In the past year, mostly since Elliott was born, I've really scaled back my hobby of birding to the level of only opportunistically enjoying birds that happen to be near me when I'm outside for reasons other than birding. Recently, I saw the jaeger in the photos above while pompano fishing on the beach in Escambia County, FL with my friend Steve and my Uncle Jim and Aunt Gayle.
I have relatively little experience with pelagic species, so needed some help with the identification of this potentially confusing juvenile jaeger. My friends Bob and Lucy were very helpful in correctly identifying this bird. I'll include some points that Lucy made below, as well as one additional point made by another birder experienced in jaeger identification.
1. very strong, crisp-edged barring of the undertail coverts. Parasitic has weak, blurry barring, Pom has strong, but bill is not Pomarine.
2. virtually no pale tips to the wing tips; Parasitic has pale tips to the wing
3. bill shape (gonys incl) matches Long-tailed and has a hook at the tip more dominant in Long-tailed than in Parasitic
4. amount of dark on the bill looks to be about 40-50% dark, which is just right for LT
5. barring on the back is crisp and white, not buffy as in Parasitic or Pomarine.
I'm Kelly: I was born in Minnesota, but currently live in the Florida Panhandle. I'm fascinated by the beauty of God's creation, and I desire to foster awareness in others of the amazing world around us -- because once we know and appreciate the intricacy and wonder of the natural world, we will be better stewards of it.