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Re: What kind of bird is this?

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avatar What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 03:11AM
Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 03:29AM
Kiwi,....ha,..just kidding...looks kinda like a Condor??...also looks like the Grand Canyon in the background??....
avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 05:02AM
where's the photo from?

I'd say it's most definitely a Turkey Vulture or Black Vulture, and possibly a California Condor, though Condors are very rare and limited to very small areas. Juvenile Condors and TVs had greyish heads like that. Kind of a weird sun reflection at the rear of the primary feathers there.
avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 06:10AM
I was thinking California condor somewhere around the release point at Vermillion Cliffs in Arizona/Utah. The background looks like the Grand Canyon, and the condors have migrated there. I can't be 100% sure because I thought all the condors would have been tagged with very visible numbers. Sometimes the tags fall off, but they're tagged in four points. Even the ones that are born in the wild are now tagged.

I saw several around Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim. The apparently get curious about human activity.



I tend to agree that it's likely a turkey vulture or black vulture.

avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 07:18AM
It's definitely not a turkey vulture. They're a lot smaller:

avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 07:28AM
It's not a California condor. Condors have white on the leading edge of the underside of the wings. That bird has white on the trailing edge of the wings.

Here's a California condor near one of the release points in Baja California. This one has the typical tags on the front edge of the wings.



Condors and turkey vultures tend to have pink heads. If it's not a turkey vulture, I'm not sure if it's a (smaller) black vulture either.

avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 07:35AM
I looked up some pictures. Could be a golden eagle. It's a little bit too dark, so I could be wrong.
avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 08:04AM
y_p_w wrote:

> I looked up some pictures. Could be a golden eagle. It's a
> little bit too dark, so I could be wrong.

I checked that. The head isn't right.

avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 11:29AM
According to Sibley's Guide to Birds, Condors have wingspans of 109", first year juveniles have grey heads, neck begins to turn pink in 3rd year, head is orange and adult-like in 5th summer. While adults have very distinct white patches on the underside, juveniles are a much subtler grey coloring. Looks like the bird in the photo has a lighter colored underside, but not white.

Eeek, if you're sure it's bigger than a turkey vulture, then I think your only choice is juvenile condor, IF Condors are present where the photo was taken. Turkey Vultures, Black Vultures, and Golden Eagles all have wingspans (67", 59", 79" respectively) much small than Condors. The coloring matches the Sibley drawings of juvenile Condors perfectly.

Also according to Sibley, lengths are Condors 46", TV 26", Black Vulture 25". Big weight differences - Condors 23 lbs., TV & BV 4 / 4.4 lbs.
avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 11:49AM
>IF Condors are present where the photo was taken.

They certainly are as this was taken at Cape Royal, North Rim.

avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 03:02PM
It is clearly a turkey vulture.

A Calif. Condor has a black trailing edge and tip feathers.
A condor also has a generally flat wing span when soaring.
This bird has neither.

A turkey vulture has a black leading edge, white trailing edge and tip feathers. A turkey vulture also has the dihedral or v shape when viewed from the front. The bird in the photo has both characteristics.

I don't think you can tell the size of the bird from the photo alone.

Who took the photo?
avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 14, 2008 05:31PM
losthillsguy wrote:

> It is clearly a turkey vulture.

No, it isn't.

> A Calif. Condor has a black trailing edge and tip feathers.
> A condor also has a generally flat wing span when soaring.
> This bird has neither.
>
> A turkey vulture has a black leading edge, white trailing edge
> and tip feathers. A turkey vulture also has the dihedral or v
> shape when viewed from the front. The bird in the photo has
> both characteristics.
>
> I don't think you can tell the size of the bird from the photo
> alone.
>
> Who took the photo?

I did and the bird was way too large to be a turkey vulture. Also the angle of the light (i.e. the sun) distorts the darkness of the wings in the photo.

Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 15, 2008 12:38AM
Turkey Vulture, not a Condor.
avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 15, 2008 02:46AM
I see the light reflection on the top of the wing. I was referring to the coloration on underside of the right wing which appears to me to be fairly accurate and clear. Black tapered leading edge, with a white trailing edge.

You really only have a few choices.

Turkey Vulture
Condor
Golden Eagle
avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 15, 2008 09:54AM
I didn't mean to offend anyone. I am a long time birder and the question piqued my interest.

I sent the photo to my buddy Chris who is the California Condor Reintroduction Project Director. His office is currently in Mormon Lake, AZ. and he is an expert in this field. Are there any other photos of the bird?

I only asked if he could identify this bird without any leading suggestions.

Here is his response.

"Positively turkey vulture. The key in this case is the dark underwing area followed by a lighter color. Look at the attached image and you will see that with a condor it is exactly the opposite, light underwing followed by dark.

Cheers,

Chris"



Post Edited (09-15-08 16:56)
avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 20, 2008 12:19PM
How about this guy? Saturday 9/20 on a headframe southeast of Bodie State Park.

avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 20, 2008 12:36PM
avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 20, 2008 12:51PM
I had to dig out Ray Stevens on that one smiling smiley
avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 20, 2008 12:55PM
Speaking of Bodie, check this out (4 meg)

http://www.hikeofyourlife.com/images/BodieJalopies.JPG

Click if you want, it's me in an old car. Otherwise move along
avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
September 20, 2008 01:15PM
Nice car winking smiley

avatar Re: What kind of bird is this?
October 08, 2008 01:38AM
We know what kind of bird this is.

Got Geese? How many Canadians can you see? And then appreciate their camoflage?

(Meeks Bay, Lake Tahoe, Sunday 10/5 around sunset, flash used)

Re: What kind of bird is this?
October 08, 2008 08:10AM
6, and at least two suspicious-looking rocks, but where's Waldo?





Gary
Yosemite Photo Galleries: http://www.pbase.com/roberthouse/yo
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