird report. You'll note that I've listed one
>>> of the goldeneyes as a Barrow's. I couldn't tell for sure when we were in
>>> the field, as with the rain and my not so great eyesight, I couldn't tell
>>> for sure. However, when I got my photos on my computer where I could see
>>> them better, I could plainly see that one of the four birds had a mostly
>>> yellow (and slightly shorter) bill as compared to the Common GE's, so have
>>> called it a Barrow's. As I state in my report, my photo looks (at least to
>>> me) to be the same bird that Rick Bennett saw and took photos of yesterday.
>>> Good Birding,
>>> Nels
>>> On Tue, Nov 10, 2020 at 6:12 PM Nels Nelson <nelsnelson7...>
>>> wrote:
>>> Hi Elaine,
>>> Great to meet up and bird with you again. I wish my photo was closer
>>> and better, but it does show a diagnostic view of the species.
>>> Nels
>>> <image.png>

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