These birdies give us a good sense of how difficult bird identification is, and why I am sometimes uncertain of my labels. If you find I am wrong with an identification, please don’t hesitate to set me straight. I welcome the help. This is a male Kelp Goose who was photographed at the furthest southern point in Argentina. Kelp Geese are part of the sheldrake family and range from the southern portion of Patagonian Chile to Tierra del Fuego and The Falkland Islands. They have yellow legs and feet.
Here we have a Kelp Goose chick, note the dark legs on the chick, and the yellow legs on the adult.
These are Upland Geese. They are also birds of the far south. They have the same basic coloration as male and female Kelp Geese, but male Upland Geese have black feet and females have yellow feet. I was pretty sure this was a female Upland Goose because she and the male had a chick which you can see below.
The chick had black feet too! Are you confused yet? This is why I would never swear by my identifications….
Here you can’t see the feet at all but this is the same pair that I am betting are Upland Geese. This family was photographed in The Falkland Islands.
In this group shot, the legs are not really cooperating, but my guess is still Upland Geese, males with black legs, and females with yellow. But they could be Ruddy Headed Geese.
Check this out:
You have to be kinda confused my now, I am. Still I’m going with Upland until someone corrects me….
Here is a Male Upland Goose with Magellanic Penguins in the Falkland Islands. At least we can be sure of the penguins right? Don’t be too sure. They are some other penguins mixed in with this colony, but thankfully this shot is far enough away, and we can’t see well enough to sort this out! Laughing……
These are Patagonian Crested Ducks. They live in the same far southern region and there are about 10,000 estimated breeding pairs of these ducks in existence. This pair was in Ushuaia Argentina.
This guy is a year old Dolphin Gull, whose coloration is entirely different from adults whose photos I posted on my previous post. They are this color when they are young and change as they mature. He was in Tierra del Fuego and is also a bird of the far south.
This cutey is a Grass Wren, known as a Sage Wren in North America. He sings beautifully and was photographed in The Falkland Islands.
And finally we have a Southern Lapwing. This bird is found extensively throughout South America and extends to the very tip of the continent.
The good news is, we aren’t having a test on any of this, so we can just enjoy the beautiful birds, and hope I identified them correctly.
Cheers to you from the many amazing birdies of the far south~
The final photo is from Gypsy Cove in The Falkland Islands which is an entirely different colony of Magellanic Penguins that I also couldn’t resist slipping in.
Cheers to you from the stunning wild creatures of the southern latitudes~
Attention class!! Here is your non-requested penguin tutorial. We learned a lot about penguins on our Antarctica trip. The best factoid I learned? If a penguin is not liking you, they will projectile vomit their stomach contents at you, which consists essentially of regurgitated fish and penguin bile.
Hence when visiting penguins, it is very important that they “be” liking you!
I am so good at super complicated sciencey stuff like this.
And sorry, I know this is putting a damper on all the cute penguin lore of late…..
These Kings are not supposed to be here.
Last time we were in the area we saw kings where they were not supposed to be also.
Maybe the Kings have decided they like the real estate just north of Antarctica better. Less predators, warmer weather, why not relocate to warmer climes? Smart kings.
Maybe they will make their way to the Orient after a while!
Kings are the second largest of the penguin species, next to the Emperors. They live in the northern Antarctic and breed on the subantarctic islands, and errrrr, where ever the heck else they please……..thank you.
This is a Magellanic chick and it’s mother. The Magellanic is a South American Penguin.
Gentoos are large and hang out with the Kings. They have orange beaks and are native to the South Georgia Islands. Unless of course, you happen to spot them off the coast of Hawaii. If the Kings can move up in the world, why not the Gentoos? Fair is fair.
Here is the penguin’s arch enemy, the Skua, who like to eat the chicks.
An Upland Goose was hanging out with the penguins also! He probably wasn’t supposed to be here either…. silly goose!
Okay, that is it for your penguin (and other critter) tutorial. This lesson has seriously taxed my limited brain circuitry. But you do have to admit it is true that traveling is very educational. Now we all know to NEVER piss off a penguin!