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Black bird with white underwing with black border

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Old Friday 8th November 2019, 15:01   #1
Flatlandmom
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Black bird with white underwing with black border

I am in upstate South Carolina. In late October on four different occasions, I saw a stout all black bird flying fast in a straight line, not too high, wing action like a duck, emitting harsh squawks rapid fire in even tone. It was flying from wooded area with a small river. It impressed me as a water related bird, It was about crow size, but fuller bodied. Here is the kicker - its underwing was white with a black border evenly all around. I can find nothing like it. Some have suggested pileated woodpecker, but it did not have that head, no other markings, and pileateds' white underwing goes all the way to the front wing edge with no black border. I'm sure this bird must have been migrating through our area. Any ideas?
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Old Friday 8th November 2019, 18:46   #2
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Originally Posted by Flatlandmom View Post
I am in upstate South Carolina. In late October on four different occasions, I saw a stout all black bird flying fast in a straight line, not too high, wing action like a duck, emitting harsh squawks rapid fire in even tone. It was flying from wooded area with a small river. It impressed me as a water related bird, It was about crow size, but fuller bodied. Here is the kicker - its underwing was white with a black border evenly all around. I can find nothing like it. Some have suggested pileated woodpecker, but it did not have that head, no other markings, and pileateds' white underwing goes all the way to the front wing edge with no black border. I'm sure this bird must have been migrating through our area. Any ideas?
The only bird that I could find (bit of a long shot), that remotely might be a candidate albeit smaller c10...a Common/Hill Myna, two introduced species that are rapidly increasing, particularly the former in Southern Florida?

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Old Friday 8th November 2019, 19:02   #3
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Common Gallinule (Moorhen) comes to mind - it has some white in the wing, more like a white border on a black wing than vice versa, but could maybe give an impression of more extensive white in fast flight? Though they don't fly often so might be unlikely on four separate occasions?

Another possibility might be American Oystercatcher? Though a quick look at Wikipedia suggests it's more restricted to coastal areas than its European counterpart... and I would have thought you'd have noticed the big, bright red bill! Or a last long-shot possibility, maybe a male Ring-necked Duck?!?
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Old Friday 8th November 2019, 20:18   #4
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White underwing with black border, Wood Stork?
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Old Sunday 10th November 2019, 04:19   #5
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Fast, straight flying whilst squawking sounds like a wader (shorebird) to me. How about a willet? That's about crow-sized and the wing markings could just about match the description.

Michael
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Old Sunday 10th November 2019, 11:04   #6
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Fast, straight flying whilst squawking sounds like a wader (shorebird) to me. How about a willet? That's about crow-sized and the wing markings could just about match the description.

Michael
Interesting idea, but the habitat (upstate, woodland stream) doesn't fit, particularly not for repeated sightings. Spotted Sandpiper might, but that's much smaller.
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Old Sunday 10th November 2019, 11:38   #7
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Is it possible that you mistook the upper wing for the underwing? If so, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck would be a good fit to your description.
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Old Sunday 10th November 2019, 21:58   #8
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Interesting idea, but the habitat (upstate, woodland stream) doesn't fit, particularly not for repeated sightings. Spotted Sandpiper might, but that's much smaller.
Good point, I didn't read the original properly. I saw a mention of water and ignored the rest...
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Old Monday 11th November 2019, 00:45   #9
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have you considered a leucistic crow?

https://little-buffalo.com/2012/08/0...boxley-valley/
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Old Monday 11th November 2019, 21:28   #10
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No, I know a woodstork. They roost around here quite often. But thanks.
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Old Monday 11th November 2019, 21:34   #11
Flatlandmom
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Is it possible that you mistook the upper wing for the underwing? If so, Black-bellied Whistling-Duck would be a good fit to your description.
I don't think so. It was not very high and I concentrated on the one identifier I could see, which was the bottom of the wing as it went directly over my house. Thanks, tho.
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Old Monday 11th November 2019, 21:44   #12
Flatlandmom
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Originally Posted by Dawsy View Post
Fast, straight flying whilst squawking sounds like a wader (shorebird) to me. How about a willet? That's about crow-sized and the wing markings could just about match the description.

Michael
Looked up Willet. No, my bird was solid black, no long legs, no markings except the white centered underwing. Thanks for reply
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Old Tuesday 12th November 2019, 11:53   #13
Larry Sweetland
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Originally Posted by Deb Burhinus View Post
have you considered a leucistic crow?

https://little-buffalo.com/2012/08/0...boxley-valley/
Sounds perhaps the best idea so far
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