Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Alcid Indigestion

Tuesday, November 18, 2008
The camera's date is wrong, but the cameraman's mad ID skilz are in full force.

While digitally flipping through the images from the front yard Wingscapes BirdCam this morning I was shocked and pleased to add ANOTHER new bird to the property list here at Indigo Hill. If you look in the lower frame of this image, you'll see a nice shot of a fox sparrow (of the eastern legless race). But it's the OTHER bird I am super excited about. The one in flight. See it?

I've studied it for several hours now and feel I can conclude with complete confidence that the motion detector on the camera caught an image of a flying alcid. To be completely, awesomely specific in this identification: It's a razorbill!

Now why would a razorbill end up on a dry ridgetop in southeast Ohio?

Then I remembered! I threw some old sardines out on the compost pile the other day.

Mystery solved! Eat your heart out David Caruso! And take those stupid shades off your face. You look like a leprechaun in a Blues Brothers movie.

Nailed it! Razorbill, baby! Sweet!


On November 18, 2008 at 8:07 AM Jeff Gyr said...

What else could it be?
--Raises palms skyward and rolls eyes--

Pew! Pew! Pew!

Keep rocking, dude!

On November 18, 2008 at 8:24 AM Bill of the Birds said...

I HOPED you'd pipe in with that very statement, amigo. Thanks for confirming this tough ID.

On November 18, 2008 at 9:24 AM RuthieJ said...

Razorbill, eh?
In Minneesoda we call them juncos! ;-)

On November 18, 2008 at 1:22 PM Bill of the Birds said...

Ruthie: We're MUCH closer to the ocean here in SE Ohio! ;-)

On November 18, 2008 at 1:23 PM Anonymous said...

This is HIL-arious!


On November 18, 2008 at 6:06 PM Jason Kessler said...

Yup. Definite Razorbill, all right. That's what I thought the moment I saw it. That thing SCREAMS Razorbill. You can see the thing around the whatchamacallit. I had one land on my apartment windowsill the other day, but I wasn't home at the time. You can tell those things from a mile away, though...Razorbills!

On November 18, 2008 at 7:54 PM Julie Zickefoose said...

What about the plastic Adelie penguin that lives in our front yard? Mightn't it have lured the razorbill in with its similar coloration, acting as a giant supernormal stimulus?

On November 18, 2008 at 9:12 PM Rod said...

As a semi-novice, 196 species and counting, the sparrow excited me as much as the razorbill...which I have on my to-do list just above Puffin (just kidding).

Anyhow, congratulations. Now on to the Ivory Bill...


On November 19, 2008 at 12:32 PM Christopher said...

Wow - that has to be about the best ID I've run across lately. My first thought was that it might be a Dovekie, based on the size comparison with the sparrow. But then remembering that Fox Sparrows up your way are simply HUGE, it definitely puts your bird in the realm of Razorbill. (Of course there is that big honkin' bill too)
Best to stay home and watch for distant Albatross now. (or would that just be ridiculous?) ;^)

On November 20, 2008 at 10:45 AM Rondeau Ric said...

I hate to dispute an ID with a master like BOTB, however, based on where it was seen, the flight characteristics, coloring and body shape I believe it is a passenger pigeon.

Now I could be mistaken as I have not seen a P.P. in person.

I readily admit it COULD be a razorbill. Or maybe just Bills razor.

On November 20, 2008 at 5:15 PM Janet Egan said...

R U sure it's not a Great Auk?