Date: 11/17/20 8:03 pm
From: Craig Miller <gismiller...>
Subject: [obol] Re: Tundra or Trumpeter? And a question
Hi Rebecca,

In my experience, immature swans present a much more difficult ID challenge
than adult birds. Many of the characteristics that differentiate adults do
not apply to immatures, such as bill shape and shape of the forehead
border. In immature birds, the bill color is more helpful than structure.
In your photos, the base of the bill is actually lighter than the rest of
the bill -- typical for Tundra. As others have mentioned, Trumpeter Swans
should have a dark base (and mostly dark bill). I would call this a Tundra

Good Birding,

Craig Miller

On Tue, Nov 17, 2020 at 11:24 AM Rebecca Hartman <rhartman...> wrote:

> Good morning Obolers,
> I have two questions. One pertains to a bird ID; the other to the
> accepted etiquette or conventions on OBOL concerning ID requests.
> Someone made a reference awhile back to the 'dreaded ID question' and I'm
> looking for some guidance on what subscribers see as ok or not ok in this
> regard. I try really hard to figure out IDs on my own, but I often need
> help. The empid ID thread was very useful and educational for me, but my
> skill level is nowhere near that rarified strata. Me? I'm poring over
> Sibley and my photos trying to figure out if a juvenile swan is a Tundra or
> a Trumpeter.
> So, is it generally ok to ask for simple id help or is it an unspoken
> breach of list etiquette? If the latter, I apologize for my next question!
> Driving home to La Grande yesterday, after a terrific birding trip in the
> Olympic Peninsula with Stefan Schlick and a lovely flock of birders, I
> stopped at Deschutes River SP, where I found a solitary juvenile swan. I
> am stumped. To me, it looks more like a TRUMPETER, based on the pointed
> border at the top of the bill, and what may be a straighter edge along the
> side of the bill? No yellow on bill, but that might not matter on a
> juvenile bird? A Tundra would be more likely, but I'm uncertain and would
> like to know what else I should be looking at. I appreciate any help!
> Here <> is the link to 3
> photos in Google Photos in case the uploads don't work.
> Cheers,
> Rebecca
> --
> Dr. Rebecca Hartman
> Associate Professor of History
> History Department
> Eastern Oregon University
> 541-962-3599
> *The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to
> grow sharper.”*― Eden Phillpotts

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