ID Problems

Sometimes the identification of individuals to a species level is not that easy. Whether the bird is an aberrantly plumaged individual, or belongs to one of two closely related and similarly featured species, sometimes the opinions of others who are more familiar with the taxa in question is beneficial. The links below are to current ID problems and some ID problems that we feel have been resolved, at least to the best of our (or those making comments) abilities. Please feel free to email us comments on any of the ID problems, whether they are current, or have been resolved. Things change over time, as new information comes to light, so just because an issue has been resolved, does not mean that it can’t be reopened and further evaluated.


Current ID problems 

[Updated 30 October 2007]

  • Strange white-faced heron near Pakaraka, Far North – click here for photos
  • Chestnut teal? Or are they…. click here
  • Pale Wandering albatrosses – just Gibson’s or Snowy? – click here
  • Pale Pterodroma seen off North Cape, New Zealand – just a juvenile Cook’s or something else – click here
  • Unusual Pterodroma petrel seen near the Kermadec Islands – click here to see the photo
  • Rock wren – what are the strange leg ‘bands’ – click here
  • Snipe seen on the Falklands – click here – are there two species photographed?
  • Mystery stint – click here and see what you think – is it a little stint, semi-palmated or Western sand, or a strange red-necked stint?
  • Aberrant plumaged red-billed gulls – very strange grey colouration – click here for info and photo
  • Pacific or American Golden plover – what do you think? – click here for photos and information
  • Strange heron/egret at Inchclutha, near Balclutha – click here for information and photo


Resolved (?) ID problems

  • Storm-petrel seen off Whitianga 25/01/03 – ‘rediscovery’ of the extinct New Zealand storm-petrel! Click here for photos and information
  • Strange red-billed gull? Nope, it’s actually a young Black-billed gull! – click here for information and photos
  • Possible chestnut teal near Wanganui – click here for initial release and information, and click here for final thoughts