Long Shot Mystery Bird

Back in March 2011, I was out with a friend at the edge of the kelp patch near Low Island and saw a lone bird I did not recognize. From a distance it appeared to have something of a scoter-like profile – at least the head a bill. However, it was much too pale for any scoter I’ve ever seen. We tried to get a little closer with the boat, but unfortunately I didn’t take any pictures until the bird had started flying away. The three I have here are the best of the batch.

In my own perusal of the bird book(s), I did not find any matches. I had thought maybe an eider of some sort (due to the profile), but the overall grayness didn’t seem to match – at least not those shown in the bird book.

It’s no doubt a long shot, but I figured I would post the photos and see if anyone can get an id on this bird.

About matt goff

I am an aspiring naturalist who seeks to learn all that I can about the more-than-human aspects of this place that is my home.
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2 Responses to Long Shot Mystery Bird

  1. Long-tailed Duck female? I’m not at all sure about that.

  2. matt goff says:

    You could be right – I never even considered that as a possibility at the time. The look I got at it gave me the impression of something larger and with a longer neck (Long-tailed Ducks are common right along the shoreline here during winter, so I see them often). That said, I sent a link to this post to a couple of e-mail lists, and most of the replies I have received have also suggested Long-tailed Duck. Thanks for the comment!

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