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!

11 comments:

Shellmo said...

Does it have long legs? Looks like it in the one photo - I thought maybe a piping plover. I'll be curious to what you find out!

P.S. Looking forward to your dog video post! Last night I made a youtube movie out of the puppy photos I took yesterday - I may have to post that too!

Poetikat said...

I think it IS a Ruddy Turnstone. The picture in my Audubon Handbook of Eastern Birds is almost identical. You get some great birds down your way! That must be wonderful!

Kat

Are you busy this week? Can I give you a call?

Sylvia K said...

You do manage to find some of the most interesting birds and squirrels up your way! Love it! Hope you've had a great weekend!

Lin said...

I have no idea other than to say looks like a strange bird...

Betsy from Tennessee said...

I don't know what he is, Deb, but he is a beautiful bird.... Thanks for sharing.
Hugs,
Betsy

Rose said...

Its a bird I have never seen before, that is for sure. Kind of a strange one.

Ruth said...

Someone on our local birding forum posted a picture of one of these birds today and called it a Ruddy Turnstone. Here is his picture and I trust his IDs.

http://www.naturesbestcreations.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=15&t=3702&p=18579#p18579

Anonymous said...

Hi,

Yes, it is a Ruddy Turnstone.
Very handsome shorebird.

Hap in New Hope(MN)

magiceye said...

beautifully captured!

Greyscale Territory said...

Such unusual, stunning markings on this bird! Great photos!

Quiet Paths said...

Cool, I have never seen a Ruddy before. You certainly have a variety. Let us know about your meeting!