Help with ID on a duck please

To: Robert Inglis <>,
Subject: Help with ID on a duck please
From: Ed Williams <>
Date: Fri, 4 May 2012 11:19:59 +1000
Cheers Bon for your thorough and well written reply.

Perhaps my monitor is misaligned as the eyes genuinely do look red to me... (I 
can check on my iPad later to compare colours)

Also, I should have added that I am from the UK so have seen many a pintail in 
the past and the eyes have always looked brown in the field to me.

Anyway it is a strange bird so David was right to post it - and it is always 
good for these ID debates.

Wishing everyone a great weekend,


Ed Williams
Kingsville VIC

On 04/05/2012, at 10:31 AM, "Robert Inglis" <> wrote:

> Ed, one of the things which caused me to pull back a little from my initial 
> ID of Grey Teal was the iris colour. As I see the irises of the birds in 
> David's images they don't look anywhere near the bright red of the Grey Teal 
> irises in my own images. In fact the irises in David's images look more brown 
> than red to me.
> HANZAB describes the colour of the Grey Teal's iris as varying from vivid 
> crimson-red to dull red in adults of both sexes while it is light brown or 
> hazel in the juvenile.
> In "Wildfowl" (Madge and Burn) the Grey Teal's iris is described as red, 
> brightest in adult males.
> I have photos showing Grey Teal irises ranging from bright red to dull red 
> which probably covers the range described for adults in HANZAB, however, I 
> would need to study a colour chart to determine if any of 'my' Grey Teal have 
> the light brown or hazel irises of juveniles.
> HANZAB describes the colour of the Northern Pintail's iris as being 
> yellow-brown. (I interpret that as being base colour brown with a yellow 
> caste.)
> In "Wildfowl" (Madge and Burn) the Northern Pintail's iris is described as 
> being yellowish to brownish-yellow. (I interpret that as being base colour 
> yellow with a brown caste.)
> It seems to me that the common perception of Grey Teal is that they do not 
> hold their tails as erect as shown in David's images, however, I do have 
> images of Grey Teal, taken at the same location as David's birds, which are 
> almost identical in pose to David's birds and those birds, albeit much 
> healthier and more robust looking, have their tails as erect.
> Also, the plumage colours are very similar.
> I do lean strongly towards the bird being a Grey Teal but reports of 
> sightings of Northern Pintails occur in Australia now and then so I think it 
> is reasonable to consider that species when assessing the ID of a teal which 
> 'looks different'.
> David Taylor is a very experienced bird observer and a keen and competent 
> photographer of birds so I am more than prepared to listen when he says there 
> seemed to be something 'different' about this bird.
> But I won't be dashing out to the Lockyer Valley to look for this bird 
> anytime soon.
> Bob Inglis
> Sandstone Point
> Qld
> -----Original Message----- From: Ed Williams
> Sent: Friday, May 04, 2012 8:55 AM
> To: david taylor
> Cc: Gary Davidson ; Robert Inglis ; birding-aus
> Subject: Re: [Birding-Aus] Help with ID on a duck please
> Hi all,
> One thing I would take note of is the eye colour in the photos - red like a 
> Grey Teal rather than dark brown like a female Pintail.
> Cheers again,
> Ed

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