It’s NatSCA conference week here in Dublin – the best time of the natural history collections year. If you want to hear about what’s going on you should check it out on Twitter under the hashtag #NatSCA2019.
Of course, that means I this week’s mystery object has been taken from a snap on my phone, as I’ve been a bit bust – so here’s a slightly less than ideal photo of an old and slightly grubby bird skeleton to have a go at identifying:
Any idea what this might be? All suggestions gratefully received!
This is a bird with quite some facial hair from a one in a million genus. I cannot say which species
Very impressive 😉
The right toes seem to be missing, are the two on the left zygodactylous, or another broken foot?
No, that foot is complete – well spotted!
I feel strongly that I am wrong but I still want to investigate the possibility that this is a southern swimmer.
Is it the perspective of the photo, iris the skull disproportionately large? In the latter case… immature?
For ‘iris’ read ‘or is’. Expletive deleted autocorrect!
No, it’s an adult, it just has a big head and eye.
I agree that the head seems very large in proportion to the rest of the body. I’m still looking for that bulbous skull!
Looks rather barn owlish to me, but hard to tell with that big head and eyes, lol.
The eyes are certainly large enough to be a nocturnal bird, but unless I’m being fooled by the angle, the beak is not “right” for a barn owl – or any other owl I know. Maybe the European Barn Owl is different from the American one, but then the toes and talons such as they are on this specimen don’t seem long enough . . . I’m thinking nocturnal – but what?
Corvid? I’m flailing here.
Is it perhaps a bit gouty?
A little old gouty guy resembling an owl?
Well, if this bird has zygodactyl toe arrangement, it may not be the one I thought it was. Back to drawing board.