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Checklist S41452837

La Joya WMA, Socorro County, New Mexico, US ( Map ) ( Hotspot )
Date and Effort
Thu Dec 28, 2017 2:00 PM
Party Size:
1 hour(s)
1.0 mile(s)
Bernard Foy
2 species (+1 other taxa) total

Many birds actvely diving. The phalarope was feeding directly near them.

phalarope sp.

Lousy photo through scope. Clearly a phalarope from behavior: pecking down to water, turning in circles in energetic fashion. Was actually pursuing the Ring-necked Ducks to forage in the same water that they were stirring up. Gray back, whitish at waterline. Viewed through scope from the shoulder of I-25, but distance too great to discern plumage details. Head appeared whitish like Wilson's, but late date could also suggest Red. Video through scope at:

© Bernard Foy


Dark morph bird perched near the pond. Viewed from dirt road on east side. Actually a "rufous morph": head uniformly dark brown, breast and belly uniform, a dark brown color with a rufous tinge when the angle of sun was right. Eyes dark. Tail was unbanded, with a uniform light color (whitish) underneath. Bill had yellow on cere and gape. A good comparison is Wheeler, "Raptors of Western North America," plates 441 and 442 (although the latter has white breast streaks). Distinguished from Rufous-morph Red tail by lack of tail banding; also, lighting conditions were such that red color would have shown through to ventral side. Rufous-morph Red-tail also has distinct contrast from breast to belly that this bird lacked. Photo is poor quality, taken by iPhone through scope, but at least shows rufous tinge. Dark morph Rough-leg has tail bands and more blackish-brown color rather than rufous.

© Bernard Foy


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