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Subject:[mou-net] Black-legged Kittiwake notes
From:Jason Caddy <[log in to unmask]>
Reply-To:Jason Caddy <[log in to unmask]>
Date:Wed, 14 Dec 2011 20:16:07 -0700

I just wanted to clarify a couple of things from my previous email of my sighting yesterday of the Black-legged Kittiwake. I never mentioned that the bird was a 1st winter bird. This is evident from the description but I just wanted to clarify. Secondly, the bird did not have black wing edges on the tips of its primary and secondary feathers, these edges were white. What I meant was that from the car I could see black running the length of the wing instead of being predominantly on the wing tip as most gulls in the area would have. A Little Gull can have a similar black collar and thick black M pattern but this bird did not show black on its cap and was definitely bigger than a Little Gull. Bonaparte's Gulls can show a slight M pattern but have the dark wing edges and do not have the thick black nape. I have also seen plenty of Bonaparte's Gulls and this did not look anything like them. The only other confusion would come from a Sabine's Gull. I was very careful to note the fact that the mantle was gray because I knew that a juvenile Sabine's Gull would be more brownish. An adult Sabine's Gull does not have black on the end of its tail as this bird did and also does not have the thick black collar on its nape. I know whenever someone who is not well known to the birding community and posts a very rare bird the sighting will be questioned unless others see it or there are photographs, which I do understand. The identification was actually not that difficult for me and I have no doubt that the bird I saw was a Black-legged Kittiwake but I have no idea what the criteria is for the MOU records committee to accept the record. I will take no offense if it is not accepted because I'm sure they do have to be very careful not to document birds without evidence. I just feel lucky that I was in the right place at the right time to see an amazing bird. That is why I am so passionate about birding and it has still not gotten at all boring after six years.                               Jason Caddy,   Minneapolis 		 	   		  
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