Featherless biped's picture

Sea Duck

Observed: 18th January 2013 By: Featherless bipedFeatherless biped’s reputation in BirdsFeatherless biped’s reputation in BirdsFeatherless biped’s reputation in Birds
IMG_0167
IMG_0169
Description:

When I took the photo, I thought I was looking at a female Long-tailed duck (there've been quite a lot around here in the last few weeks). But comparing this individual with pictures of ltd's, I'm not so sure. Nothing looks quite right in my bird guide book. Stumped!

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

ophrys's picture

Clangula

I rarely see these, so not sure, but it may be an immature male. You need someone more northerly to comment! With different male and female plumages, different plumages at different ages, and eclipse to consider, too, they have a variety of possible plumages.

Ian
_________________

My Flickr photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/

RoyW's picture

No eclipse plumage!

Long-tailed Ducks are one of the relatively few duck species that actually has different breeding and non-breeding plumages.

In this case I would wonder if some sort of staining is involved, perhaps oil which has been spread over the feathers during preening (although it doesn't look like the water proofing of the plumage has been broken down at all so this may not be the case).

This is definitely a male, other than that I wouldn't like to say.

ophrys's picture

Eclipse

You're right, of course...sloppy Sunday afternoon thinking.

They actually have up to 5 moults a year when young, and 4 incomplete moults even when adults, so deciding exactly which one you are looking at is one for those who see them a lot, as I said.

Ian
_________________

My Flickr photos...

http://www.flickr.com/photos/52163027@N02/