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Old Monday 27th November 2006, 21:22   #1
Obsidian
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Question Falcons??

Hi

Please help me identify these birds.

Lately, early mornings, I've been seeing several large white birds..solid white undersides and head, slate or light grey colored backs, perched high atop the light fixtures in a parking lot that is near a forested area.

They flew overhead once and I was able to get a pretty good look at them..They look like Gyrafalcons, but I don't think that's possible (is it) because I live in a large Texas city, and it's rather warm here right now.


What could these birds possibly be?


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Old Monday 27th November 2006, 21:32   #2
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I think Gyrfalcon would be a long shot, Obsidian. Do you see several together? Could they be a type of gull? US birders would have to advise which gull species are commonest near you.

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Old Monday 27th November 2006, 21:49   #3
Obsidian
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Hi Graham

Yes, there are several pairs but I don't think they could be Gulls because we're not near the ocean.

We have a lot of egrets and herons at the lakes and rivers, but I've never seen any gulls, I don't think. :\

I think I will check with one of the bird store owners in the area..Umm, I should have thought of that sooner. :))

Thanks for responding

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterntwisted
I think Gyrfalcon would be a long shot, Obsidian. Do you see several together? Could they be a type of gull? US birders would have to advise which gull species are commonest near you.

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Old Monday 27th November 2006, 22:53   #4
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Got It!

"Fulmar....Pelagic, breeding on sea cliffs and rocky islands circumpolar, north of the Arctic circle. Winters south to Europe, Japan, Hawaii, southern US"

Here's a pic...http://www.camacdonald.com/birding/NorthernFulmar(TF).jpg



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Quote:
Originally Posted by bitterntwisted
I think Gyrfalcon would be a long shot, Obsidian. Do you see several together? Could they be a type of gull? US birders would have to advise which gull species are commonest near you.

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Old Monday 27th November 2006, 23:28   #5
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Hate to say, but a Northern Fulmar is not going to be found inland, and they're uncommon enough seen from a boat. By "southern US," that means coastal regions, e.g., Florida, California, Gulf Coast. However, I see that Sibley's doesn't show this bird at all in the Gulf of Mexico but up and down both east and west coastal US, and nowhere inland.

Gulls can, however, be found hundreds of miles inland like Salt Lake City, California's Central Valley, and up major river valleys like the Missouri and Mississippi.

If you can, try to get a photo.
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 02:00   #6
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as i live in Texas Obsidian, i can safely say that these are most probably Ring-billed Gulls, common at fast food restuarants inland here during winter. That or either Herring Gulls. I guess Gulls like fries to keep their strength up during winter! Glad to help a fellow birder!
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 21:37   #7
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"Hate to say, but a Northern Fulmar is not going to be found inland"

@Katy...Dang! I really thought I had something there :(
But, the birds that I saw look a lot like the Fulmar :\

"i can safely say that these are most probably Ring-billed Gulls, common at fast food restuarants inland here during winter. That or either Herring Gulls."

@nctexasbirder...I'm sure you're right. I did an image search for the Ring-Billed Gull, and it does look a lot like what I've been seeing.

Thanks All :)

o
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Old Tuesday 28th November 2006, 22:25   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Obsidian
"Hate to say, but a Northern Fulmar is not going to be found inland"

@Katy...Dang! I really thought I had something there :(
But, the birds that I saw look a lot like the Fulmar :\
Take heart, Obsidian, fulmars look like gulls until you've seen a few and note the difference in body shape and the way they fly. And that "tubenose" that is a really obvious difference if you can see the bill closely.
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Old Wednesday 29th November 2006, 11:04   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katy Penland
Take heart, Obsidian, fulmars look like gulls until you've seen a few and note the difference in body shape and the way they fly. And that "tubenose" that is a really obvious difference if you can see the bill closely.

I've yet to see one 'that' close, wish I could though :(

Wellll, I'm new to birding, and it appears that I've got a whole lot to learn :P


Thanks again Katy :)


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