Sunday, May 31, 2009
ANOTHER STRANGE BIRD - TELL ME WHAT YOU THINK
This afternoon I went to the marina for a meeting an information center for local residents to sign petitions and send letters of protest to the Ontario provincial government over a poorly-researched wind turbine project proposed for off-shore in Pigeon Bay (the area you see here so often in my Skywatch and other photos). I'll probably post more about the meeting later, but for now, I'm wanted to show you this photo I took at the marina park of what I'm almost certain is another leucistic bird.
This fellow was not concerned about me at all, and helpfully even walked closer to me as I snapped away with my little 3x-zoom Canon! This bird was by itself, although there were other starlings in the vicinity. That's what I think it could be, based on the proportions of the body compared to the beak All starlings this time of year (except juveniles) should have ivory-colored beaks, but if this is a case of leucism, all bets are off. It was the right size for a starling, it strutted, not hopped, like a starling, and had the short tail that didn't extend beyond the wing tips like a starling. So I think it's a starling, but I'd like to hear what other birders think. Whatever it is, I'm sure we can all agree this is a very interesting bird!
Update after some further research. Could this be a Ruddy Turnstone?! The beak doesn't turn up at the tip the way my field guide illustration shows it, but the actual photos at Google images don't show it turning up that much either. If it is a Ruddy Turnstone, someone show tell it to stop eating midges in the grass like a starling and go over to the beach and...turn some stones!