Mission: To promote the appreciation of wildlife and increase harmony between humanity and nature.

On Instagram: @unionbaywatch

Monday, January 7, 2013

Black and White

Today’s photos are not from Union Bay. As a matter of fact the bird in the photos does not frequent Union Bay. Your challenge, should you accept it, is to determine the type of bird and for bonus points in which state the photos were taken. As usual the easiest clues to identify this bird are not in the first photo.
If this photo lacks enough information then scroll down for a more hints.

This photo shows the long thin black beak and just a hint of leg. It is almost a bit risqué. 
If you have traveled and seen this bird before then this photo most likely gave you all the information you needed. Still a bit more leg could help stir a distant or faded memory.

Isn’t this an incredibly elegant bird? Did you notice the beautiful red color of the eye? Would you like to see which way the knee bends?

Doesn't that make your knees hurt just to look at that photo. (For those of you who watched the Seahawks this weekend it even makes one feel a bit bad for RGIII.) 

UPDATE: Thank you to those who pointed out that bird knees do not bend backwards, we are simply looking at their ankles. Take a look at this diagram for the skinny on the bird knees.

Here is a shot that shows a foot.

Just in case you would think a second foot would be helpful.
The answer of course is that this is a Black-necked Stilt. Just looking at those legs would make a person think stilts even if they have never seen the bird before.

But in which state was this photo taken? You can find a hint by following this link reading the information at the Cornell Bird Lab. Your bonus for your hard work is the following photos at no extra charge. J

Did you figure out that this is the Hawaiian Black-necked Stilt? The key is that the black covers more of the malar (cheek) region than in other BnSs. The Hawaiian bird is endangered, unlike the far more common mainland versions.

Thank you for playing along.

Happy New Year!



  1. We're actually from Portland, but we're avid birders and a friend sent us a link to your blog. Great stuff. You might like to check out an entry we just posted on our travel blog about our adventure to see snowy owls at the Oregon coast. It was pretty awesome! Cheers!


    1. Very nice photos and a well done post! Thank you.

  2. Great article! Thanks for sharing and more power to you!

  3. Wow! Thank you for your comment and your link. Your site led me to Salmon Safe which led to Stewardship Partners which led to Rain Gardens. Rain Gardens sounds like a logical low cost method to help clean up the waters of Union Bay. This instructive link could be very useful.


    Thanks again!

  4. I have a picture of one in Phoenix Arizona