I went to the ABA’s Birding News site that lists RBA’s around the country and 
did a search for longipennis. For the months of May and June of this year, most 
of the returns of the search seemed to refer to a dragonfly with that 
scientific name. There was one bird report from the Aleutians and all other 
reports came from reports on Long Island related to this discussion. 

I also searched for Siberian Tern and got nothing.

Joe DiCostanzo 

Sent from my iPad

> On Jun 15, 2018, at 11:44 AM, Robert Lewis <rfer...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> 
> Perhaps I missed it, but there seems to be an obvious question here:  have 
> bids like this been reported from neighboring states?
> 
> Bob Lewis
> Sleepy Hollow Y
> 
> 
> On Thursday, June 14, 2018, 10:49:25 AM EDT, Shaibal Mitra 
> <shaibal.mi...@csi.cuny.edu> wrote:
> 
> 
> As I mentioned in my earlier note to the list on this subject (8 Jun 18, 
> copied at the very end of the present note), the jury is certainly still out 
> on the status of longipennis Common Terns on the east coast. Joe's highly 
> informed contributions are a very welcome addition to the process and 
> underscore several areas to focus on in resolving the matter. First, it is 
> clearly true that to claim an extralimital longipennis, the evidence must be 
> very strong and include multiple characters beyond dark bills and dark legs. 
> I have a lot to contribute on this front, because I have made a point of 
> studying non-breeding terns for more than 20 years, during which time I have 
> collected detailed data on large samples of carefully scored first-summers 
> and "second-summer types" (a category which, as Joe notes, consists of an odd 
> amalgam of a subset of some but not all two year-olds, older adults short of 
> full breeding condition, and very old, senescent adults)--not only of Common 
> Terns, but also of Arctic, Roseate, Least, Black, and others.
> 
> For now I just want to make two very simple points in response to the queries 
> Joe raises toward the end of his note. 
> 
> First, I'd like to address Joe's skepticism about judging wing length 
> visually. I once wrote a long, detailed note to the ID Frontiers list 
> defending the critical, visual assessment of shape (i.e., the relative sizes 
> of morphological structures; that piece concerned warblers, or maybe willets, 
> or maybe I did it separately for both?). I might be able to dig it/them up, 
> but for now I remember demonstrating that large samples of in-hand 
> measurements counter-intuitively often obscure real differences between 
> similar species, males and females, etc. The reason is that handbooks 
> over-emphasize extreme data, neglecting quantitative measures of variance and 
> covariance, and because most observers are unprepared or unwilling to think 
> quantitatively. At the same time, sharp-eyed birders can unerringly 
> distinguish Blackpoll and Pine Warblers at a glance by shape, even though 
> practically all their measurements, viewed individually in huge samples, 
> overlap. With regard to terns, I can recognize visually how the length of an 
> individual's primary projection compares to the chord of its dorsum with 
> enough precision to distinguish Common and Arctic Terns very confidently. So 
> I would caution against categorically dismissing this line of evidence.
> 
> Second, the true statuses of non-breeding seabirds remain an amazing mystery, 
> and the few glimpses we've had so far have been really exciting. Most 
> obviously, the local status of Arctic Tern has been completely re-written in 
> the past 20 years based precisely on attention to loafing flocks of 
> non-breeding terns. Furthermore, scrutiny of these flocks has yielded many 
> other rarities, some of them as unexpected as longipennis might seem: Elegant 
> Tern, Cayenne Tern, acuflavidus Sandwich Terns during June, Little Gulls 
> during June, etc. My point is that although the improbability of longipennis 
> needs to be answered with strong evidence, much stranger things have 
> happened. I still examine every Arctic Tern I see with the remote potential 
> of Antarctic Tern in mind; the non-breeders hang out together down there, so 
> maybe a few stick together up here, too. Ditto for examining first-summer 
> Least Terns for Littles and first-summer Black Terns for White-winged and 
> Whiskered.
> 
> Brian Patteson recently saw a Tahiti Petrel off of Hatteras!
> 
> Shai Mitra
> Bay Shore
> 
> 
> ________________________________________
> From: bounce-122637763-11143...@list.cornell.edu 
> [bounce-122637763-11143...@list.cornell.edu] on behalf of Joseph DiCostanzo 
> [jdic...@nyc.rr.com]
> Sent: Thursday, June 14, 2018 9:08 AM
> To: Robert Lewis
> Cc: nysbirds-l
> Subject: Re: [nysbirds-l] Dark billed, dark legged Common Terns on Long Island
> 
> Bob,
> 
> Molt, (and I am including change in soft part colors such as bill and leg 
> color under the term “molt”) is hormonally controlled. There is also 
> considerable variation between individuals in the timing of molt. The timing 
> and sequence of molt is no where as neat and fixed as many references might 
> lead you to believe. Having worked extensively with a banded population, 
> where the age of individuals is known from their banding histories, I know 
> how much variation there is. I have seen birds with extensive white foreheads 
> (or heavy speckling) and extensive carpal bars that I knew from their bands 
> were two years old. I have also seen two year olds that were 
> indistinguishable from normal adults. I have also seen that I knew were 
> three, or four years old (or older based on their bands) that showed speckled 
> foreheads and traces of carpal bars. I have seen adults in August at the 
> breeding colony on Great Gull Island that were already in full winter plumage 
> (black bill, dark legs, carpal bar). Individuals that don’t match the 
> expected are unusual, but they do occur.
> 
> As for the lack of a carpal bar on these dark billed, dark legged 
> individuals, you are assuming that feather molt (carpal bar) and soft part 
> colors (legs and bill) must be in total lock-step with each other. There is 
> no reason they couldn’t be out of sync in some instances. As for primary 
> length, this is being based on photos, not actual measurements of the bird in 
> hand. How is the primary length being assessed? I am guessing versus tail 
> length. How does anyone know the tail length?
> 
> These dark billed, dark legged Common Terns get reported every year at this 
> season, just at the time young Common Terns are coming back from South 
> America. Where are these supposed longipennis birds coming from? The race 
> breeds in Siberia and winters in the Indian Ocean east to Australia. If 
> longipennis were going to occur here on the East Coast, the fall seems a more 
> likely time than the spring migration. It seems far more likely that these 
> birds are aberrant hirundo retaining aspects of their winter/non-breeding 
> plumage than that there is an annual movement of Siberian based longipennis 
> birds through Long Island.
> 
> Joe DiCostanzo
> 
> Sent from my iPad
> 
> On Jun 14, 2018, at 7:59 AM, Robert Lewis 
> <rfer...@yahoo.com<mailto:rfer...@yahoo.com>> wrote:
> 
> Good points Joe.
> 
> Let's go with the null hypothesis: it's an unusual Common tern (hirundo). 
> Apparently a Common tern in September can get gray blotches on the 
> underparts. During the winter they have a black bill, black legs, and a black 
> cap with white forehead, as first summer birds do now. If it is four - eight 
> months late in molt (or four months early), maybe that would explain some 
> features. But then there should be a prominent dark carpal bar. Instead, 
> there is none. Also, how to explain the very long primaries? And the fact 
> that the back is a bit darker gray than neighboring Commons, both adult and 
> immature?
> 
> I found a number of images of longipennis on the web.  Here are some screen 
> shots:
> 
> Index of /lewis/birds/other_long<http://home.bway.net/lewis/birds/other_long/>
> 
> <http://home.bway.net/lewis/birds/other_long/>
> 
> Index of /lewis/birds/other_long
> 
> 
> 
> 
> Bob Lewis
> 
> 
> 
> On Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 9:01:37 PM EDT, Joseph DiCostanzo 
> <jdic...@nyc.rr.com<mailto:jdic...@nyc.rr.com>> wrote:
> 
> 
> One thing that has to be kept in mind about dark billed and/or dark legged 
> Common Terns seen on Long Island in the spring is that our Common Terns 
> (Sterna hirundo hirundo) have dark bills and dark legs in winter (both the 
> young birds and adults). The possibility that these birds are just S. hirundo 
> hirundo retaining aspects of their winter plumage must be considered. Indeed, 
> given the breeding and wintering ranges of S. hirundo longipennis, S. hirundo 
> hirundo with retained winter characters seems a more likely possibility.
> 
> Joe DiCostanzo
> 
> Sent from my iPad
> 
> --
> 
> Pasted here 14 Jun 2018 from note to NYSBirds 8 June 2018:
> 
> Subject: Nickerson Beach - Possible Common Tern (longipennis) Species - 
> Comments and thoughts welcome
> Date: Fri Jun 8 2018 1:09 am
> From: Shaibal.Mitra AT csi.cuny.edu
> 
> 
> Dear Mike and all,
> 
> 
> 
> This is an interesting bird, and well worth careful discussion. The photos 
> are, as is so often necessarily the case, not ideal for assessing wing 
> pattern and structure, and several other features. To my eye, the combination 
> of adult-like plumage, darkish bill, not so dark legs, and not very deeply 
> gray underparts is consistent with an early season variation of adult hirundo 
> Common Tern that we do see from time to time.
> 
> 
> 
> The jury is certainly still out on the status of longipennis Common Terns on 
> the east coast, and in the past I have eBirded the ones I've seen under 
> regular "Common Tern"--but with lots of notation and documentation. Based on 
> the checklists you've linked from Jay and Michael, provisionally specifying 
> this form, I agree it might be best to take this approach while we work 
> things out. At least it would be easier to collect and access the evidence.
> 
> 
> 
> Anyway, two of the best (and earliest in NY) candidates for longipennis were 
> birds at Cupsogue on 26 Jun 2011 and 24 Jun 2014. I've aggregated photos of 
> these at the following link:
> 
> 
> 
> https://flic.kr/s/aHskD7WtGd
> 
> 
> 
> As you will see, these birds were not only different in soft parts colors and 
> plumage from same-aged hirundo COTE, but also different in terms of structure 
> and molt (as explained in part in the note to this listserv from 27 Jun 2011, 
> copied at the end of this note).
> 
> 
> 
> I've seen a few more also, including these two I was able to find quickly 
> just now:
> 
> 
> 
> https://ebird.org/view/checkli...
> 
> https://ebird.org/view/checkli...
> 
> 
> 
> It seems odd that the best candidates have always been second-summer (TY) 
> birds, but there are two points worth emphasizing on this front. First, 
> subadult terns are definitely proven to be prone to wander; second, these 
> longipennis candidates differ very strongly in multiple ways from the range 
> of variation I've documented in same-aged hirundo COTE over the past 20 
> years. The links in my copied email are long defunct, but I can direct those 
> who are interested to long series of images of TY hirundo COTE from our area.
> 
> 
> 
> Shai Mitra
> 
> Bay Shore
> 
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