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That would account for the unusual look of the bill, if it was actually two-toned. - None of the pictures I can find are exact, but it looks like there are many possibilities during molt. Thanks!

Maeve Kim
Jericho Center


On Feb 23, 2016, at 4:00 PM, Tom Barber <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Hi Maeve,
> 
> My first thought would be one of the many plumages of the long-tailed duck. They are molting and come in a variety of patterns.
> 
> Tom Barber
> [log in to unmask]
> 
> 
> 
> On Feb 23, 2016, at 3:31 PM, Maeve Kim wrote:
> 
> I watched and puzzled over this lone diving duck for many minutes. My field notes:
> lots of white in front when it faced us
> thick white stripe from the eye back, almost meeting in back of the neck
> black nape and crest
> grayish white on water line
> black back
> light-colored bill that looked either unusually large or misshapen (flattish or wide)
> 
> 
> Some possibilities I considered and discarded: Bufflehead with its crest unusually pinched, Horned Grebe that for some reason had an entirely white breast, Ruddy Duck/Hooded Merganser hybrid (is that even possible?)
> 
> Any other thoughts?
> 
> Maeve Kim
> Jericho Center