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Jerry Friedman

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  1. I've heard that, but I've looked for evidence and haven't found any, and so have other people. Other way around, I suspect--one's a word of unknown origin, the other is an acronym made up to explain it. An interesting thing about that experience from a birding point of view is that people do sometimes put a name to it. For instance, the Cooper's Hawk's "mean expression", compared to a Sharp-shinned Hawk, comes from its heavier brow ridge and its smaller eye in proportion to its head. But still, experienced birders can recognize a bird before any words have had a chance to go through their mind.
  2. GISS is "general impression, size, and shape" or "general impression of shape and size" or something. It was probably invented to explain the older term "jizz", the qualities of a bird that you can't put into words but help you identify it. Or to replace "jizz", a term some people aren't comfortable with.
  3. I agree with Coop. The bill is relatively big and the top continues the line of the bill more or less smoothly--the bill doesn't jut out from the face. Also the legs are substantial--no sharp shins here. I believe a Sharpie would also have more rufous streaking.
  4. Thanks. Bewick's, Marsh, and House are all possible. Annoying of it not to show itself.
  5. After a long minute... This one at least won't bang in your ear at the beginning, and there's a touch of high-pass filtering wilsonsetc08crop2hipass.mp3
  6. Mockingbird! I think he was mocking me for not recognizing him. When I listen to the second/third clip again, I don't hear the high-pitched chips I thought I heard before, which I thought might have been Prothonotary. But I'm not sure what's going on. The first clip doesn't work for me and I don't think it did for anyone else. I'm uploading it again, if people wouldn't mind listening to it. EDIT: Actually, that's a bit painful to listen to. I'm going to upload an edited version in a minute. Thanks for the help! wilsonsetc08crop1.mp3
  7. Espanola, N.M., Sept. 18 1. From the edge of a fishing lake (or big pond) with reeds. A lot of the sound seemed to come from a willow bush. There was a Black-capped Chickadee and a couple Wilson's Warblers. Do you hear anything else? Maybe a Common Yellowthroat around 1:40? wilsonsetc08crop1.mp3 2. Near small woodland pools. Who do you hear on here? And I saw a Prothonotary Warbler right after this! The record's been accepted, blurry photos and all, but do you by any chance hear him near the end of this recording? The first one is straight out the camera; the second is the same thing with noise reduction and high-pass filtering by Audacity. chatterprothoq00crop.mp3 chatterprothoq00cropnrhipass.mp3
  8. Welcome to Whatbird! The long blue-gray tail with a few black bands makes it a Cooper's Hawk or Sharp-shinned Hawk. I can't tell which of those for sure, but I'm not going to argue with @Quiscalus quisculaon this one, and I believe Coop is more likely in a residential area.
  9. As does a head and neck much longer than the tail (most visible in the last picture).
  10. i've rescued hummingirds from my former porch, and this and that insect. I also got some fishing line out of a tree at the local fishing lakes before any birds got caught. The ranger let me stand on the hood of his truck. One night I was driving from Albuquerque to Santa Fe when a man flagged me down on the side of the road. He said that if I would just tell him which way the traffic was going, he could get started again. His breath smelled like nail-polish remover. I talked him into letting me take him to a hotel in Santa Fe. He paid for his room with cash, and I left him a note telling him where his car was.
  11. This thing dropped by my apartment in Española, N.M., this morning. The second picture (I don't know how they got out of order) is the way the camera gave it to me. The others are greatly lightened. A Plumbeous Vireo was present (and tried to make me think it was my life Cassin's, but a little yellow wash underneath is normal for the first fall, Sibley says), but that's not what this is, right? There were also Western Bluebirds--could this be that?
  12. True around here, anyway, but on the other side of the world there are megapodes, some of which can fly on the day they hatch. I can't find out whether there are any other birds that fly before they're full-grown.
  13. 7 inches seemed a little long for a Common Grackle. Checking the Feather Atlas, I see that the longest tail feathers for male Common Grackle are 14 cm (5.5 in). The ones for American Crow (just one sample) are 18 cm (7.1 in). The shortest for male Common Raven (no female shown) are just over 20 cm (7.9 in). So I'd say crow is the favorite at this point.
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