27 November 2011 16:09
The Greater Yellow-headed Vulture is the biggest, with deep wings, mostly dark underwing, lighter near body. Long tail, feet protrude past vent. Coloured head.
The Lesser Yellow-headed Vulture is the smallest, with narrow wings, quite light underwing, lighter near body. Shortish tail, feet just protrude past vent. Coloured narrow head.
The Turkey Vulture has very light undersides of wing, form body to tip. Short tail. Feet do not protrude past vent. Pink head with white upper neck (sometimes).
The American Black Vulture has light “fingers”. The rest of the wing often appears dark from below. Black head.
06 October 2009 13:27
© GW monacoeye • Danube Delta, Romania • May 2009 • All rights reserved
Bird name: Pygmy Cormorant
Latin: Phalacrocorax pygmaeus
Other: Cormoranul mic (Romanian)
Family: Phalacrocoracidae • Cormorants
The Pygmy Cormorant is the smallest of all 40 odd Cormorant species. It is about 50 cm long - in comparison the Great Cormorant is about 80 cm.
Its main breeding area is the Danube Delta and it is classified as Near Threatened on the IUCN list due to loss of habitat.
There are currently an estimated 4000 breeding pairs in the Delta of a total of about 7000 in Europe.
The Pygmy Cormorant is mostly black with small white tufts during breeding season.
It can be distinguished from the Great Cormorant by size if both are seen together (pic below, Pygmy on right of tree). Its bill is much smaller, its tail is proportionally longer due its small body size, and it has no yellow markings on its face. It can also have a brownish neck and looks generally more like a duck or crow than the Great Cormorant does.
28 May 2009 16:24
© monacoeye • Danube Delta, Romania • May 2009 • All rights reserved
Bird name: Dalmatian Pelican
Latin: Pelecanus crispus
Other: Pélican frisé (Fr)
Family: Pelecanidae - Pelicans
The Dalmatian Pelican, a key species for the Delta, is quite a rare bird, with IUCN conservation status classed as Vulnerable. There are reportedly about 1000 breeding pairs remaining, scattered across relatively few sites in south-eastern Europe.
Fortunately I saw about a dozen birds over three days in the Danube. Sometimes flying overhead, sometimes with White Pelicans standing on a spit, sometimes on lakes and waterways.
Whereas the Great White Pelican is seen in large flocks, the Dalmatian Pelican is usually seen in ones, twos and threes. It is distinguishable from the Great White Pelican by lack of pink colouring, especially lack of pink lores, grey, not dark, irises and lack of thick black wing stripe.
The birds I saw all had dirty white matted hair on the back of their necks - though one characteristic of the Dalmatian Pelican is much longer, curly, hair on the neck.
Dalmatian Pelican, Danube Delta, Romania • May 2009 • All rights reserved
18 March 2009 16:18
The Black Headed Gull is in the foreground. The other gulls are Mediterranean Gulls, in summer plumage. Photos taken May 2009, Camargue.
Head: Med Gull is black, Black Headed Gull is chocolate
Legs and beak: Med Gull bright red, BHG off red
Wing tips: Med Gull white, BHG dark
Size: Med Gull slightly larger than BHGMore photos...
15 January 2009 19:41
An initial comparison of 4 similar species of white egret:
Snowy Egret: Bright yellow lores - dark bill
Little Egret: Greyish yellow lores - dark bill
Great Egret (egretta & alba): Green grey lores - yellow bill
Cattle Egret: Yellow lores - short yellow bill - hairy under bill
Snowy v Little: Yellow lores (and feet) on Snowy
Cattle v Little or Snowy: Short yellow bill on Cattle
Little v Great: Yellow bill on Great (can change)
Later I will include a comparison of size, legs, plumage and feet, different ages and breeding seasons, and locationMore photos...