I've barely made a dent in the list of western species that we saw on our trip, so I'll have to finish up in a later post. In the meantime, I'll put together a list of birds that are equally at home on either coast - and that is a long list, too!
We even saw a whole group of migrating pelicans flying in a V formation - right from our hotel window! That was simply unbelievable!
We saw the larger American White pelicans in Nevada, but I was too far away to capture good images. One reason they were staying well away from humans was the fact that hunting season had started the very day we arrived. We were birding to the sound of rifle retorts, which explains why we didn't get many waterfowl images up close and personal!
If the brown spotty patch on his chest throws you off, it should. It's not his natural coloring. Murres are threatened by oil spills and other pollutants, and It looks like this little guy has managed to get himself oiled up somehow.
It seems his wings are affected as well. What a disaster! It is very difficult for these birds to swim with oil soaked feathers.