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Jerry Friedman

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Everything posted by Jerry Friedman

  1. Welcome to Whatbird, gajeepn! I agree that those are Eastern Phoebes, and I too am I'm surprised to learn that they'll eat bread. It's very possible that bread isn't good for them. I doubt that much is known about this. Where are you (at least state or province)? Knowing the location is often helpful in identifying the bird, so there's a rule here that people have to give the date and the location, maybe roughly, for every ID request.
  2. With a weird-looking Mallard or hybrid, is there ever any way to tell whether the weirdness is from domestic ancestry?
  3. This is Krider's subspecies. https://macaulaylibrary.org/asset/291626331 Eastern juveniles are often pretty lightly marked on a white background compared to Western, but I'd think Krider's would have still lighter markings and more white on the head.
  4. Came across this one from 2016. If you look at it in maximum size, it might count.
  5. It looks somewhat different in the two photos, making it hard to call, I'd think. Since borealis (Eastern) is the expected subspecies in St. Louis, I don't think there's a strong reason to doubt it, though it does look lightly marked below (especially in the second picture), and if the throat is really dark, that's strange.
  6. Just curious, since I guessed that meaning might have started in this century--do you remember when you first heard it or used it that way?
  7. I agree that that's how it should be used, but you can find people applying it to other birds. https://salemart.org/events/murmurations-anne-kresge-mike-nord/
  8. Yes, the pattern looks consistent with Sandhill Cranes, and nothing else sounds like that. *walks away doing imitation*
  9. Yes, the original bird-related meaning of "murmuration" was a flock of European Starlings, no matter how big the flock or what it was doing. The Oxford English Dictionary says it was invented around 1450 and was "One of many alleged group terms originating in late Middle English glossarial sources; found only in glossaries until revived and popularized in the mid-19th cent." In recent times (just this century?), videos of big flocks of starlings maneuvering in sync have become popular, and "murmuration" has come to mean a big dense flock of any species doing that. I guess it could spread to mean any big dense flock, but if it has, no one has told me. One of the OED's quotations is from the poet W. H. Auden: Patterns a murmuration of starlings Rising in joy over wolds unwittingly weave.
  10. I feel the second bird is a Harlan's, and I'd be surprised if it wasn't the same bird. The primaries, especially the outermost ones, banded to the tips are good for juvenile dark and intermediate Harlan's. It doesn't have the pale markings on the tips of the tail feathers, but I think some Harlan's don't have that. See this thread for a very similar bird:
  11. Since it's in a safari park, can we rule out Augur Buzzard, wintering Common Buzzard, etc? 🙂 With the unmarked or subtly marked tail and the comma on the wing, I'd lean Red-tailed too, though it seems Ferruginous has occurred there.
  12. Broad-winged Hawks and Swainson's Hawks have four fingers (primaries that are separated due to emargination), other buteos have five, accipiters and eagles have six. That can be very useful, especially on silhouetted birds. The hawkwatchers at the Raptor ID group on Facebook talk about it all the time, and here's a web site that mentions them and notes that it's the only sure way to tell dark-morph Broad-winged from dark-morph Short-tailed, not that that's likely at in the U.S. or Canada. https://www.carolinabirdclub.org/misc/id/buteos/
  13. I should add that other pictures would only be helpful if you're interested in whether the subspecies is Harlan's or Western (and if you are, maybe an expert could tell even without other pictures).
  14. Looks like an intermediate-morph juvenile Red-tail to me. The large amount of white mottling suggests Harlan's, but maybe the dark throat and warmish brown color don't so much. Do you have any better shots of the tail or anything with the open wings?
  15. Sorry, but I don't think that's the same bird. The Greater Scaup that you showed pictures of has a light-colored ring around its neck (caused by missing feathers), whereas your bird's neck is simply darker below and lighter above. And the pattern of mottling on the side (due to molt, I guess) looks different.
  16. Rufous barely visible on the back of the head, sharp line between different colors on the lower and upper neck, doesn't have white sides like a male scaup or white patches next to the base of the bill like a female.
  17. Isn't the duck more likely to be a Redhead? Pass on the other bird. Your impressions in the field are much more reliable than anything I could get from these photos.
  18. The lightened version makes it even a clearer Swainson's. Over at Facebook, Lucas Wilson wrote, "Yes, Swainson's Hawk, a rare but regular migrant and wintering bird in Florida. Exceedingly long, tapering wings and shock white undertail coverts on a dark/dark intermedaite morph raptor (that's not just the lighting)."
  19. A fan, not an expert, but the shape sure looks like a Swainson's to me, with long, narrow wings lacking a secondary bulge, only four "fingers" and a relatively long tail. The plumage looks right too--the wing linings are a little lighter than the flight feathers, there's a prominent comma, and the tail is right. I think Red-shouldered is ruled out by the commas and the lack of wing crescents despite some visible backlighting. Red-tailed would have patagial marks [*] and bulging wings. @dragon49I think you can go ahead and report this as Swainson's, given the general impression here. As usual, if you like I could put it on the Raptor ID group on Facebook. As @Aidan Bsaid, if you have even distant shots showing how it holds its wings when soaring, that would seal the deal--Swainson's flies with a dihedral (wings raised a bit above the horizontal).
  20. The rufous underparts and rows of white marks on the wing are good signs of an adult Red-shoulder.
  21. Somebody should mention that Pine Warblers, like many other Setophaga warblers, have dark tails with white spots, unlike this bird's tail. (I can't help with B-more vs. Bullock's.)
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