Thanks for the great pics. This is quite an interesting twist on the
discussion of field marks. Of course, the Chin Strap on your bird pegs
it as a Pacific. I spoke with one of the folks who has seen the VT/NY
bird and they describe a very detailed flank patch very similar in shape
to that shown in Sibley and National Geo. Also, they have noted the
angular forehead and relatively flat shape to the top of the head.
There was a lot of activity on the lake today looking for this bird,
with one interesting candidate being followed. A local research
vessel was even employed, but I do not know the outcome and hope it gets
posted here. For those non-scientists reading these posts, I hope this
back and forth discussion does not seem like bickering. But, scholarly
challenge and debate is one of the cornerstones of science which has
made our country so very strong in the many sciences. Researchers do
not take these challenges personally, but a vigorous debate is welcomed
to come the the 'truth' of matters which are often not black and white.
Steve Mirick wrote:
> In July 2004, we had a cooperative Pacific Loon spend a couple of days
> along the NH seacoast. Although it didn't show white flanks that
> often, it clearly did show them at times as shown below. For this
> reason, I think that extreme caution should be used to base an ID of
> Arctic Loon on this field mark alone.
> Steve Mirick
> Bradford, MA