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Posts posted by adrian

  1. 1 minute ago, hbvol50 said:

    Thanks.  After going over the guides and my old photos, I came to the same conclusion. Not often that they are seen soaring.

    Perhaps not so often during the breeding season (though they still do soar), but I very often see Cooper's Hawks soaring, most often during migration and winter. I'd say 90% or more of my Cooper's Hawk sightings are soaring birds.

  2. I like Hairy Woodpecker for this bird. Bill looks better for Hairy than for Downy. There do appear to be one or two faint spots in the white outer tail feathers, but I think these look more like dirt or something than the barring in Downy Woodpecker's tail feathers, which should be more extensive (though the backlit nature of the photo does make it hard to tell exactly what we're seeing). The black stripe from crown to nape is unbroken, which is better for Hairy Woodpecker. All that said, I'm not 100% sure and would personally leave this bird at Downy/Hairy Woodpecker without more photos.

    • Like 2
  3. Palo Verde National Park dry forest, March 18, 2019

    I know the shots are bad but seems like might be possible to work with. I'm seeing a fairly short bill, dark throat and upper breast, white belly, solid green upperparts. I considered Canivet's Emerald, Blue-throated Goldentail, Ruby-throated Hummingbird, and Mangrove Hummingbird. Seems like those would be my only options here. Thoughts?




  4. Thanks for your input. I thought Tropical Pewee in the field but wasn't totally convinced. I thought the lores did not look pale, the main thing that threw me off I suppose. I was quite confident it wasn't either Eastern or Western Wood-Pewee due to the less elongate shape and shorter primaries. I considered that it might be an Empidonax, and indeed someone on another forum suggested White-throated Flycatcher, but in the field I considered Empid and decided it just didn't fit with that genus (no eyering, a bit too elongate/not so round, etc.). I'm going to go with Tropical Pewee. Thanks again.

  5. Nope, that's an immature Bald Eagle. Notice the distribution of white feathers on the body. While immature Golden Eagles (not adults) show white in the base of the tail and in the base of the primaries (outer flight feathers) from below, they never show white in the axillaries (armpit). Immature Bald Eagles, on the other hand, typically show extensive white in the axillaries (as does your bird) but not in the regions where Golden Eagles do. Also, the white coming in on the head indicates that this is a Bald Eagle, probably an older immature bird closer to adulthood. Finally, the structure is indicative of Bald Eagle: the head and bill are considerably larger than on Golden Eagle.

    • Like 1
  6. Checking eBird, there are scattered reports of one to two photographed birds around the Anchorage area, so there seems at least to be some precedence for occurrence of this subspecies there. I think I'll report at least one bird as dusky to eBird, with these photos, and see what the reviewer says. The fact that they all struck me in the field as distinctly darker-breasted than eastern birds made me assume that dusky occurred regularly there and that the whole flock consisted of them, hence my confusion now. 

    Thanks for your help.

  7. I disagree with akiley here. The primaries of the front bird in the first photo, and the bird in the second photo, look to be the same shade as the mantle and thus consistent with pure Glaucous-winged Gull. Given that the back bird in the first photo has obviously been stained dark by something (tar?), the shade of the primaries is not useful, and I don't have the experience needed to try to separate the hybrid complex by structure.

  8. You actually have two different birds here. The first and third photos are one bird (or maybe two very similar birds), and the middle photo is another which is clearly much paler overall, especially on the head and undersides. That middle bird is a juvenile Ferruginous Hawk. The white panel formed by the white bases to the primary flight feathers is diagnostic for this species, as is the extended yellow gape and white base to the tail. The brown and white plumage as a whole indicates that it is a juvenile. The other bird(s) is a dark-morph Red-tailed Hawk, judging mainly by structure (stocky hawk with relatively short, broad wings, good-sized head with large bill). I don't know how to distinguish between a Harlan's or a dark-morph calurus or alascensis. 

    • Like 3
  9. I tried to edit my original post, but couldn't for some reason, to include the following info: 

    This bird was photographed in a small urban park on the west side of Manhattan, New York City, near the Hudson River. Common Grackle is common in Manhattan, but Boat-tailed Grackle is very rare (less than 10 records on eBird ever for Manhattan). However, there is an established pattern of infrequent vagrancy of this species north along the Hudson River in Manhattan (I personally observed three together in this context) north to Westchester. Boat-tailed Grackle does occur as a regular breeder along the coastal marshes of New York City (where it is not uncommon), but this is some miles from Manhattan.

    Looking at this bird again, I just can't imagine a Common Grackle showing such a solid blue iridescence, and I am inclined to believe that it is a Boat-tailed Grackle despite the rarity.

    I'd appreciate it if you reported it as misidentified if you agree that it is a Boat-tailed. I did so weeks ago, but it obviously hasn't been changed. I know the Manhattan eBird reviewer(s) probably has/have a lot of things to sift through, so maybe they didn't get to it yet, or maybe they believe it is a Common Grackle, or perhaps they just skimmed it over and dismissed the idea based on the likelihood (not likely I think).

    I'd still love to hear others' thoughts on this bird. 

    2 hours ago, jcarscadden said:

    those eyes...would not expect them to be as piercing yellow on a boat tail  and i do have some pics of dark common

    jcarscadden, piercing yellow eyes are certainly typical of Atlantic coast Boat-tailed Grackles (see the last and second-to-last photos here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Boat-tailed_Grackle/media-browser/67363911 ). If you have photos of Common Grackles that you think look very similar to this bird, I'd love to see them!

    • Like 1
  10. Not positive, but perhaps it has to do with the way the bird holds its feathers. I assume pretty much any bird can look crested if it holds the feathers of its crown erect, as the pictured Dusky Grouse appears to be doing. However, some birds have crown feathers of such length that it always lends a crested look, even when not held erect (as I assume is the case with Ruffed Grouse).

    All the photos I can see of Ruffed Grouse from an appropriate angle show a crest, but perhaps some don't show it. 

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