Image: Joseph Kennedy, 3 May 2008 [larger view].
Nikon D200, Kowa 883 telescope TSN-PZ camera eyepiece 1/500s f/8.0 at 1000.0mm iso400.
Rick Wright, Managing Director of WINGS Birding Tours Worldwide, writes:
This stunning portrait is readily identified as [that] of a Gull-billed Tern. All the usual field guide characters are on display, but all we really need to see is a startlingly white tern with long black legs and a stout black bill.
What do you do when a bird is this easy to name? You don’t turn away and look for the next one; instead, this is when you start birding. Describe the shape of the bird; try to come up with words that describe your impressions. The impressions themselves will be useless if you can’t create labels for them. Don’t worry about whether your labels make sense to anyone else — they need to make sense to you if they are going to help you recall the image of the bird next time you see it. The words you choose don’t have to be “bird words,” either. For a great introduction to this aspect of birding, have a look at Pete Dunne’s Essential Field Guide Companion, which I’ve reviewed .. I’ll be interested to see what you come up with!
Review all mystery birds to date.