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Jeff Wilson | profile | all galleries >> Katrina's - South Polar Skua - Tennessee tree view | thumbnails | slideshow

Katrina's - South Polar Skua - Tennessee

The following photos are of a large bird found on the Pickwick Lake area of the Tennessee River in Hardin Co, just a few miles north of the Mississippi line. It was one of many storm driven birds to fall out from Katrina on the 30 th of August. All the photos, except the one of the bird on the water, were taken by Joe B. Guinn. The bird was seen in late afternoon and was badly back lit but it is thought that this bird is most likely a South Polar Skua rather than an odd plumaged Pomarine Jaeger.

As it flew up from the south, everyone was struck by its apparent size and overall dark color. When the bird made its first bank, Jon Dunn immediately asked why this bird was not a Catharacta Skua rather than a Pomarine Jaeger. In certain light you could see some lighter brown coloration, especially on the nape and upper back but no evidence of any light color or barring on upper or lower tail coverts. Jon settled on Skua pending looks at these photos. Comments from birders with catharacta experience agree with this being a South Polar Skua after looking at the first few photos put on line.

So here are the photos, open for comments, which can be posted here or sent to OLCOOT1@AOL.COM, I will compile them on another page for all to see. The shots have been cropped and lightened.It is amazing how this bird's wing, body and tail shape changes from photo to photo.
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Pom-Skua - JI4C0039 head on- JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0039 head on- JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0042 - distant quarter turned - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0042 - distant quarter turned - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0043 - distant profile - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0043 - distant profile - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0045 head on enlarged - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0045 head on enlarged - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0046 - quarter right enlarged - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0046 - quarter right enlarged - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0048 - partial upper wing - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0048 - partial upper wing - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0049 - upper right wing - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0049 - upper right wing - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0061 - rounded  wing and spread tail -JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0061 - rounded wing and spread tail -JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0055 full body- ventral enlarged - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0055 full body- ventral enlarged - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0056 - left underwing - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0056 - left underwing - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0057 - wing tip - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0057 - wing tip - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0060 - back  and rounded wing tip - JBG
Pom-Skua - JI4C0060 - back and rounded wing tip - JBG
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