The Long-billed Curlew, Numenius americanus, is a spectacular member of the shorebird family with its long curved bill. Since the female’s bill is longer than the males, the species is said to be sexually dimorphic. Its population was reduced by hunters in the past, but it seams to be now in a stable position.
The Antarctic Giant Petrel, Macronectes giganteus , sometimes known as the Southern Giant-Petrel is a huge member of the petrel family. It is a resident of the southern and antarctic oceans and found as far south as the pack ice.
They often feed on dead carcasses and will take chicks from penguin colonies.
It is very similar to the Hall’s or Northern Giant-Petrel. It is best separated from it by the green rather than pink tip of the bill. Both species come in several color morphs.
The birds in these images are likely juveniles and were taken in Tierra del Fuego.
The Northern Fulmar, Fulmarus glacialis, is one of the most interesting members of the Petrel family. It comes in a range of morphs whose abundance is separated by geography. In the Pacific are found dark and mid-gray birds while the Atlantic tends to have whiter types.
One of the interesting features was the colonization of the island of Britain by this species. It first started nesting in the Orkney Islands in the later part of the 19th century and gradually spread until it is now a well established resident.
I saw the bird above in the Hamilton harbor area, here in Southern Ontario. It is a wintering area for waterfowl and it is not unusual to see hybrids of Mallard and American Black Duck. However this bird seems to show only Mallard characteristics, although some male and some female.
A little research shows that this is not unknown and that is probably a female Mallard with decreased estrogen.
Joseph Morlan was kind enough to send me some links to information on this.
Yesterday I posted about the Red-winged Blackbird male as one of the earliest arrivals among the migrants in North America. The female, shown here, generally shows up a few days later, after the males have had a chance to establish territories.
This species is an example of sexual dimorphism, where the sexes of the same species differ. In birds these difference may show up in size, plumage, and the appearance of body parts used in display. The differences in this species is striking in plumage differences,and the female lacks the bright red epaulets that the male uses in display.
Immature birds often look like females with perhaps some aspect of male plumage. See the following image of an immature Red-winged Blackbird whose hen-like plumage shows some portion of his future epaulets.