Birding Trips and other Cool Pictures - A Photo Gallery by Geoff Malosh
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Parasitic Jaeger - November 25, 2012

Parasitic Jaeger at Presque Isle State Park, Sunset Point, Erie County, PA
Parasitic and Pomarine Jaegers are among the most difficult birds to photograph in Pennsylvania. Aside from hurricanes, during which they are often difficult to nicely photograph most times anyway, one's only real hope of finding either species with any regularity here is along the Lake Erie shore during migration. Unfortunately even there, while they are often seen close enough to shore for a nice scope view, they don't often come close enough for an SLR camera, and even less so in good photographic conditions.
So on November 25, I was pretty happy to make the images below, which are not award winners by any stretch of the imagination, but satisfying nonetheless. The white spots all over the bird are actually snowflakes, as snow was falling with moderate intensity as this bird passed. It was one of three for the day.
A single image often does not do justice to the Pomarine/Parasitic identification challenge, but watching it in life revealed the necessarity details on this bird and the other two. It appeared rather slender, with quicker wingbeats, and a smaller bill than would be expected for Pomarine. To me Parasitic feels more falcon-like than Pomarine, faster and sleeker overall, and this bird fit that model. Importantly, the extended central tail feathers appeared to be pointed rather than blunt-tipped, a key feature for Parasitic, and visible in the first photo below.

Canon 1DMkIV, 500mm f/4L + 1.4x TC III, 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6 (manual), ISO 1600, handheld (braced)

Canon 1DMkIV, 500mm f/4L + 1.4x TC III, 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6 (manual), ISO 1600, handheld (braced)

Canon 1DMkIV, 500mm f/4L + 1.4x TC III, 1/1000 sec. at f/5.6 (manual), ISO 1600, handheld (braced)

Unless explicitly indicated otherwise in the photo caption, all photos on this website were taken by and are 2003-2012 by Geoff Malosh. Unauthorized usage of these photographs for any purpose is strictly forbidden. If you are interested in using any photo for publication or if you are interested in purchasing a print, contact me at pomarine -AT- earthlink -DOT- net.