The TV, or Turkey Vulture (Cathartes aura) as it is more formally known, is a common and widespread New World species that birders largely take for granted. In terms of identification, beginners enjoy learning the differences between TV and BV (or Black Vulture), and later on the TV is a […]Read More
Articles by: Steve Howell
What did the DSP ever do to Them?
One of the unique and most charismatic birds in South America, high if not top on any birders’ list of target species when they visit its range, is Phegornis mitchellii, long known as Diademed Sandpiper-Plover, or affectionately abbreviated as DSP. Its long and droop-tipped bill is unlike that of typical […]Read More
Assumptions versus the dark-morph Pink-footed Shearwater
Whether Pink-footed Shearwater has a (very rare) dark morph, or whether occasional individuals are melanistic, are interesting semantic questions. But the bottom line for field observers is that apparently dark-plumaged Pink-footed Shearwaters are out there, and they could be confused with Flesh-footed Shearwater. Although some have questioned this assumption (e.g., […]Read More
First At-sea Images of Ainley’s Storm-Petrel – but who cares?
Leica team member Steve Howell is back recently from a ten-day pelagic trip off northwest Mexico, where he saw plenty of ‘Leach’s Storm-Petrels’ – including the enigmatic Ainley’s Storm-Petrel, endemic as a breeder to Mexico’s Guadalupe Island (about 170 miles west of the Baja California Peninsula), described as new to […]Read More
Colorful or Cryptic?
From California to Mexico, Leica team member Steve Howell has recently been contemplating the beauty and plumage patterns of some ‘colorful’ birds… We all know about nightjars and bitterns having cryptic plumage, even green parrots in green trees. But some other species, when seen in a field guide, don’t seem […]Read More