I made it out to see the Jaeger just before dark and at quite some distance. I felt the bill was thin and of average length. It appeared that the central rectrices were pointed. I couldn't get much on the color of the bird due to it being so horribly backlight. I never saw the upperwing in flight as I wanted to count the number of white primary shafts. But based on the thin bill and pointed central tail feathers, I thought the bird was probably a Parasitic. But as it is with Jaegers, it has turned out to be something else. Aaron Ambos just sent me his excellent photos he took of the bird today and it turns out the bird is actually a LONG-TAILED JAEGER. The bill seems thin for LTJA, but it is the right length and does show about 1/2 of the length being dark (tipped). The tail feathers appear to be worn causing them to look pointed. I have seen this before on a Long-tailed Martin Meyers and I had at Walker Lake a few years ago. So why is it a long-tailed? Aaron's pictures clearly show two distinct white Primary Shafts in the upperwing which is diagnostic for Long-tailed. A critical feature I couldn't see in the field. Also the nearly half dark bill is good for long-tailed as well as the birds overall cold gray color. Typically immature Parasitics are warmer brown or even rufous in color. So, I originally thought the bird was probably a Parasitic and it has turned out to be Long-tailed. I guess that's just immature Jaegers for you. Often times, all critical features need to be seen in the field or captured on camera to be sure of the identity. Thanks Tyler for finding this nice bird and thanks Aaron for getting and passing on the identifying photos.
Sent from my iPhone